Jade towers above all other hardstone carving ma- century or two) diamond cutting tools were intro- terials-rose quartz, aventurine, agate, rock crystal, duced into China, or where the high-quality jade bloodstone, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and the rest-in found in ancient pre-Columbian sites was mined- both long-term popularity and sustained value. In may never be answered. An increasing effort has spite of its intensive exploitation under widely been made, however, to pull together evidence from diverse cultures, however, little authoritative work various branches of science and bring it to bear on on the subject exists in the English language. When the more important questions. At least such erro- texts on jade do appear, they are usually little more neous inferences as the possibility of early com- than quick surveys of some of the more exotic carv- merce between China and Middle America have w ings that have flowed, generation after generation, been laid to rest. Speculation as to the Asiatic origin from the lapidary shops of China. . of European jade artifacts has died with the discov- Of course, the history, lore, mineralogy, gemol- ery of jade deposits in Europe itself.