Long associated with Chinese culture, jade is an ancient and beautiful gemstone. The characteristic green color of the stone (which can range from very pale, milky green to very dark green) is caused by its iron content. More iron results in deeper green color. This extremely durable stone has been used to make tools and beaded jewelry, along with other objects used for ornamental or spiritual purposes, for at least 7000 years. Fine examples of jade jewelry and artifacts, both modern and historic, have been found all over the world.
Jade was considered more precious than diamonds in pre-Hispanic Mexico. This captivating green stone was valued with the same mystical properties in pre-historic Asian cultures. Named the “Stone from Heaven” jade has been prized in both Mesoamerica and China for thousands of years. The earliest jade object found by archeologists in China was a piece of a serpentine jade discovered in the Immortal Cave in Haicheng in the Liaoning Province. This artifact dates back to the Stone Age, more than 12,000 years ago.