What about the Quetzal Jade?

green jade earrings

According to Wikipedia, translucent emerald-green jadeitite is the most prized variety of jade both now and historically. Quetzal jade, or translucent emerald-green jadeitite, was treasured by Mesoamerican cultures. Guatemala and Burma are the principal sources of modern gem jadeitite.

All the jadeite in Mesoamerica, used by the Olmec, Maya, and all other cultures since ca 3,000 AD, comes from the Motagua river valley in Guatemala, and it was one of the most valuable objects in those cultures, a bead of Jade was worth 2 loads of gold for instance. The Spaniards, thirsty for gold, did not appreciate it. Mining stopped and the sources were forgotten until the 1940’s. Today, Guatemala produces fine jadeite in colors that range from soft translucent lilac, blue, green, yellow, and creamy, brilliant black; and is the source of new colors such as “rainbow jade,” and the unique “Galactic Gold,” a black jadeite with natural incrustations of gold, silver and platinum. (Source: Jade at Mesoamerica from Wikipedia)

I am sorry the light or my poor skills behind the camera did not allow me to capture the different shades of green. I will come back soon to the subject of Guatemalan jade, I promise.

© 2007 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Sally

    Wish i had time to comment on your super shots every day! The latest textiles and now earrings are beautiful! (as an afficianado of both)

  • I’m with Sally…I love textiles and jewelry. It has been great fun checking out whatyou are sharing next.

  • Meg

    We have jade in NZ, too; quite a lot of them from the West Coast of the South Island. In NZ, it’s bad luck to buy your own jade, but good if someone gives it to you as a gift. The indigenous Maori have special patterns with meanings, like fish hooks and whale fins. I’m not knowledgeable about the symbolism, but they are nice. Ben finally got his first piece of jade this past Christmas, in a fish hook design. I must post that sometime, too, I guess….

    I like the silver-(?)-backed, teardrop-shaped pendant heads!!!

  • Fay

    They look pretty. I would want a piece!

    Meg, I love the tradition in NZ. Then I have an excuse to have other people buy me jade, keke~

  • I had no idea about the history of jade and Guatemala. I’m salivating for a pair of the earrings. Will keep my eyes open for them for now on! 🙂

  • Sally: I wish I had more time to write more elaborate and spelling error-free commentary to go along with the photo. Heck I wish I had more time to respond to all the comments and feedback.

    People, don’t take personally if I don’t respond to your comment. I do try to reply most of the comments and feedback, but sometimes there is not enough time; my apologies.

    Lavenderlady: I happy to hear you enjoy the series.

    Meg: I did read about NZ when I researched the entry on jade. I am glad you came in and share about the jade usage and symbolism in NZ.

    Fay: Isn’t great the information that Meg shared with us.

    Lessie: I promise I will come back to the green jade.