Nanking and Nankin is the capital of Jiangsu province in China.
Nanjing was the capital for few different regiments or reigns over long period of time, but I’ve never heard it’s the jade capital, until we met our tour guide for the Nanjing leg of the travel.
He claimed that his father was one of handful expert in jade in China, and was invited overseas for conferences. He wears a jade pendant that he passed it around, let us see, touch and feel as the bus was in motion.
“There is a saying, 月下看美女，日下看美玉, it’s best to look at beauty under the moon and inspect a jade under the sun.” and he went on to educated us how to determine a nice jade:
1. 种 – clarity
2. 色 – color
3. 工 – cutting, craving skill
Oh, make sure there isn’t have bubble 气泡.
After lunch in Wuxi, we arrived in Nanjing in the early afternoon of Monday Aug 1. We rendezvous with the guide by the city wall, near the 江苏省文物博物馆 Jiangsu Province Culture/history Relic Museum where his Dad once worked, in charge of jade collection (?). We were first drove over to see the pride of China: 南京大桥 Bridge of Nanjing; upper deck for autos and lower deck for trains. It required no foreign experts nor materials. Purely made and built in China, by the Chinese. Now it felt old and crumbling. No matter. it’s the effort that count. After the bridge, we were deposited at the 夫子庙 Confucius Temple, then went to dinner at 向阳鱼港 Sunward Fishery Restaurant. The restaurant has many jade exhibits.
The following day, we were taken to the jade store first thing in the morning. Many heads of state visited and bought from here, we were told. Their business card reads:
南京旅游国际购物中心 – Nanjing Shopping Center For International Tourist
秦淮区晨光路39号 – located at 39 Chenguang Road, Qinhuai District
I’m not sure if the building has other divisions but we were at the second floor that sells jade. The 12 animal zodiac signs were asking for ¥2,000 but a tour mate bargained it down to ¥200. So scores of mates bought. Why not, it’s effortless.
There is a private room with more substantial goods, selling upward ¥500k and more.
My cousins, sisters Sophie and Zhen, each bought a oval shaped bracelet because the jadeite are from the same stone. The listing price is ¥20,000. They bargained down to ¥5,000. When cashier told them their credit card or debt card only had ¥3,000, the store drawn up this IOU: the remaining ¥7,000 would deposit into their bank account upon their return to Beijing, no later than August 14. The baby sitter tour guide would be the guarantor – my Uncle did not sign the IOU. My two cousins happily left the store with the jadeite bracelet.
After showing me some very gorgeous pieces in the private room, we settled on this one. The negotiation began, from listing price ¥50,400 to ¥13,000. I made a final offer of ¥12,800 … and they took it. When I begin paying, did I realize the mistake that I left home without the Amex. (Long story, well .. a short one: because I’m lazy. Carrying an extra credit card needs an effort. That’s how lazy I’m ! Sometimes I don’t even understand myself .. ). Thank lord Pumpkin has hers. But we didn’t call the bank that they should expecting foreign charges. Aha, worry not. The Nanjing store has seen it many times, they called up my bank in the USA without a blink. Everything was a sail, except there’s $300 limit on her card. I must looked dishonest becasue the store didn’t want to draw up another IOU. By that time, the second floor was empty, almost everyone was back at the bus. The manager said she’ll keep it for me for a month. I actually decided not to buy it on the spot: she didn’t seal it with my signature as what a store in the US would do. This certificate of gem identification (above and the two below) is for the piece.
夫子庙 Confucius Temple