Jade is a gemstone. Its name may remind you only of jade rings on the fingers of beautiful women in traditional costumes.
So you may wonder how natural jade stones can be used for building houses. The answer was given by Lim Tae-hyun, president of Oksegae (Jade World) (www.oksegae.co.kr), a jade stone developer. Oksegae has developed new kinds of healthful indoor building materials using the powder of natural jade stones and environmentally-friendly materials after 15 years of research, taking advantage of the unique properties of the natural jade stones.
You can find jade stones from many different parts of the world at Oksegae’s plants. Its main office is located at the entrance of a secluded village lying beyond rice-field ridges about a 20 minute drive west of Songdo International City in Incheon. Visitors will marvel at the numerous jade stones with different names put on display in the hallway leading to Lim’s office at Oksegae’s headquarters. There are also stone displays at plant No. 1 in Seo-gu, Incheon and also at plants Nos. 2 and 3 in Daegot-myeon and in Hagok-li in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province.
Looking at clean white walls made with jade powder and the jade marble floor tiles inside his office, visitors can understand how various kinds of natural jade stones can be used as building materials. We now live in an era in which people are witnessing a new mode of life influenced by a boom of healthy housing practices.
On an afternoon in August, Korea IT Times staff visited Oksegae President Lim, a jade developing engineer himself, at his office to listen to his story about his development of jade stone products. He said he always liked the simplicity and warmth that jade gives off. He said, “Look at my hands. Aren’t they white and young like jade As I’ve lived long with jade, it seems that to me that time has moved in the reverse direction.”
Among other products, Okmijang, a jade stone product he developed, is reputed to create a clean indoor environment by curing causes of sick building syndrome, purifying room air by releasing negative ions, and speeding up metabolism by releasing infrared rays. Okmijang is also believed to keep the room temperature cool in the summer and warm in the winter just like yellow earth houses, maintain a clean room environment with its properties to fight bacteria and remove bad smells, and remove poisonous substances from building materials. Besides, obviously jade does not burn, one of his staffers added, making it a very safe building material.
Oksegae is currently supplying major domestic construction firms with jade powder, healthful building materials and other stone products such as imported marble and granite. Since 2003, it has been exporting jade production technologies to overseas markets such as the United States, China, Mongolia, Brazil, Pakistan, Japan and Indonesia. Especially, the firm has recently won recognition for the eco-friendly properties in jade powder, which were proven by the Specialists in Business Information (SBI), a research firm in the United States specializing in the field of industrial, construction and materials market research.
Jade is known as a special mineral that releases unique energy. The Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) and some universities have recently conducted research and experimented on the properties of jade. The research results stunned many scientists who found out in about 1,500 cases that the mineral has unique properties. In addition to its properties, jade boasts a smooth surface and various kinds of unique patterns, such as those of flowers, birds or animals, embedded on its surface. Therefore, it has gained popularity also as an ornamental artifact around the world.
Furthermore, results of many tests testify that elements contained in jade are beneficial to human bodies and that this mineral is especially good for medical care. Many scientists have been surprised to discover that jade releases more than 2,000 negative ions. It is also used to cure certain diseases based on its 40 beneficial properties.
Negative Ions and Infrared Rays
“Through my own recent experiments, I came to the conclusion that the negative ions and infrared rays released from jade are very similar to the wavelengths of energy coming from heartbeats. Jade has an excellent function of absorbing and keeping heat. For example, you’ll have good digestion effects after meals if you lie down on a jade floor. It has the function of driving away electromagnetic waves. Its powder can excellently help heal up bleeding wounds,” Lim said. “You can keep food fresh for a long time if you put it on a jade stone. It can also purify water. You’ll also find it very effective in curing circulatory diseases such as atopic dermatitis.”
Lim went on to say, “Scientific tests prove that the functions of negative ions, infrared rays and other elements work together to speed up metabolism, rejuvenate human cells, and replenish body energy. You can witness these facts if you only watch how briskly goldfish in a fish bowl with jade stones move around.”
Healthy Building Materials
Jade is a typically green gemstone of the alkaline pyroxene mineral group. IT can be divided into two groups by hardness, soft and hard jade. It can also be divided into four general colors - yellow, red, black and green jade. Most of the jade stones we use for decorative or ornamental purposes are imported from the Chinese provinces of Henan, Zhejiang, Sichuan and Liaoning. Though in small amounts, jade stones are also produced in several regions in Korea, such as Chuncheon and Jeongseon in Gangwon Province, and Mt. Nam in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province.
Usually, jade of higher than 7 degrees of hardness is used for accessories, and that of lower than 5 degrees is used for building or sculpture. But in the West, jade stones are divided into two groups – jade and onyx, the former used for accessories and the latter for building.
Lim said with pride, “Using such properties of jade, we’ve succeeded in developing Okmijang and eco-friendly marble to be used for healthy houses and steam saunas. We’re also importing high-end environmentally-friendly marble and producing high-end granite to use as materials for healthy houses. We’ll keep concentrating our energy on developing building materials that can be beneficial to people’s health.”