Concept

Costa Rican jade tradition

Summary
Jadeite is presumed one of the most precious materials of Pre-Columbian Costa Rica. It, along with other similar-looking greenstones (e.g. chalcedony, serpentine, and green jasper) were cherished and worked for years. Jadeite was used to decorate the body and was presumably a symbol of power. Timeline There are three main periods in Costa Rican Jade Tradition, they correspond with the second half of Mid-Preclassic to Late Classic Periods in Mesoamerica.

Beginning Period: 500 BC- 300 AD

Fluorescent Period: 300-900 AD

Decadent Period: 700-900 AD

The end of the jade tradition in Costa Rica corresponds with the beginning of gold work. Jade working Jadeite rates between 6 and 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, therefore making it extremely tough and time-consuming to work because it was necessary to use minerals of equal or harder value. Abrasive powders made of these minerals were often used to carve into the material. Some of the main techniques used wer
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