Jade: a stone with ancient mystique Jade is one of the few gemstones that can be traced back to prehistoric times. Some 8,000 years ago, jade was valued for its hardness and strength. Ancient civilizations used jade to create weapons and tools, especially ones with sharp cutting edges, like knives and axes. Jade was highly valued in ancient China and played a significant role in the nation's culture and history. The famous Chinese philosopher Confucius referred to jade as "the precious stone of grace." Jade was a symbol of integrity, nobility, purity, loyalty and immortality. In the late 18th century, jade experienced a rebirth in China. Jade was crafted into endless ornamental carvings, earrings, pendants and bracelets to display the nation's great prosperity. Other cultures prized jade as well. Jade was a symbol of wealth and status to ancient Romans. In ancient Egypt, the gemstone was a symbol of love, peace and harmony. South American Maya and Aztec civilizations valued jade more than gold. JADE: Available in many nuances of green, plus black, red, brown and white, jade has been treasured for its beauty and strength since prehistoric times. Prized above all other gemstones in ancient China, jade jewelry continues to captivate with a Far East mystique. More about colored gemstones.