Jade, with its pleasing lustre and immense strength, has been revered by many cultures over time. The pre-Columbian civilisations of South America valued it over gold, and the Ancient Egyptians thought of it as the stone of love and harmony. In China, however, is where it was and still is today the most sought after, and is believe to symbolize good and happiness.
The term jade actually covers two distinct types of stones: jadeite and nephrite. It is only in recent times that the distinction was made clear, as green specimen of each can resemble one another quite closely. Jadeite is rarer and more precious. Jade from Burma and southern China ranks as the finest in the world, followed by jadeite from Siberia. The best known contemporary source of nephrite is New Zealand.