Asian dragons have many shapes, but one in particular resembles a snake, with a long, slender body. This piece of vintage nephrite jade comes into that category. For the Chinese the dragon is an important symbol, meaning both the vital universal source of energy, known as "chi", and an emblem of the Emperor himself, full of power and influence and yet quite playful. This dragon comes in at 3 inches in length (7.5 cm), yet ¼ of an inch wide (1 cm) and 7 mm thick. He is a carved tan-tone piece of jade, carved in a swirl.
He reaches up for an aquamarine bead (11 mm) and is attached by vermeil beads (3.6 mm).
The necklace is fairly long, at 20 inches (51cm) and is made up of harmonious colours that unite and complement the dragon.
Fourteen cylinders of translucent aquamarine (9 mm) punctuate the antique, hand carved smoky quartz beads (10.5 mm) from Afghanistan.
Four antique carved nephrite jade beads (11m x 15 mm x 8 mm deep) in the shape of tortoiseshells give texture and further interest.
And finally, throughout the necklace are the (now rare), vintage, handmade, etched 18k gold on silver on hardened resin beads from Afghanistan. Ten of these beads are 7mm, while the two front beads are 9.6 mm.
This is a traditional technique. The Afghani have been crafting gold for centuries. When Alexander the Great came to Afghanistan in 330 BC, his people brought many skills, one of which was working in gold. Like the Romans, centuries later, a yellow, 18K gold was used. But one of the techniques was to take sheet gold and work it onto hardened resin and then decorate it accordingly. For me, this handiwork and the yellow gold colour gives the necklace warmth and character, which complements the gems.
I have used a vermeil toggle clasp. Toggle clasps are easy to use and secure. My silver name label is attached at the clasp.
The necklace comes, like all my necklaces, with its own colour co-ordinated silk brocaded pouch bag, made by a Shanghai tailor.
The necklace is fairly long, at 20 inches (51cm) with a with a 3 inch pendant drop (7.5 cm).
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Unique, stunningly chic gemstone necklaces, known as wearable art