This pendant is a fine piece of natural, apple green jadeite, beautifully carved in the shape of a padlock. The colour of the jade, glows. On one side there are two fish, (carp), leaping up to claim a ball or pearl. According to the British Museum’s definition for Chinese fish, they symbolise wealth, as they are golden and the word for fish in Mandarin, also sounds like abundance. Fish are also a sign of rank, which permits someone to enter the court precinct. Officials wore fish ornaments to show their rank. The ball or pearl is an emblem of the world and of knowledge.
On the other side of the jade padlock, there is a carved lotus flower, an important emblem of purity because the lotus emerges unscathed from the mud.
The deeply carved padlock represents protection and security.
The jade pendant is 4.5 cm across 3 cm high and 5 mm deep.
It hangs on three strands of smoky quartz beads (4 mm).
The necklace itself comprises large, faceted, natural smoky quartz nuggets, which vary in size from 19.5 mm x 29 mm, down to 17.8 mm x 21 mm.
Two 13.6 mm natural, apple green jadeite beads echo the pendant.
There are eight, vintage, 18K gold on silver on hardened resin beads, handmade in Afghanistan. These also vary in size, from 17.5 mm, down to 7 mm.
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, 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 yellow gold colour gives the necklace warmth and character and complements the gems.
A 14K gold vermeil toggle clasp has been used because 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.
Length 46 cm with a 3 cm pendant drop.