Jade doesn't have to be old-fashioned. These artisans are turning the gemstone into beautiful, contemporary jewellery.
Cartier’s record-breaking jadeite necklace needed a simple design to augment the natural beauty of each bead, but when the jeweller’s full creative abilities are unleashed, the results can be wonderfully contemporary. This high jewellery object presents a nephrite jade case, with a clasp adorned with a sapphire, ruby and emerald arranged into the maison’s Tutti Frutti leaf design. The jade box may be worn as a pendant, while the Tutti Frutti motif can be worn as a brooch.
Hong Kong-based Wallace Chan creates jewellery that are more art than accoutrement. Inspired by a dragon buckle from the Warring States Period, he created this Legend of the Jade Dragon brooch, where the jade piece represents the body of both a phoenix and dragon, surrounded by an assortment of gemstones. His creations will be on display at The European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, the Netherlands, from March 16 to 24 this year.
Hong Kong-based Dickson Yewn piqued international interest when Michelle Obama was spotted wearing one of his jade rings from the Lattice collection in 2011. His pieces have since been sought after for his modern take on Chinese designs. For example, his Imperial Grace collection features red and green jadeite bangles paired with wood and precious stones.
Preferring to use the paler shades of Type A jadeite, Singapore’s own Choo Yilin has won fans (over 20,000 of them on Instagram at least) with romantic collections that include a touch of local flavour. The Warisan Kebaya collection, for instance, recreates the traditional motifs of kebaya in 18K rose gold filigree and milgrain and pairs them with icy jade.
Having rubbed shoulders with the likes of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons, Swiss jewellery designer Suzanne Syz has a passion for playful art that shows in her one-of-a-kind pieces. These Coup d’eclat earrings feature thin, lace-like slivers of white jade set in white gold and titanium, with rough spinels and diamonds adding a gentle contrast.