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New standards set for trade in Hotan jade

[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

On Saturday, a symposium held by the Hetian Yu ("Hotan jade") Trade Association of Xinjiang wrapped up at a Hotan jade museum in Beijing.

The event was attended by jade connoisseurs, researchers from the Palace Museum and archaeologists to discuss the features of Hotan jade.

The term Hotan jade, initially used to describe jade from Hotan prefecture in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, is now used to refer to particular type of stone.

[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"Now, jade from places other than Hotan prefecture are also identified by jewelry testing institutions as Hotan jade." says Yu Ming, the head of the association, says.

"However, this is not known by everyone, which might cause misunderstandings when they are purchasing or collecting jade ware."

[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

He says China boast a long course of history in exploiting the precious stone.

And with the larger-scale expansion of jade exploitation, the categories and production sites are more diverse than ever before so that it's harder for buyers to identify jade of various origins. Hence, he adds it's necessary to study the different characteristics of jade and educate buyers.

Over the last five years, the association has got experts to visit Hotan jade mines across the country and launched standards for 11 types of Hotan jade, including jade from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Liaoning province, Qinghai province and Russia.

[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"This allows jade lovers to understand the texture and shine of different materials, and will help them make the right choice," says Yu.

Liu Guoxiang, a researcher from the Institute of Archaeology at the Chinese Academy of Social Science says the launching of the standards which will promote the development of the jade trade in the country.