“Hey man, glad you called this is a super cool thing my host family in Taiwan did and I’m glad you got to experience it when you came to visit, but pretty much by gifting a piece of Jade to guests it’s their way of showing first their wealth. It’s a way for them to kind of subtly show off haha, but it’s also supposed to protect you from injury. For example, when my host mother gave mom a Jade bracelet it is supposed to add a sort of extra life. If you fall the Jade is supposed to break and take the force of it so it protects you from harm. I think this Jade symbolism is pretty common in Taiwan and China.”
The informant, ST, had lived in Taiwan for a year and I was able to go visit him and participate in this custom by receiving a Jade necklace. ST learned this while living with the host family in Taiwan for a year.
This is a very cool custom that I am very happy I got to participate in, I find it very interesting that Jade, a rare substance can provide safety. My grandmother actually had a Jade bracelet and fell while walking and her bracelet broke and she only had a scraped knee. So this tradition seems like it works.