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Rain Flower Pebbles 雨花石

We call it "rain flower pebbles" in my home city Nanjing.

There is a kind of beautiful pebble in my home city - Nanjing, it has a beautiful name : 雨花石. It means "rain flower pebbles" if translate word by word.


There is a Wikipedia item about it: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuhua_Stone

Here is the introduction from Wikipedia:

The Yuhua stone (Chinese: 雨花石; pinyin: yuhua shi; literally: "rain flower stone") is a special kind of stone found in Nanjing, China, due to the unique geology of the area. Yuhua stones, or pebbles, are of sedimentary origin and consist of minerals including quartz and other silicates. They are found in the Yangtze River, polished smooth by the action of water. Colors include red, rose, yellow, green, and white.


Most of them are just colorful and pretty pebbles, however some if them are really beautiful.

This one looks like a Chinese paint:


And this one apparently has a monkey inside:


It's a culture to collect those pebbles, and some of them became very expensive.


When I was a kid, there are two big misunderstood or rumors about those pebbles, I found many of my friends at my age had similar misunderstood.


First big misunderstood was this pebble was related to a place with similar name - 雨花台(Rain flower stage, it's now a memorial monument and park, see above photo). I used to think you can easily pick up or dug out those pebbles from this place, I even clearly remember an article about digging 雨花石 from 雨花台, it was a lie, just like many lies in the book and news papers at the time.

Today most of those pebbles are man made, they were dug out from mines and polished or even colored to become "nature" pebbles. This is a images from the Internet show the process of producing them.


Another misunderstood was this type of pebble is unique to Nanjing. Almost all articles in China said it was unique and you can't find it elsewhere in the world.

However after I visited more place I found such pebble are everywhere, though they might have different names.

If you search "quartz pebbles" you can find many of them, some of them looks really identical to "rain flower pebble".


Nevertheless, rain flower pebbles are still nice things in my home city, they are beautiful and has so many different of types and patterns. If you happen visit Nanjing, make sure to get one or two of them!