Perched safely within a large Nephrite brown Jade Bi disc, a vintage carved bone polar bear begins to venture out, perhaps in search of a bit of ice flow to walk on. The polar bear is wonderfully carved, full of details in his face, ears and legs. You can almost feel he is ready to advance. He is ¾ of an inch across (2 cm) by ½ inch high (1.5 cm).
The vintage carved brown nephrite jade Bi disc is 2 ½ inches across (6.5 cm) and 6.5mm deep. The Bi disc is a symbol for the Chinese of harmony as well as longevity.
The disc is support by two strands of goldstone beads (3 mm).
The brown, cream and white necklace is made up of large oval pebbles of natural magnesite pebbles (18mm x 30 mm) and cream beads of 23 mm. Natural coral cylinders (17mm x 15 mm) are contrasted to brown nephrite jade discs (16mm) and russet brown wood cylinders (17mm), possibly Zitan wood from China.
The gold beads (15.8 mm) are handmade, vintage (now rare) beads from Afghanistan, crafted in the traditional way of taking 18K gold and shaping it onto brass and then hardened resin.
The Afghani have been crafting gold for centuries. When Alexander the Great came to Afghanistan, his people brought many skills, one of which was working in gold. Like the Romans, centuries later, a yellow, 18 ct 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 yellow gold colour gives the necklace warmth and character and complements the gems.
I have then knotted the silk/polyester cord with the traditional Chinese "flat knot" as well as the "button knot". This is not only a classical Chinese technique, but it lightens the necklace and makes it quite comfortable to wear. It also sets off the design.
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 it's own colour co-ordinated silk brocaded pouch bag, made by a Shanghai tailor.
The necklace is 17 ¾ inches long (45 cm) with a 3 inch pendant drop (8 cm)
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Unique, stunningly chic gemstone necklaces, known as wearable art