A documentary of my travel to Guatemala in November 2009.
Itinerary: Lake Atitlan, Antigua and Volcan Pacaya, Motagua Valley and Copan (Honduras), Tikal and El Petén, Coban and Semuc Champey, Guatemala City
Click on the following brief presentations in Flash-Format (a pop-up window will appear) or view individual slideshow (a new window will appear).
Duration: 12:24 min Slideshow
Duration: 6:15 min Slideshow
Duration: 2:40 min Slideshow
I want to thank the staff at Jades S.A. for telling me the story about Guatemalan jadeite. Geologist Jay Ridinger discovered the Olmec Blue Jade in 1975 (he passed away in 2009). His archeologist wife Mary Lou and family members continue with the enterprise. Their showroom which is both a factory and museum is located at #34, 4 calle oriente, Antigua and a must for jadeite lovers. Visit their website.
From Antigua on my way to Copan, Honduras I travelled through the hot Motagua Valley where in the nearby hills most of the jade is being mined. Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Guatemala are the only two countries in the world that produce Jadeite, the most valued of the two types of jade. Guatemala produces jade with the most colour variety. The palette includes rainbow, champagne and lavender, but the blue hue is the most prized. The Mayan made sacrificial knives, beads, and ceremonial masks of jade — the most famous being the death mask of a King found in the Mayan ruins of Tikal in northeastern Guatemala.
More info on Jade from Guatemala:
Mesoamerican Jade and Jadeite Sources and Ancient Workshops: Archaeological Reconnaissance in the Upper Río El Tambor, Guatemala
Also of interest the article Jadeite - a historical treatise, by Kim Be Howard, A.G. (C.I.G.) (long document, 85 pages), 312 k
Duration: 5:38 min Slideshow
Duration: 4:41 min Slideshow
Duration: 9:01 min Slideshow
© 2010 J. Wolf Kuehn and Canadian Institute of Gemmology. Users may View/Download images for their own private, non-commercial use.