GemSelect - January 2014 Newsletter
Jade - Asia's Royal Gem
There is an old and well-known saying throughout China and South East Asia:
Jade History and Legend Back to Top
The Chinese and Asian fascination with jade can be dated as far back as the 18th Century BC, during the time of the great Shang Dynasty. Even up to the present day, jade has long been influencing decorative Asian art during almost all periods of recorded Chinese history. Commonly known throughout Asia as 'the royal gem', jade is a special stone not just for artistic and commercial use, but also for religious and ceremonial traditions. Many believe that this magical gem links the physical and spiritual worlds, encompasses yin and yang and balances the heavens and earth. When the Book of Songs was first written during the Zhou Dynasty, jade grew even further in stature and was often used in burial ceremonies as it was thought to benefit those seeking of eternal life. Later in Chinese writings, jade was defined as a stone of five virtues; charity, righteousness, wisdom, equity and courage.
Jade Supply and Demand Back to Top
Although jade mines in China have long been worked-out, the admiration and fondness for jade remains strong. Though Chinese and Asian buyers have increasingly expressed interest in some of the world's most extravagant diamonds and gold jewelry, fine royal jade remains the favorite. Along with the growth of China and Asia's wealth, demand for fine jade has skyrocketed. But due to increased demand, sources have sharply deteriorated, especially over the last four years.
Myanmar (Burma) is considered to be the finest source for quality jade. Emerald-green jade from Burma is colored by chromium and is referred to in the trade as 'imperial jade'. Myanmar's jade supply is now a fraction of what it once was. In fact, of the former 50 to 60 jade sources in Myanmar, only 10 jadeite mines remain today. Many traders estimate that there are only 10 to 20 years of jade mining left for Myanmar's reserves, which means that jadeite value will continue to rise. Myanmar is also the only source for rare maw-sit-sit, a gemstone composed of jadeite, albite feldspar and kosmochlor (a jadeite-related mineral).
Chinese New Year Back to Top
Chinese New Year is considered a public holiday not only in China, but also in a number of other countries around the world. According to legend, the birth of Chinese New Year began with a fight against the mythical beast known as the 'Nian'. Every first day of the New Year, the terrible beast would devour livestock, crops, villagers and even children. To protect themselves against the Nian, villagers would place food outside their doors at the beginning of each year. By placing food outside their doors, it was believed the Nian would eat only the food they prepared, rather than attack the village. It was also later noticed that the Nian feared a child wearing a red garment, so at the beginning of each New Year, villagers would hang red lanterns and red scrolls to keep the Nian away. From then on, the beastly Nian never returned to the village again.
The Year of the Horse Back to Top
This year, Chinese New Year celebrates the year of the horse beginning January 31st. The horse is one of the most treasured animals in Chinese culture. The horse is a symbol of speedy success and quick travel or transportation. Those born in the year of the horse are thought to be very competitive by nature and are born with a strong instinct for freedom and leadership.
New Wishlist and Compare Feature Back to Top
GemSelect is pleased to introduce our new wishlist and compare feature!
Items added to your compare list will remain until you remove them - even after they've been sold or are no longer available. This means you can refer back to them if you need to find replacements later on. As long as you don't clear the browser cookies or cache, your 'wishlist' will remain saved for up to one year!
Featured Monthly Gems Back to Top
This month, our featured gems include 4 wonderful gemstone carvings. These exquisite carvings will make perfect gifts for those celebrating Chinese New Year and for those born in the year of the horse:
Gem & Jewelry Events for January 2014 Back to Top
Customer FAQs (frequently asked questions) Back to Top
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Happy gem hunting,
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- First Published: January-02-2014
- Last Updated: July-04-2017
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