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Jade Maya founder featured in Cronica news release

(translated from spanish) Masks, figurines and jade plates are part of the more than 50 parts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica that make up the newly opened... Read more +

Jade Smuggling in Guatemala

This revealing investigative report by Sylvia Gereda (Informe Especial, Canal Antigua) uncovers the state of jade smuggling in Guatemala and the dire need for more knowledge and awareness of not only where we buy our jewelry, but also what can be done to protect the cultural heritage of these resources and keep the income produced by the use of these resources in the country of origin. 
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The State of Jade (archive)

In April 2007 Mary Lou Ridinger was invited to speak at theSinkankas Symposium, a conference co-sponsored by theGemological Institute of America.To celebrate its 5thyear, the Symposium chose to explore the power of Jade,... Read more +

In Memoriam: David R. Hargett, Gemologist and Friend

In memory of our good friend David Hargett who passed away a few years ago in New York, the city he called his home for the most of his adult... Read more +














Founding Biography

Jadeite Jade was discovered approximately 3,000 years ago by an early Mesoamerican culture, The Olmecs. They became expert lapidary artists and carved jade into beautiful statues, ceremonial ornaments and objects for their rituals.  Their descendants, The Maya, used it as ornaments and jewelry for nobles and priests.  Other cultures such as the Aztecs continued to work jade, up until the time of the Spanish Conquest.

The Ancient Maya, builders of large cities, extensive traders and astronomers who developed a very accurate calendar, also revered jade as their most important possession.  Only the very wealthy and powerful could afford to wear jade both in this life and in the after life. 

The love for jade and the knowledge of its source was lost to the Americas at the time of the Spanish conquest. The Spaniards subjugated the ancient cultures and influenced them to value what the conquerors valued – gold.  o for more than 400 years, jade was forgotten in the Americas. 

In 1974 after studying the work of Foshag and Leslie, the Ridinger family found a large outcropping of fine jadeite in Guatemala. Scattered on the surface were some of the original jade working tools. After assaying this stone and testing some of the museum jades, it was proven that this jade outcropping in Guatemala had been the source of many pre-Columbian jade objects. JADE MAYA™ was formed and began to mine work and train native Guatemalans once again in the fine art of jade carving.

The source discovered by archaeologist Mary Lou Ridinger and her husband Jay Ridinger in 1974, is the same used by the Maya people of Mesoamerica. The jade is cut and polished in our factory by native Guatemalan workers who follow the carving traditions of their ancestors. Our company has evolved as a leader in reintroducing Maya jade to the world through the discovery, mining and working of Guatemala's fine jadeite jade.