In the history of the art of the Chinese empire, jade has had a special significance, comparable with that of gold and diamonds in the West. Jade was used for the finest objects and cult figures, and for grave furnishings for high-ranking members of the imperial family.
Ancient Old Jade = semi translucent, precious stones that are more dense than other stones and characterized by a shiny, smooth, heavy surfaces and distinct sounds when knocked on. It grows in value over the years. A popular saying is that if you take good care of your Ancient Old Jade, it will take good care of you when you are old. For at least five thousand years, ownership of such stones was almost limited to the imperial or noble family members. Ordinary civilians were not allowed to possess Ancient Old Jade as decorative works of art.
Ancient Old Jade can be categorized in Heritage Jade (handed down as heirloom through the generations) and Buried Jade (hidden in the ground due to misfortune and found only several hundred or thousand years later). Due to their time in the ground, Buried Jade bears the unique marks of Soakage Color. This Soakage Color is a very important marker that is used to identify the authenticity and actual value of an Ancient Old Jade piece. No one at present can artificially simulate and reproduce this naturally formed characteristic of Ancient Old Jade. The Soakage Color occurs when Buried Jade reacts with the elements in the ground and becomes some new mixed color, which is quite different from its original color at the surface.
Other categorizations are possible according to color, origin, culture etc.
Elephants were carved quite often from Jade as they are typically seen as good luck charms standing for happiness and strength.