The History of Jade Gemstones
The history of jade is as long as the Chinese civilization, and jade is the crown jewel of China. Archaeologists have found jade objects from the early Neolithic period, about 5000 BC. The Chinese people referred to jade as “vu,” meaning “royal gem.” To the Chinese, jade is also the embodiment of the Confucian virtues of courage, wisdom, modesty, justice and compassion. The polish and brilliance of jade stone is considered by the Chinese to be representative of purity, while its compactness and hardness reflect intelligence.
Jade was first found in the rivers of Chinese Turkestan, the Black Jade River and White Jade River. Women would gather jade from the rivers since it was believed that man would have a much harder time doing it. The reason was that women were a Yin force, and thus fared many betters in attracting jade, which was a Yang force. The women would wade in the rivers searching for jade, naked to enhance their Yin. This caused most mining to be done at night.
In ancient China when people “joined their ancestors,” all the orifices of their bodies were stopped with jade for purity. Jade was believed to have preservative and protective qualities that would prevent deterioration. During the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), the bodies of emperors and wealthy aristocrats were encased in jade burial suits. Burial suits were believed to be an armor for immortality.
Legends claim that when the Mongols invaded China, the dragons wept for the Chinese people. When their tears reached the earth, they changed to jade.
Many Chinese believe that a jade stone becomes a part of the life of its owner. Jade is said to change colors depending on the aura of its possessor. When he or she is down or depressed the jade becomes a darker shade. If fortune is good, the stone will be of a lighter tint. It is also believed that when a jade piece cracks or breaks, it has shielded its owner from evil and harm.
Today jade is considered a stone of health, abundance, protection, and longevity. Jade heals the body and spirit, gives confidence, and increases tolerance.
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