Today, we're proud to introduce to you our dear friend, Avalyn, who so warmly agreed to share with us her personal thoughts on Chinese New Year, own recollection of personal heirloom Jade pieces, and how her absolutely adorable twin daughters have reacted to Avalyn's jade jewellery.
With Chinese New Year just around the corner, one of the things I enjoy most is picking out a new outfit, and accessorizing it. Personally, I have never been one for matching accessories, something that frustrated my mom as I was growing up. To this day, I still go straight for statement pieces, or items that I can wear daily: unobtrusive, simple and elegant.
Jade – a personal history
As a Peranakan (Straits Chinese), jade has always been a staple in my family jewellery box. My first adult memory of jade is receiving a small jade pendant that was one of the jade stones of a bracelet that my grandmother wore. When she passed on, gracefully and gently, at the age of 80, all her granddaughters received jade stones from this bracelet and other pieces, either as a pendant or a pair of earrings. Since then, jade has linked me back to my heritage and family – a sense of belonging.
A shared link
This special connection to jade can be found amongst many young men and women today, in particular the Chinese diaspora seeking some connection back to the gemstones of our mothers and grandmothers. The challenge for me was in finding occasions to wear my more traditional “old school” family jade pieces. Furthermore, not wanting to lose or damage my heirloom pieces, most of them have remained hidden in my drawers.
So when I came across Singapore’s homegrown jewellery label Choo Yilin last year, I was so incredibly pleased to find jade pieces that I would happily wear out – pretty much daily. Statement and daily wear pieces that go well with an evening gown, ripped jeans & tee, as well as my office suits!
Blending modernity with tradition
My favorite Choo Yilin piece, the Jade Garden ring
, is kind of an encapsulation of the mindset and daily life of Chinese diaspora: the Burmese jade and an eye catching combination of gemstones and gold metalwork, plus the open ended design is a marriage of East and West – modernity and tradition.
Add to that Jade’s soothing properties, how it cools the skin on warm afternoons, and its significance as a symbol of good fortune for the Chinese New Year
, it’s easy to see why jade is gaining in interest amongst even younger people today in cosmopolitan Singapore.
My daughters are only eight years old and they are already trying to figure out how to fit their tiny fingers into my jade jewellery… Thanks to the blend of design and tradition, it looks like my family’s love of jade will keep on going and bring our shared links from the past into the future.