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Chinese White Jade Beads

My photographer had to spend a lot of time with these beads…  they have a life and personality that changes with the time of day and light.


He offered to buy them so that he wouldn’t have to photograph them anymore… I said “no!”. So he presented me with six different lighting and background combinations and asked me to: “take my pick!”

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I believe that these beads were originally part of a Mandarin Court Necklace. The 28 smaller 11 mm beads are semi-translucent white jade with pale green undertones… carved with a stylized Shou symbol on 4 sides. The three 20mm larger beads are an opaque pale green with the Shou on 2 sides and provide a stable contrast for the liveliness of the smaller beads.


These beads came from a man who told me; “my mother brought back a much larger necklace from a visit to China in the 1960’s and had her jeweler make it into several separate necklaces which she gave to family and friends as a souvenir of her trip.”

It makes me wonder… how many Mandarin Court Necklaces met a similar fate?

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