Jade, as one of the symbols of Chinese material cultures, is the cultural boundary between ancient Chinese and western civilizations. Amphibole, serpentine, turquoise and quartz are the four main kinds of ancient Chinese jades. In this article, the use of Raman spectroscopy in the nondestructive identification of the four kinds of Chinese jades for their phase is discussed. The spectra, in combination with PIXE analysis, help resolve some relevant and further problems. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.