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As you make your trip to Beijing, you¡¯re sure to find a veritable treasure trove of antiques and curios. For a sample of some of the finest of these items, come visit Ju Ya Zhai in west Beijing.


This shop offers authentic antiques and vintage collectibles. They have everything from old jades, clocks and Peking opera masks to antique vases, jars and Buddhist figurines.


The choices are immeasurable: from the unusual to the downright bizarre, there¡¯s bound to be something that takes your fancy!


I was certainly pleased! There was an old miniature chariot with a soldier who had his arms raised to shoulder level. No matter which direction you turn the chariot, the soldier always points south. It is a reproduction of China¡¯s first "South-Pointing Chariot."


Over 3000 years ago, devices like this were already being used in wartime to tell directions. Wow!


Also amusing was a graceful bronze sculpture of ¡®Mulan,¡¯ the legendary heroine featured in Disney¡¯s 1998 animated film. Women could also be heroes in ancient China.


Mr. Xu, the shop owner, is a serious antique collector and connoisseur. He loves sharing his knowledge with patrons who don¡¯t know much about Chinese antiques.


Add Ju Ya Zhai to your next Beijing tour!


(Note: Under Chinese law, some antiques cannot be taken out of the country.)


Last week I visited Chengtian Antique City in the southeast of Beijing. On the 3rd floor, I found a shop that carried antiques, jade jewelry and other kinds of Chinese artworks. They were perfect for decoration.


In the shop, the first thing I saw was a collection of antique porcelain wares, including vases, bowls and plates. Some of them were made in the Qing Dynasty.


The shop owner Mr. Tang greeted me, and showed me a porcelain statue, Empress Dowager Cixi (1835 - 1908), a female ruler of the Qing Dynasty. She sat on a stone bench with a big spot dog. Her lips and nails were painted in red. She was wearing a big black hat and a button-down robe in yellow, red and blue. On the robe were embroidered peonies and butterflies. On the hat were two butterflies surrounding a big peony. In China, peony represents wealth and status.


Mr. Tang also showed me their popular jade jewelry items, including pendants and bracelets. They were white, and looked glossy. Jade symbolizes virtue, and brings good health.


I also found Chinese paintings, calligraphy works, and wood carvings. They are all traditional Chinese artworks.


What I appreciated

Chinese antiques and works of art


What customers appreciate

Chinese antiques and works of art


Last week I visited an impressive shop in the eastern part of Beijing, which carried jadeite jewelry and petrified trees. The latter are a kind of precious decorations, even rarer than the former.


Mr. Wang, the shop owner, greeted me when in entered the shop. He showed me his large collection of jade and jadeite jewelry in the showcases. He explained that jadeite is harder than jade, and asked me to look at the green-colored bracelets and necklace pendants, which looked very elegant and beautiful.


He also told me that Chinese consider jade more precious than gold. Jade stands for morality and virtue. Wearing jade improves health in many ways, such as relieving vexation, nourishing the five internal organs, and unblocking blood vessels.


Looking around, I noticed some oddly shaped stones with fruity luster and colors. Mr. Wang told me they were petrified trees, which were formed naturally during the period from 355 to 65 million years ago. I almost couldn't believe my ears! Holding my breath I took a close look at one of them, and found that it was really a fossilized tree. Even though it looked like a stone, I could see its textures and growth rings on the cross section.


The shop owner said petrified trees had great archaeological values, and more importantly, they could serve as beautiful decorations at home.


 What I appreciated

Jade, jadeite, petrified trees


What customers appreciate

Jadeite jewelry, petrified trees

Beijing pictures, Jade Family

Jade is believed to bring happiness and luck for the people, keeps away evil, and good for one's health. With its clear jadeite qualities, Hotan Jade has enjoyed a good reputation since ancient times. Its history can be traced back to 1200 years ago.

Jade Family is a Hotan jade shop, which sells finished jade accessories as well as incomplete jade materials that you can design yourself. From jade necklace and bracelet, to large jade home  adornments, Jade Family carries a large selection of jade merchandises.

