Friday, September 3, 2010

Jade: A Brief History in Costa Rica

Jade carving appears around 1200-1000 BC with the Olmec peoples of Costa Rica and persists through about 700 AD when gold supplanted it as the preferred ornamental material.

The celt, or axe, was first a tool and then took on other symbolic significance. The celt evolved into a pendant featuring a bird head over folded wings. This persisted as a basic theme throughout their culture.

The color green signified rain, maize and growing things. This made the color green sacred to the Olmec.

Some of the significance of green stones to the pre-columbian peoples is linked to the reverence of their serpent god, Quetzalcoatl, and the vibrant green plumage of the quetzal.

Much like the Chinese, who also revere jade, the Olmecs got their jade from another place. The Central American Jade Road appears to begin in Guatemala.


Earrings in Nephrite Jade from one of our talented Starving Jewelry Artists:

Featuring artisan handmade creations by the Etsy Starving Artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current Etsy shop owner members can be found at


mcstoneworks said...

Andrea, thanks for featuring such a great versatile stone. The earrings featured are beautiful.

Beadorigami said...

Very interesting article! And such pretty jade pieces to boot!

Cat said...

Great post with great info, thanks!

Bonnie said...

What a great article. Thanks for a great read.

BeadSire said...

Fascinating read!