Jade has been treasured in China as the royal gemstone, "yu" for 5,000 years. The word "yu" is used in Chinese to call something precious. Jade was thought to preserve the body after death and can be found in emperors' tombs from thousands of years ago. One tomb contained an entire suit made out of jade, to assure the physical immortality of its owner. For thousands of years, jade was a symbol of love and virtue as well as a status symbol.
Alans Musuem has in its collection a small boulder of jade the size of a baby's fist. It still has its skin intact but some part of the skin is removed to reveal the greenish jadeite colour.