The beauty, unalterability and hardness of gems most probably explain Man’s fascination with them since the Neolithic. And the development of stonecraft was closely correlated with the history of human civilization.
The oldest jade objects ever found were spear tips and protective amulets, which shows ancient peoples’ interest in these gems to protect themselves both physically and spiritually.
As human civilization developed and economic affluence expanded, gems like malachite, lapis lazuli, jasper, carnelian agate, or turquoise became major materials for ornamentation, notably jewellery and decorative arts. In Egypt, China, Persia, and Vatican City, they were synonymous with wealth and regal dignity. Many kings and emperors appreciated their beauty.
Given the hardness of such gems, carving them into works has always been a real challenge for related artisans and artists. But each stone, having a shape and a colour / colours of its own, does always give birth to a unique piece.
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