Monday, November 2, 2009

Making old-fashioned jade new again

Being Chinese, I’ve grown up with the myths surrounding jade. Highly revered for many reasons – from it being a symbol of many Confucian virtues to its protective and “lucky” qualities, jade was more valued that gold. My mother’s and grandmother’s generation used to talk about how jade could “breathe” and was “alive” in that the jade would change colours with the energy of a person. All this seemed to have died out with my peers though, with many of them preferring the brilliance of other gemstones compared to the subtle luster of jade.

jade rings in pink amethyst, yellow quartz and white quartz checkerboards. 18KT rose gold vermeil.

jade ring with amethyst marquises checkerboards. 200 sgd each.

I’ve grown to love it a lot in recent years, thinking of it as an aesthetic symbol of my heritage albeit one that I should know a lot more about but don’t. I confess that I don’t know when I got the idea of designing an entire line in jade – many of my ideas come so intuitively and appear as if they’ve been there the entire time; merely just emerging to my consciousness spontaneously – but I loved the idea immediately. It was a huge challenge though, given the label’s themes of colour, organic aesthetic and sustainability – how would I fuse these themes with existing pieces of jade?

jade bangle converted to large pendant with various faceted gemstones: iolite, smoky quartz and amethyst. 660 sgd.

jade doughnut pendant necklaces, embellished with vermeil caps and sapphires. 280 sgd each.

But strangely enough, the designs came to me easily and naturally and it fit in wonderfully with the label’s themes. In order to convey the organic look, my craftsmen and I kept very strictly to a highly hammered texture for all the pieces. Then, we added highly faceted gemstones that would glitter in stark contrast to the subtle, opaque luster of jade. The silver and vermeil pieces were all made with at least 50% reclaimed silver, again in line with the sustainability theme.

jade doughnut earrings with amethyst gemstones embellished. 480 sgd a pair.

jade bangle embellished with vermeil and sapphires and spinels. 380 sgd each.
The jade pieces used were all Grade A jadeite (no treatment), albeit not of the kind of quality that are auctioned off at Sothebys and Christies. I gravitated toward either of pale aqua colour or a olive, khaki green – less objectively valued by the market than its emerald and apple green counterparts but beautiful nonetheless.

jade bangle embellished with vermeil and green sapphires and rubies. 380 sgd each.

jade bangle embellished with green and blue sapphires. 380 each.

This was the end result for my inaugural jade collection: a fusion of old-world Chinese culture and my own interpretation of modern luxury. And I am supremely excited and proud to announce that they are exclusively at Tangs+Co in Singapore and range between 180 sgd for a simple ring to 660 sgd for a large necklace.


dbteo said...

hey yilin, we met at the bespoke session, together with yu.
love the jade rings, and will be sure to get one.
let's meet up soon again!

lynt said...

love the bangles! hmmm, trade soon? lol

lynt said...

btw it's me, eelyn said...

debbie: that's your right? :)
yes, drop me an e-mail @ and let's meet up soon.

eelyn - definitely babes! :)

Socaligurl80 said...

I would LOVE to purchase one of your rings and bangles!!! how can I do this? said...

socaligurl80: hi, just got your msg. would you like to drop me an e-mail at so i can do a follow up? :)


CottonSparkyPng said...

hi hi ...i really luv your jade pieces esp the bangles... how can i purchase it? said...

cottonsparkypng: would you like to e-mail us at so that we can reply you in depth? :)