Blom (1934: 542) remarks that among the Maya:


   Feathers were used for personal adornment, as was also jade and gold. The brilliant tail-feathers of the 'trogan resplendens,' the vivid green of jade, were rare and therefore commanded a high price. The maize-plant was green, the forest was green. All good as well as rare things were green, and therefore the Maya considered green a sacred color, attached special value to green things; just as the Spaniards, and we do to this day, express wealth, abundance and luxury in gold, and more frequently in gilt... Even small slivers of jade were polished and perforated for suspension, and large pieces were carved in the shape of human faces, animals, or... Shaped like a hand.

  During the night when Cortés retreated from Mexico, the leader, after taking his share of treasure, turned the surplus over to his troops. Many, burdened down with gold, drowned ignominiously in the canals. Diaz, however, noted Indian usage and confined himself to four jades which he was able to exchange later and which, in his words, "served me well in healing my wounds and gathering me food.”

In his account of Aztec civilization, Vaillant (1965: 139-140) remarks:


   The most precious substance among the Aztecs was jade, or stones resembling it in texture and colour... The Aztecs did not have our modern esteem for gold, so the Spaniards had great difficulty in getting it at first. The Mexican Indians responded to the invaders' demands for objects of value by offering jade and turquoise, those substances most precious to themselves... Such misguided compliance was highly irritating to Cortés and his men.

  Cortés and Montezuma were accustomed to play each day a native game which in many ways resembles chess... It was their further custom at the close of each day's game to present each other with some gift. At the close of one day's game the Aztec monarch presented Cortés with several large discs of gold and silver handsomely worked. Cortés was greatly pleased and so expressed himself. Montezuma smiled and said: The gift tomorrow shall be such that today's gift will seem in value and preciousness, when compared with it, as no more than a single stone tile on the roadway... The royal treasurer of Montezuma brought in on a golden slaver the royal gift, four small carved jade beads. The bitter disappointment of Cortés was so great that he could scarcely conceal it"

(Willard 1926: 146-147).