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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

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A 9CT GOLD GENTS CHINESE DRAGON RING
Feb 29, 3:30 PM AEDT
A 9CT GOLD GENTS CHINESE DRAGON RING
by Lawsons
Est: AUD600- AUD700
AUD2006 Bids
Stunning Hand Carved Chinese Lapis Lazuli Bangle
Feb 27, 9:00 AM EST
Stunning Hand Carved Chinese Lapis Lazuli Bangle
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
Collection of Assorted Chinese Jewelry
Feb 27, 10:00 AM EST
Collection of Assorted Chinese Jewelry
by Weschler's
Est: $50- $100
$353 Bids
Lot of Chinese Jewelry Items Including Coral
Mar 10, 10:00 AM EST
Lot of Chinese Jewelry Items Including Coral
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $150
$502 Bids
Large Lot of Vintage Chinese Jewelry Items
Mar 10, 10:00 AM EST
Large Lot of Vintage Chinese Jewelry Items
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
A MING AND QING DYNASTIES PALACE ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS AND PLANS BOOK.B027.
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
A MING AND QING DYNASTIES PALACE ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS AND PLANS BOOK.B027.
by Metropolitan Auction of Art Inc.
Est: $1,200- $1,500
$3751 Bid
Antique Chinese Silver Double Dragon Bracelet
Mar 02, 9:00 AM MST
Antique Chinese Silver Double Dragon Bracelet
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $200- $300
$101 Bid
Tibetan Silver And Turquoise Ring
Mar 02, 9:00 AM MST
Tibetan Silver And Turquoise Ring
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $25- $50
$101 Bid
Tibetan Sterling Silver Bracelet
Mar 01, 9:00 AM MST
Tibetan Sterling Silver Bracelet
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $50- $75
$101 Bid
Chinese Gold Tone Dragon Brooch With Pearl
Mar 05, 9:00 PM EST
Chinese Gold Tone Dragon Brooch With Pearl
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
Red Agate Gemstone Tibetan Silver Teardrop Earrings
Mar 07, 9:00 PM EST
Red Agate Gemstone Tibetan Silver Teardrop Earrings
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $50- $100
$250 Bids
QING DYNASTY GILT SILVER JEWELRY
Mar 09, 3:00 PM PST
QING DYNASTY GILT SILVER JEWELRY
by Mega International Auction
Est: $6,500- $7,500
$5,5000 Bids
A PAIR OF AGARWOOD BRACELETS FROM THE QING DYNASTY
Mar 09, 3:00 PM PST
A PAIR OF AGARWOOD BRACELETS FROM THE QING DYNASTY
by Mega International Auction
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
Hand Carved Chinese Tibetan Silver Golden Cicada Bracelet Accented With Red Gemstone 
Feb 28, 9:00 PM EST
Hand Carved Chinese Tibetan Silver Golden Cicada Bracelet Accented With Red Gemstone 
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $100- $150
$600 Bids
Asian Tibetan Silver Frog Bracelet
Feb 28, 9:00 PM EST
Asian Tibetan Silver Frog Bracelet
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $100- $200
$750 Bids
Tibetan Silver Decorated Ladies Asian Bangle
Feb 28, 9:00 PM EST
Tibetan Silver Decorated Ladies Asian Bangle
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $70- $90
$600 Bids
Asian Tibetan Silver Clover Bangle
Feb 28, 9:00 PM EST
Asian Tibetan Silver Clover Bangle
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $70- $90
$500 Bids
Asian Tibetan Silver Clover Bangle
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Asian Tibetan Silver Clover Bangle
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $70- $90
$450 Bids
Tibetan Silver Ladies Bangle
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Tibetan Silver Ladies Bangle
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $90- $120
$390 Bids
Tibetan Silver Ladies Bangle
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Tibetan Silver Ladies Bangle
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $90- $120
$390 Bids
Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Jewelry, 17 Pieces
Mar 03, 12:00 PM EST
Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Jewelry, 17 Pieces
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $400- $600
$1000 Bids
Tibetan Silver Ladies Bangle
Mar 06, 9:00 PM EST
Tibetan Silver Ladies Bangle
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $90- $120
$390 Bids
Tibetan Silver Ladies Bangle
Mar 06, 9:00 PM EST
Tibetan Silver Ladies Bangle
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $90- $120
$390 Bids
Asian Tibetan Silver Clover Bangle
Mar 19, 9:00 PM EDT
Asian Tibetan Silver Clover Bangle
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $70- $90
$450 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Jewelry


Merces Gallery LLC

Merces Gallery LLC

Simrit Collection

Simrit Collection

William's Auctions, LLC

William's Auctions, LLC

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures