For half a century, scholars have searched in vain for the source of the jade that the early
civilizations of the Americas prized above all else and fashioned into precious objects of
worship, trade and adornment. The searchers found some clues to the source of jadeite, as the
precious rock is known, for the Olmecs and Mayas. But no lost mines came to light.
In 2002, scientists exploring the wilds of Guatemala say they have found the mother lode -- a
mountainous region roughly the size of Rhode Island strewn with huge jade boulders, other rocky
treasures and signs of ancient mining. It was discovered after a hurricane tore through the
landscape and exposed the veins of jade, some of which turned up in stores, arousing the
curiosity of scientists.
The find includes large outcroppings of blue jade, the gemstone of the Olmecs, the mysterious
people who created the first complex culture in pre- Columbian Mesoamerica, the region that
encompasses much of Mexico and Central America. It also includes an ancient mile-high road of
stone that runs for miles through the densely forested region.
Scientists say, the find suggests that the Olmecs, who flourished on the southern Gulf Coast of
Mexico, exerted wide influence in the Guatemalan highlands as well. All told, they add, the
Guatemalan lode was worked for millenniums, compared with centuries for the China one.
Early people of the Americas considered jade more valuable than gold and silver. The Olmecs, the
great sculptors of the pre-Columbian era, carved jade into delicate human forms and scary masks.
Maya kings and other royalty often went to their graves with jade suits, rings and necklaces.
The living had their teeth inlaid with the colored gems.
As "quetzal" jade, bright green jadeitite from Guatemala was treasured by Mesoamerican cultures,
and as "kingfisher" jade, vivid green rocks from China became the preferred stone of post-1800
Chinese imperial scholars and rulers. China and Guatemala are the principal sources of
modern gem jadeitite, and Canada of modern lapidary nephrite. Nephrite jade was used mostly in
pre-1800 China as well as in New Zealand, the Pacific Coast and Atlantic Coasts of North
America, Neolithic Europe, and south-east Asia. In addition to Mesoamerica, jadeite was used by
Neolithic Japanese and European cultures.
Today, Guatemala produces jadeite in a variety of colours, ranging from soft translucent lilac,
blue, green, yellow, and black. It is also the source of new colours, including "rainbow jade"
and the unique "Galactic Gold," a black jadeite with natural incrustations of gold, silver and
Jade is the 12th, 30th and 35th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone. In the West, Jade is considered to
be nature's tranquilizer, a stone which helps us to be more claim and relaxed. Opens intuitive
and psychic abilities. In Chinese, Feng Shui believed jade to have the power to bring you good
luck, ward off evil spirits and keep demons away .
Jade and the land of China
Jade has been adored and revered by the Chinese people since time ancient. From the down of
civilization, in spite of the formidable that have fallen upon the Chinese, both sentiment
toward jade and the tradition of jade artistry have endured the passage of time and remained
undiminished in strength.
NEPHRITE & JADEITE
Chemically speaking a silicate of calcium and magnesium, nephrite belongs to the amphibole group
of minerals. Throughout the ages, nephrites has been frequently employed as a working material.
Nephritic appears in numerous colors, snowy white, bluish white, yellowish hue, brown, gray,
black, green, dark green. Commonly use in jade carving art.
A silicate of sodium and aluminum, jadeite is classed as a pyroxene. Although in class different
from nephrite, jadeite shares many characteristics with it, namely a high degree of hardness and
firmness, and a luster that lends an appearance of transparency. Additionally, variations is
iron content result in brownish-red, dark green, or lavender hues. Presence of minute amounts of
chromium yields emerald green. Commonly use in jewelry. The trade name jadite is sometimes
applied to translucent or opaque green glass.
Care of Jade Stone
Use mild soap and warm water is the easiest and safest cleaning solution. Use soft towel to dry.
Better to take if off when you are cooking or cleaning. Avoid chemical cleaners at all costs.
Jade, or Jadeite, to be precise, has long been
revered by Asians as symbol of good luck, good
health, and power to resist evil spirit.