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Ten Stones of meaning – stone 1

At About Canada, Banff people buy many things because of the meaning behind them. Sometimes it is the meaning of the design, sometimes it is the meaning of the material.

Many stones have meaning to different cultures and are prized for the benefits the stone can bring. I thought it might be interesting to highlight some of those meanings over a few posts. We carry a range of Jade carvings, so I though we would start with jade.

Jade is a gemstone of unique symbolic energy, and unique in the myths that surround it. As early as 3000 B.C. jade was known in China as ‘yu’, the ‘royal gem’ and was held roughly comparable with that of gold and diamonds in the West. It is still regarded as a symbol of the good, the beautiful and the precious and embodies the Confucian virtues of wisdom, justice, compassion, modesty and courage.

However the Mayas, Aztecs and Olmecs of Central America also honoured and esteemed jade more highly than gold. New Zealand’s Maoris began carving weapons and cult instruments from native jade in early times, a tradition which has continued to the present day. In ancient Egypt, jade was admired as the stone of love, inner peace, harmony and balance.

‘Jade’ is a generic term for two different gems, nephrite and jadeite. The name is derived from the Spanish ‘piedra de ijada’, loin-stone, jade having been recognised by the Amerindians as a remedy for kidney ailments. Because of its beneficial effect on the kidneys, the stone was also known as ‘lapis nephriticus’. That, indeed, is where the term ‘nephrite’ came from.

So in summary it is thought by some to embody the virtues of wisdom, justice, compassion, modesty and courage, and by others to be the stone of love, inner peace, harmony and balance.

As stones go that’s not bad.

Jade carved bear

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