Prized the world over, jade has been considered a sacred stone with miraculous powers since prehistoric times. In ancient China, jade was regarded as the most important physical substance on earth. This invaluable book traces the chronological use of jade carvings in China, including primitive utilitarian tools, fascinating ceremonial objects, beautiful ornaments, and intricately designed sculptures. Lavishly illustrated with over 900 color photographs, it features a wide diversity of examples and helps today's collector identify different types of jade and their period of carving -- ranging from neolithic times through the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Also discussed in less detail are jade carvings from India, New Zealand, and pre-Columbian civilizations such as the Mayan, Toltec, and Aztec. Tips for determining the age and authenticity of jade carvings are provided, along with current values for all items illustrated. This indispensable reference will appeal to all collectors and admirers of jade and the Oriental arts.