My Jadeite necklaces are hand made through my fair trade mission project in Guatemala (Creating Revenue through the Arts!)
Each bead is hand-cut and hand-polished in various shapes. Jadeite is a high-quality Jade in numerous colors. This necklace has 38 teal barrel-shaped beads and 1 round darker center bead linked together with a hand made Sterling Silver chain and clasp. Each bead has a sterling silver spacer bead in between and is beaded on a soft gray Italian leather cord. It measures 18" long (9" size necklace.)
Jadeite of Guatemala:
Guatemala is the home of Mayan jadeite and is found in the remote Motagua Valley quarries. To the Pre-Columbian people of Mesoamerica, jade represented breath, life, fertility, city, and power.
Jade is the term given to two similar gem materials, called jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is harder than nephrite; it is found in a wider range of colors, from white through various greens to lilac, blue, black, and takes a high polish. Jadeite is a silicate of sodium and aluminum.
When the Spanish conquered the region in the 16th century, the source of jadeite was lost. The jadeite quarries were abandoned and quickly covered by the encroaching jungle. It was not until 1950 that evidence of Mayan workings was found in the jungle of the Sierra De Las Minas in eastern Guatemala.