Our second stop of the day was the Jade Factory. We entered and were conducted to a conference room where a young lady talked to us about the Chinese love for jade.
She said that girls wear a jade bracelet on their left wrist in the belief that it will connect with their heart, and told us the characteristics of the most valuable jade (even deep green color and translucency add value; the best jade makes a high pitched chiming sound when tapped). Then she led us through the factory where the jade was being carved:
These balls, by the way, are made so as to have three or more freely rotating concentric layers, all carved out of one original piece of stone.
After our tour we washed up in the vast echoing showroom. In my desire to scour the entire place in search of gifts and souvenirs I neglected to take pictures, which is a shame because here I found the second "Thing I Didn't Get For My Buddy Robert", a truly lovely $700 carving of several goldfish among the water weeds. (I did locate some jade chopsticks with little turtle-shaped chopstick rests for someone else.) I even got Dad helping me with the goldfish hunt, but no luck so far.