The shop owner, Ms Cao, told me their story of jade collection in Xinjiang. She said that the mountains south of Hotan City are called Jade Mountains, and the river beside the Hotan city is called the Jade River. Even today, you can find people picking jade from the river. Only in the Jade river one can find the best quality Jade, but the mountains are still mined for cheap jade product.

She showed me a top-quality jade horse. Even though I know little about jade, I still appreciated its whiteness and brightness. The item is sold at RMB 30,000. Another piece I liked was the ¡°Jade Mountain.¡± It had a shape of a mountain, with three old men standing by pine trees. All these represent longevity in China. It costs RMB 2500.

Jade Family also sells some daily items, like ceramic ware, tobacco bottles, and fingerstalls popular back in the early 20th century.

What I Appreciate:
Quality jade

What Customer Appreciate:
Hotan jade and other antique porcelain

Beijing pictures, Jadeite necklace pendants

Although not well known in the west, Jade is a very popular jewelry among Chinese people, especially women. Jade is known for its graceful color and elaborately carved patterns, as well as mythical powers in chasing away bad luck.


At Baigong Handicraft Museum, I found a shop specializing in jadeite ware. The shop assistant guaranteed that all of their jewelry are made of top grade jadeite, which are the best. Raw jade is imported from Burma, and they are then carved by master craftsmen in Guangzhou.


For ladies, the shop offers bracelets and necklace pendants with Buddha and Ping An Kou (literally means button of protection). A bracelet usually costs several thousand yuan. For men, they have pendants such as Guanyin (the Goddess of Mercy) and Pi Xiu (legendary animal which eats and retains wealth). A yellow-colored Pi Xiu cost about 600 yuan.


Also on display was a big, crude, black-colored jadeite stone. The shop assistant turned on a small flashlight against the stone, so I could see beautiful, charming green light shining into it. It was amazing to see graceful jadeite ware made from this kind of stone.


What I appreciated

Top grade jadeite jewelry


What customers appreciate

Top-quality jadeite articles, intricate workmanship


Just as its name implies, Yu Hai Cui Yuan, is indeed a "sea of jade". Located on Fatou Xili Street, it is very close to the Temple of Heaven.

Upon entering the shop, I was first attracted by a huge jade carving of a cabbage displayed in a glass container. It looked fantastic, both in terms of size and craftsmanship. According to the shop assistant, it took totally three years to carve this giant piece of work.

Needless to say, the price tag was also quite amazing, at RMB 1,000,000.

Another characteristic jade carving is a basket containing peonies, peaches, and guavas with butterflies flying, and a cat standing aside. This is a good birthday present to the elderly. Peonies and butterflies symbolize wealth, while peaches and cats mean longevity.

Besides these exquisite jade carvings, this shop also holds a range of jade jewelry. The jade is imported from Burma, which are the best in the world. The raw jade are then carved into their present form by Yu Hai Cui Yuan's own group of artists. Prices vary from RMB 300 to RMB 58,000.

What I appreciate:
Amazing jade carvings

What customers appreciate:
Beautiful collection of jade items, fine craft

Beijing pictures, Jade necklace pendants

Beijing jade sculpture may be traced back to the Neolithic Age, and known as one of the "eight greatest handicrafts of Beijing." There are many types of jade stones, including white jade, jasper, celadon jade, crystal, amethystine quartz, etc. These stones, though, can be of a priceless art treasure only after fine design and masterly work. One such studio which does such fine work locates on the first floor of Baigong Handicraft Museum.


This jade carving studio sells both uncut jade stones and elaborate jade articles. On my visit to the shop, elaborate jade pendants seemed to be the feature. They have Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, for men and Buddha for women. Another common design is Pi Xiu, a chimera-like legendary animal that love to devour and keep treasures.


For a western style, I found a jade cross for RMB 680. Bracelets made of green jade or red agate are available as well, with prices ranging from RMB 400 to RMB 600 each.


Make sure you look at the valuable jade sculptures like cabbage, and maize, on display while you¡¯re there.


