Chinese Jewelry

In ancient China, jewelry was worn by both men and women to represent wealth and nobility. Chinese culture valued silver and jade over gold, and held each material and subject matter with symbolic significance. These symbols were usually derived from puns, and included luck, health, love, prosperity, success, longevity, and fertility.

Bracelets, necklaces, hair pins, earrings, rings, and various headdresses and headbands were among the many different kinds of jewelry created in China. Ancient jewelry, particularly that of the royals, was buried with the deceased owners. As a result, much of these ancient works survived to modern day.

As trade increased on the Silk Road, so did the variety of materials used to create Chinese jewelry. Lapis lazuli, pearls, cloisonné, ivory, and glass beads were added to the repertoire of materials used to embellish jewelry. The more jewelry the wearer had, the more prestigious he or she was.


Quick Facts

  • Throughout history, the Chinese paid close attention to the symbolism of color in jewelry. Blue kingfisher feathers, blue gems, and blue enameling were reserved for nobility only
  • The art of kingfisher feather ornamentation for jewelry was painstaking and difficult. The feathers of the bird were carefully cut and inlaid using clear glue into silver. This art, called "tian tsui," is now banned
  • Most Chinese jewelry pieces on the art market were created during the Victorian era in China to export to the West due to high demand

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

bp parity badge
Estate Chinese Bangle Sets
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Estate Chinese Bangle Sets
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$604 Bids
bp parity badge
Rare Chinese Agarwood Prayer Beads
Oct 23, 11:00 AM PDT
Rare Chinese Agarwood Prayer Beads
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $100- $150
$303 Bids
bp parity badge
Chinese Old Agarwood Beads w/ Boxwood Box
Oct 23, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Old Agarwood Beads w/ Boxwood Box
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $100- $120
$202 Bids
TIBETAN BEAD NECKLACE
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
TIBETAN BEAD NECKLACE
by Everard Auctions and Appraisals
Est: $100- $200
$602 Bids
bp parity badge
Chinese Agarwood Prayer Beads w/ Pewter Box
Oct 23, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Agarwood Prayer Beads w/ Pewter Box
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $100- $150
$201 Bid
bp parity badge
Pair Chinese White Jade Carved Bangles
Oct 23, 11:00 AM PDT
Pair Chinese White Jade Carved Bangles
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$101 Bid
Green Beaded Buddha Head Stretch Bracelet
Oct 18, 8:00 PM CDT
Green Beaded Buddha Head Stretch Bracelet
by Dalshire International Inc
Est: $100- $180
$51 Bid
Large Lot Silver, Gold, Jade Jewelry, Chinese
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Large Lot Silver, Gold, Jade Jewelry, Chinese
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $40- $15,000
$401 Bid
Pr Chinese antique enamel silver earrings w/ lapis
Oct 18, 2:00 PM PDT
Pr Chinese antique enamel silver earrings w/ lapis
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $200
$301 Bid
DZI BEAD
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CEST
DZI BEAD
by Hardt Auctions GmbH
Est: €4,000- €5,000
€3,6001 Bid
A diamond-set bangle
Oct 22, 11:00 AM BST
A diamond-set bangle
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £1,500- £2,500
£7500 Bids
18th,Bi Xi handheld
Oct 22, 3:00 PM PDT
18th,Bi Xi handheld
by Peng Long Auction Inc
Est: $800- $1,000
$5000 Bids
bp parity badge
Chinese Gilt Link Inlaid Large Coral Like Gemstone
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Gilt Link Inlaid Large Coral Like Gemstone
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $125- $150
$200 Bids
bp parity badge
Estate Chinese Jade Stone Bangles
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Estate Chinese Jade Stone Bangles
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$100 Bids
bp parity badge
Estate Chinese Jade/Gem Stone Jewelries & Decors
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Estate Chinese Jade/Gem Stone Jewelries & Decors
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $40- $50
$100 Bids
Chinese Miao Silver Jewelry Pierced Dragon Relief
Oct 27, 12:00 PM EDT
Chinese Miao Silver Jewelry Pierced Dragon Relief
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$500 Bids
China rider carved red amber Sizes: H=200mm L=140mm Weight (K): 1,03kg Condition: at
Oct 31, 10:00 AM CET
China rider carved red amber Sizes: H=200mm L=140mm Weight (K): 1,03kg Condition: at
by Goldfield Auction
Est: €300- €600
€3000 Bids
Chinese Ornamental Ball Bracelet 14K Clasp
Oct 27, 12:00 PM EDT
Chinese Ornamental Ball Bracelet 14K Clasp
by C Biddle Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$100 Bids
RING WITH BEAD AND SHIVE FRAGMENT
Oct 22, 6:00 PM CEST
RING WITH BEAD AND SHIVE FRAGMENT
by Auktionshaus Rheine
Est: €80- €150
€500 Bids
AGATE BRACELET
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CEST
AGATE BRACELET
by Hardt Auctions GmbH
Est: €200- €400
€1000 Bids
Asian Tibetan Silver Frog Bracelet
Oct 19, 6:00 PM EDT
Asian Tibetan Silver Frog Bracelet
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $100- $200
$750 Bids
Asian Tibetan Silver Clover Bangle
Oct 19, 6:00 PM EDT
Asian Tibetan Silver Clover Bangle
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $70- $90
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Jewelry


Empire Auction House

Empire Auction House

Merces Gallery LLC

Merces Gallery LLC

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Quan Rong Gallery

Quan Rong Gallery