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Tridacna Shell: The Giant of the Sea

April 27, 2017

The tridacna gigas is the largest species of clam on the planet, and one of the seven treasures of Buddhism.

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The Kingfisher Feather Jewelry of Ancient China

April 27, 2017

The first time man laid eyes on a kingfisher, it must have looked like a gemstone peering out from the reeds.

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Turquoise: Precious Treasure in Global Culture

July 08, 2016

The color of rivers flowing in central Asia, genuine turquoise is both rare and stunning.

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Turquoise: Fossil from Pine Trees

June 23, 2016

As a stone used by legendary goddess Nuwa for repairing the pillar of heaven, turquoise has never lacked a connection with immortals.

Researched by Ariel Tian.

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Tourmaline: Gemstone of the Rainbow

May 26, 2016

A stone that comes in a veritable rainbow of colors, tourmaline has long been treasured in Chinese jewelry.

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Chasing Wisdom: Pearls in Chinese Culture

April 19, 2016

If you’ve ever seen a dragon-dance, you’ll know that the dragon chases a ball. This ball, in fact, is a pearl.

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Lapis Lazuli: The Stone of Heaven

April 12, 2016

Lapis is often flecked with bits of pyrite that shimmer like the stars emerging from a dusk sky.

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Chinese Lacquer Work: From Poison Comes Beauty

April 05, 2016

At the intersection of painting, woodworking, and sculpture lies the art of Chinese lacquer.

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Chinese Jade (Part 3) : Symbolism and Ceremony

March 29, 2016

In our quest to understand Chinese people’s deep fondness for jade, we turn to their ritual use.

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Chinese Jade (Part 2) : Material and Technique

March 22, 2016

From obtaining the rough material to polishing the finished piece, jade working in ancient China took labor, discernment, and almost impossible patience.

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Chinese Jade (Part 1) : Its Folklore and Cultural Significance

March 15, 2016

To begin our three-part series on jade, we need to understand why it is so highly regarded by the Chinese.

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Chinese Enamel and Cloisonné Jewelry: Painting with Glass

March 01, 2016

Enamelwork and cloisonné, known in China as “jingtailan” or “fa lang,” is made with colored glass on metal.

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Crystal in Ancient China: The Brightness of Three Suns

February 23, 2016

By dint of sheer coincidence or not, crystals were involved in a couple of amusing incidents in Chinese history.

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Coral in Chinese Jewelry: A Rosy Tree From the Sea

February 16, 2016

This week on the DLGC: Coral has been revered the Chinese for millennia not only for its fanciful shapes, but also for its rarity. 

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Ivory, Bone, and Horn in Chinese Jewelry

February 09, 2016

This time on the Divine Land Gemstone Compendium, we're following the herd...

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Amber in Ancient China: Tears of a Tiger

February 02, 2016

Amber was believed by the Chinese to come from the interred soul of a tiger. Read on to discover more of its history.

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Agate & Carnelian: Straight From the Horse's Brain

January 26, 2016

The Chinese name for agate is "ma nao," meaning “horse brain,” which turns out to have spiritual implications.  

Edited by Christine Lin. Researched by Ariel Tian.

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Introducing the Divine Land Gemstone Compendium

January 19, 2016

The more I learn about the jewelry in ancient China, the more I realize there’s more to uncover. So I'm introducing the Divine Land Gemstone Compendium.

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