What I appreciated

Exquisite jade ware, jade sculpture display


What customers appreciate

Wide selections, studio let you understand the craft

Beijing pictures, Jade Exclusive

With jade mobile phone decorations, jade necklaces, jade bracelets, and jade home adornments, Jade Exclusive in the Tian Di Wholesale Market attracted my attention through its large selection of jade merchandise.

Collectors may find jade tobacco bottles and jade fingerstall (ring for thumb finger) rarely offered elsewhere. While fashionable youths may find jade necklaces and bracelets more to their tastes. The religious would find peace and fortune with adornments like Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, or Pi Xiu, gods which collects wealth in Chinese legends.

You may also choose to mix and match your choice of necklace pendants or jade beads for bracelet. Prices for each piece range from 2 RMB of a small bead to over 3,000 RMB for some pendant.

Tibetan handicrafts and accessories are also for sale here. But the selection is really limited to silver pendants and blue tophus necklaces. Bes sure to bargain hard with the shop owner though, since the opening price could be severely inflated.

What I appreciate:
Custom mix-and-match designs

What customers appreciate:
Amazing selections, low price

Beijing pictures, A Huge Gold & Jewelry Shop

Located at the northeast corner of Caishikou Intersection, Xingbaixuan Gold & Jewelry Shop is a huge store selling gold, platinum, jadeite and crystal jewelry. Every category has a wide range of patterns for customers to choose from.


The eastern section in the shop specializes in jewelry made from jade, such as necklaces, pendants, and bracelets. Chinese people consider jade a symbol of auspiciousness which will bring safety and health, while westerners admire its grace, mystery, and romantic nature.


The pendant patterns are mainly divided into two categories: Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, and Pi Xiu, God¡¯s animals in ancient Chinese legends which will absorb and keep wealth for you. Prices for jadeite Pi Xiu range from RMB 550 to RMB 4380. And the most valuable Guanyin pendant costs 180 thousand yuan. The green, fine jadeite Guanyin looks shining and translucent, while the halo around her head and the lotus pedestal under her crossed legs are made of platinum. Usually, patrons can enjoy some discount here.


The other parts of the shop carry various gold jewelry, including necklaces, pendants, bracelets, eardrops, and commemorative coins. The jewelries featured include both Chinese and western designs, in many unique patterns. The price for G999 per gram during my visit is RMB 226.


What I appreciated

Solid gold and jadeite jewelry, elaborate designs.


What customers appreciate

Large gold & jewelry shop, a wide variety of patterns for choice, good quality.

Beijing pictures, Pi Xiu

To the Chinese, jade can bring about health, peace and good fortune, depending on the design. Carrying a jade during your stay in China can only help your fortunes.


In the south building of Xidan Department Store lies the Hengchang Jewelry Outlet, the most famous brand for jewelry in Beijing. You should have no problem finding the glittering, translucent jadeite pendants in the showcases. Their patterns mainly take on two forms: Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, and Pi Xiu, animals of the gods in ancient Chinese legends.


As the story goes, Pi is male, and Xiu is female. Both have a dragon¡¯s head, a deer¡¯s ears, a goat¡¯s horns, a lion¡¯s body, a phoenix¡¯s tail, a tiger¡¯s paws, and a pair of wings. They can fly above clouds, and are very brave and mighty. Pi can store wealth, while Xiu can conquer evils. In traditional Chinese society, people thought of Pi and Xiu as fortunate animals that absorb wealth and conquer demons for their owner.


So to ward off evil and increase your wealth, ask for a Pi Xiu pendant. Prices vary according to jadeite¡¯s quality. A smaller white pendant costs RMB 700, while another greenish black one of the same size costs RMB 2000.


What I appreciated

Quality jadeite, necklace pendants in the shape of Pi Xiu.


What customers appreciate

Exquisite jadeite jewelry, pendants of Pi Xiu from ancient legends.

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Beijing Shopping: Ju Ya Zhai offers authentic antiques and vintage collectibles. They have everything from old jades, clocks and Peking opera masks to antique vases, jars and Buddhist figurines.