In China walnuts are…collectible!

The walnut is an extremely ancient fruit, eaten and used for various purposes not only in our country, but also in the Far East.

Reading various articles, we have discovered that walnuts, arriving in China in around 200 BC, have entered people’s lives in truly bizarre ways.

For centuries, in Chinese culture, walnuts have been a hobby reserved for emperors, and greatly appreciated when old, very big or of a unique shape.  The habit of holding a couple of walnuts in the hand, rotating them and rubbing them together, is a custom since time immemorial, known as “walnut therapy”.  This movement has many meanings and is considered to have many types of benefits: it seems that listening to the sound produced by walnuts “cleanses” thoughts, whilst the movement of the hand constitutes a healthy activity for the joints, fight aging of bones and cartilage, improving blood circulation and therefore purifying the whole body.

Furthermore, tradition has it that the more beautiful walnuts are passed down from father to son, thus creating a real treasure to closely guard because of the sentimental value attached to them.

Then, if it is discovered that a couple of walnuts have passed through famous hands, the fruit becomes highly valuable, also because touching them is similar to shaking the hand of the person who passed away: according to ancient beliefs in fact, the walnuts would have kept some of the characteristics of their owner.

Precisely for this reason, collectors are known to pay very well for a pair of walnuts that were well polished by the hands of an historical figure.

In addition, from some research carried out in China by Reuters agency, it seems that in the last few years the passion for collectible walnuts is spreading: the search for a couple of ancient walnuts, either with an unusual appearance, or even better if they are identical to each other, has become a big hit among serious investors, so much so that now “Du hé tao”, “walnut betting”, has turned into a real boom.

This is a real betting game that requires good skills and experience, where big investors, collectors and gamblers do everything they can to find the perfect pair of walnuts, immediately after harvest.  The skill is in being able to blindly pick out the most beautiful and valuable walnut in terms of the aspects mentioned previously, even before removing the husk which covers the shell, from the walnut seller.  Once cleaned, if the walnuts turn out to be particularly beautiful, their value can increase exponentially with respect to the price of the initial purchase.

The wealthiest investors then proudly show off their pairs of walnuts, as if they were true jewels.