TibetanReview.net, Jan 23, 2008
China is to use jade from the mining city of Ge’ermu (also written as Golmud, Tibetan: Nagormo) in the Kunlun mountains in Qinghai Province to make the over 3,000 gold, silver and bronze medals to be awarded at the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing, reported its official Xinhua news agency Jan 2. It is the first for Olympic medals to incorporate non-metal materials as well. According to designs unveiled by the Beijing Organizing Committee for Olympic Games (BOCOG), the gold medal has a white jade ring, while the silver has a greenish-white and the bronze a glittering cyan jade ring, respectively.
“All the 3,000-plus jade discs, which are to be set into the gold, sliver and bronze medals, will have been processed by March, before they are handed over to BOCOG,” Qinghai’s Vice-governor Jidi Majia was quoted as saying. Jidi has said Qinghai will donate the entire number of required jade for the Beijing Olympic medals.
“We are honoured to have the opportunity to do something for the Olympics and to promote Chinese culture,” he has said. Jade represents honour and virtue in traditional Chinese culture and the medal design is regarded to well combine Olympic spirit and Chinese culture, the report said. Also, a China Daily report Jan 3 said jade is also renowned for its benefits to health as it has different mineral elements, including zinc, magnesium, iron and copper.
The reports said Qinghai yields profuse and multi-coloured jade which are some of the best in China.
Although Qinghai, with an average altitude of 3,000 metres above mean sea level, constitutes the bulk of the traditional Amdo province of Tibet, China’s official survey shows the Tibetan population there to be less than 20 percent, with Han Chinese and over 50 other ethnic minority groups, such as Hui, Tu, Sala and Mongols, constituting the bulk of its five million or so residents.