The jade bi disc is a flat jade disc with a hole in the center. It has a long history in China which can date back to the Neolithic period (~ 10000 b.c. to 2000 b.c.). The original pieces are scanty and not decorated at all. Later, the pieces are decorated with various carvings, such as waves, characters, mythical animals, etc.
The origin and original purpose of bi disc are unknown. But later it was regarded as the symbol of status and power. It was also one of the most important things for funerals as it was believed that the dead were only able to get the connection between the earth and the sky with the help of bi disc. It was recorded that during a period of time, the inferior had to hand over the winner his Bi as the sign of the submission.
Originally, it was widely believed that the circular shape was a reference to heaven. With time goes on, bi discs were later appreciated more as an expression of antiquarian tastes than for there associations with the cosmos. They were also used as ornaments and gifts which represented love and fondness.
Click here to view the story of the most valuable bi disc in Chinese recorded history which is called He Shi Bi.