What is Olmec Blue Jadeite?
Learn about this once forgotten, seemingly lost in time, beautiful blue toned Jadeite
Olmec Blue Jadeite is an incredibly rare and elusive stone to mine, found in North and Central America with the best examples of this stunning blue gemstone being found in the basin of the Upper Río El Tambor in Guatemala. In Ancient times this location was known as Mesoamerica and was inhabited for thousands of years by groups such as the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec people.
Into the blue...
Olmec Blue Jadeite is famed for its translucent deep watery blue colour and owes this to the presence of iron and titanium in its chemical composition. The more readily found green Jade’s color is due to the amount of iron, sodium, Chromium and aluminum with the varying quantities causing the depth and tone of colour to fluctuate.
The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT-GTL) say Jadeite-jade is one of the most sought-after gemstones that is rich in cultural and historical background. Jadeite is characterized by its transparent to opaque, close-packed fibrous aggregate structure, resulting in its high toughness suitable for carving. The stone can be found in various colors ranging from white, green, lavender (purple or violet), brown, blue and black. Among those, the green and lavender are the most famous hues, while the blue is considered the rarest variety of this jade.
This stunning blue version of the stone was highly prized by the Olmec people and was used for medicinal purposes as well as for jewellery, ornaments, and religious artifacts. In fact due to the range of blue and green tones found in the Jadeite the Mesoamericans often associated it with the Sky, Water, New growth in the form of Maize Shoots and the concept of life, abundance, and regeneration. They were also known to leave a small piece of Jadeite in the mouth of a deceased loved one due to is association with life and renewal.
This image shows an Olmec Blue Jadeite Standing Figure - Imaged by Heritage Auctions HA.com
The Olmec Blue Jadeite Mines - lost and found
Jadeite was the most valuable material for the ancient Olmecs, Maya, Zapotecs, and other Mesoamerican cultures. In the 16th century whole of Mesoamerica was conquered by the Spanish, whose love of gold and well known gemstones such as Emerald far surpassed any desire to treasure these unusually coloured stones. The Mayan mine guards kept their location secret but as their beloved Jade was inconsequential to the Spaniards, they soon became forgotten and lost when the guards died out. It is also thought that volcanic activity in the area caused huge swathes of the country and those who lived in it to perish and become buried.
It wasn't until 450 years later in 1974, when pioneers Jay and Mary Lou Ridinger rediscovered and re-established the Jade industry in Guatemala. Later research conducted by the Mesoamerican Jade Project of Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology between 1977 and 2000 led to the identification of the long lost 'Olmec Blue' mines, a discovery published by Mesoamerican Jade project Field Director Russell Seitz and his colleagues from the American Museum of Natural History in Antiquity in December 2001. Then only as recently as 2002 led by local prospector, Carlos Gonzalez did they find the ancient mines with huge blocks of high-quality Olmec blue jadeite in the upper reaches of Río El Tambor
How can Blue Jadeite help me?
How can I own a piece of Olmec Blue Jadeite?
You can shop on our website for Olmec Blue Jadeite pieces, but stock of this incredible gemstone is limited so don't miss this amazing opportunity!
UBM270 15cts Type A Olmec Jadeite Plain Rounds Approx 9mm, 3pcs
YHGP74 60cts Type A Olmec Jadeite Rounds Approx 6.5-7mm, 20pcs
SPGP91 10cts Type A Olmec Blue Jadeite Leaf Pendant Approx 12x22mm
NUGP31 50cts Type A Olmec Jadeite Rounds Approx 6mm, 20pcs
EFGP72 45cts Type A Olmec Blue Jadeite Rice Beads Approx 6x7mm, 20pcs
XTGP87 10cts Type A, Olmec Blue Jadeite Leaf Pendant Approx 12x22mm
UEGP37 10cts Type A Olmec Jadeite Hand Pendant Approx 8x20mm
YCGP07 Type A Olmec Blue Jadeite Ring Inner Diameter Around 15-19mm, 1PC