We have 3000 years of history in the jadeite jade carving industry. As you read it. Our Olmec, Maya and Aztec ancestors, lived in Mesoamerica. They used the same mining zones to make precious pieces of jewelry and burial artifacts. The jade mining zone was lost for more than 500 years, just after spanish conquest initiated. Archeologist Mary Lou Ridinger and Jay Ridinger discovered the jadeite jade lost mining zone back in 1974. National Geographic wrote several articles on different editions about Ridinger's family discoveries. Other well know media has covered the story behind the Guatemalan jadeite jade discovery, such as: Discovery Channel, CNN iReport, New York Times, Lapidary Journal, among others.
If you are more interested in the story behind Mayan jadeite jade, I recomend you read the book “Stone of Kings” by Gerard Helferich. In “stone of kings” you may find an accurate modern interpretation. Here is a link to a book review published on Wall Street Journal.
A group of jade experts were selected to be part of the jury that qualified each piece of the participants. Three amazing carvers were selected as winners and received cash prizes and medals made from this precious stone. The jury was made up jade connoisseurs Robert Terzuola, Charlotte Ward, Andrew Shaw, George Schmerholtz and Deborah Wilson.
These were the results of the contest:
1st. - Juan Antonio Castellanos (Guatemala)
2nd. - Adán Pilicastro Alcázar (Mexico)
3rd. - Dante López Castillo (Mexico)