Neo Valley Chrysanthemum Flower Stones
The vast majority of the chrysanthemum flower stones originated from rivers or mines in Neo Valley in the mountains above Gifu. Some of the first stones were found in the fast flowing rivers cutting through the rocks. Mining produced many stones ranging in size from small stones to large boulders, many of which were cut and polished to expose the beautiful mineral formations forming the flower patterns. There are naturally occurring chrysanthemum flower stones, although these tend to be rare. Chrysanthemum stones became popular because of their beauty, and also because they were associated with the official 16-petal chrysanthemum flower crest of the Imperial household. These stones are also found in much smaller quantities in a few other regions of Japan.