As we exited the Taipei 101’s Tuned Mass Damper, Jandy, Isha and I passed through the Treasure Sky showroom on the 88th floor, the world’s highest jewelry arts boutique (438 m.). It showcases art pieces made from Taiwan’s coral gemstones (momo, oxblood, pink, white), blue chalcedony, jade and other gemstones such as amethyst. Three famed gemstones are found in eastern Taiwan – hornblende (commonly known as Taiwan jade), blue chalcedony and red coral. In the 1960s and 1970s, Taiwan hornblende held a 90% share of the global jade market.
Taiwan has been given the name of “Coral Kingdom” as more than 80% of the world’s coral gemstones come from Taiwan. The boutique’s Coral Arts Gallery houses the world’s tallest gemstone coral tree, with 6 shrimp fossils and measuring 141 cm. in height and 131 cm. in width. It was found northeast of Taiwan, from 200 m. below the Pacific Ocean. Also on display in this gallery are exclusive artworks made with authentic coral gemstones, revealing the sophisticated beauty of coral. Gemstone corals take 10 years to grow 1 cm..
Oxblood (a.k.a. red coral, Corallium rubrum), long treasured as a symbol of dignity and felicity in traditional Chinese culture, is the most rare and precious of the coral gemstones and its durable and intensely colored red or pink skeleton makes it a highly sought-after material in jewelry manufacture. It is dark red in color with white veins and a translucent kind of sheen. Only 3 countries (Italy, Japan and Taiwan) in the world produce red coral jewelry. The boutique claims to have the world’s largest oxblood coral necklace.
Momo coral are larger and more suitable for carved artworks. Colors vary from pink, orange to dark red. Pink coral exists in the deepest part of the ocean and their colors can be faint pink or spotted pink. Due to water pressure, when corals are taken from such depths, certain lines will naturally form on the surface. White coral, found in the eastern part of Taiwan, is naturally white in color.
Taiwan’s blue chalcedony, distributed over ranges in Hualien and Taitung, are the world’s most beautiful “natural” specimen of the quartz. Unlike blues from abroad, Taiwan’s stones do not need heat treatment to improve their color and they naturally possess a pure luster and clarity, which make them the darlings of Japanese collectors.
From Treasure Sky, we next proceeded to the elevator lobby where we again queued up for our turn at the passenger elevators. This time, we made it to the 5th floor, again via high-speed elevator, in a much longer 57 secs..