Jewels of the emperors

Emperors generally stored a large part of their wealth in the form of jewels. After visiting many museums in China I began to have the impression that in this country it was always in the form of jade. Chinese jade is delicately carved: the soft version is carved into intricate forms, but even the hard version is shaped and embossed. There is an enormous lore around jade: wearing it wards off evil spirits, it changes colour according to your mental state, and so on. It was a pleasant surprise to then see the jewels of the emperors on display in the Forbidden City. China also had a little of almost everything else: flaming red coral, silver, gold, and pearls. The wonderful piece above incorporates both gold and pearls. The only mineral that they did not seem to have were diamonds.

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

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