Cultures I know of that valued jade more than gold were the Aztecs, Incas, Mayans and Chinese.
In fact, China’s history with jade has been documented back more than 7,000 years, as Archaeologists have discovered jade objects dating from the early Neolithic period (about 5000 BC).
On the Road of Jade
Experts of the Zhejiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology found a 6,000 year-old jade workshop in China. Inside the ruins, piles of stone slices and primitive tools were found along with twenty jade rings.
Xinhua reported that the ruins were located in Tonglu county in Zhejiang province.
In 12th century China, a treatise was written about the property of jade, which resulted in 100 volumes with 700 color illustrations.
Confucius believed jade was the symbol of intelligence, humanity, loyalty and truthfulness, and the Chinese have called it eternal, divine, the Stone of Heaven and Earth, and the stone of tranquility.
Chinese Jade Culture
Peter Luca wrote on the Health Properties of Jade in China on Suite101.com, and he said, “for centuries, imperial households and courts, ate jade, wore jade, sucked on jade and were buried with it.”
Luca says, “Scientific research has confirmed that the stone contains elements such as: Zinc, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Cobalt, Selenium, Chromium, Titanium, Lithium, Calcium and Sodium. A current line of thinking is that, wearing natural products for a long period of time can supplement the body’s diet in its requirement for these elements.”
Jade also absorbs the sun’s energy and lets it out at night.
The finest Jadeite comes from Myanmar while Nephrite (another type of jade) is found in China, Guatemala, New Zealand and Canada.
As you can see, we have barely scratched the surface of this stone.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival
2012 London Book Festival
2009 Los Angeles Book Festival
2009 Hollywood Book Festival
Finalist in Fiction & Literature – Historical Fiction
The National “Best Books 2010” Awards
Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.