Tag Archives: jade


Last week I blogged all about my memorable couple of afternoons with the wonderful Jan E and posted photos of the beautiful and much appreciated gifts she brought for me. I asked if anyone knew about the tiles on that fabulous bracelet and dear “Bony Tony” was kind enough to send me a very thorough and complete description and explanation. Here it is (scroll down past the photos) and much thanks to Tony who possesses a truly amazing wealth of information and knowledge!IMG_0838IMG_0850

Ann, the tiles are an early form of catalin that was incompletely cured, which set up internal stresses, showing as fractures emanating from sharp corners on the carving. Once seen as a fault, these are now a desirable feature for some collectors, I believe the name for them is ‘applejuice’. Although they appear to be fragile, I have not seen a broken one yet, and I have a few of these sets.
These tiles were originally translucent white and jade green – the intention being to imitate jade & jadeite – but the surface discolouration inherent in these phenol formaldehyde tiles has turned them amber & khaki over time. This discolouration happens quite fast, a couple of years is all it takes.


Today I just happened to come across this fabulous article from China Daily USA. This article was published in September of 2011 and written by Liu Xiaozhuo. As far as I am concerned, it doesn’t matter if the article is over two years old – an article on Mah Jongg is always timely, right?!  The title of the article is, “More Than Just a Game.” Isn’t that what I say on the introduction to my blog?!!! Hurrah!!

Take a look at this beautiful lady playing our favorite game:


This wonderful picture is from the article. She is too cool. Note her jade bracelet; you will see jade in one form or another on a very large percentage of Chinese people – according to Ask.com, “Wearing jade every day has been believed to give the wearer better vitality and health for Chinese people. It is also believed to give good fortune and luck to the person wearing it. This particular stone is also known as ‘the stone of heaven’. ”

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The Circles suit  – or, as we call them, the Dots suit – is the original suit of the Mah Jongg tiles; the Bamboo (Bams) and Wan (Craks) suits were added later. The similarity of the circles to coins leads to the belief that the majority of the Circles suit tiles are connected to money or business. Tiles in this suit are numbered from 1- 9 and are described below.

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Some interesting Mah Jongg hands, courtesy of Wendy Dougan.