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Chinese Antique Tourmaline Silver Bracelet

We spend a lot of time admiring the elaborate carving achieved by the early 18th and 19th century Chinese artisans trained from childhood to carve gemstones.

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So, this bracelet was a surprise when we found it… just three huge pieces of tourmaline in a simple silver setting that reminds me of the work of the native North American Navajo silver work.

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3 Comments

  1. Ilene S
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I’ve noticed that the use of tourmaline in antique Chinese jewelery seems to be both much rarer than jade, carnelian, turquoise, quartz, and other typical materials, and usually (or possibly always?) uncarved. I wonder if this material was only produced by a particular region or group that preferred the look of it uncarved or emphasized the silver work.

  2. Susan
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Hi… I am wondering if you saw the post in PictureBook

    “Tourmaline, unlike jade, is not native to China. My gemstone reference says that the Dutch brought the first tourmaline to Europe from Ceylon in 1703. Other trade routes would have brought this stone from Ceylon to China.

    We know that tourmaline was highly valued by the Chinese. It is one of the six stones that only the Imperial family was permitted to use in their court necklaces.”

    Thanks for commenting, Susan

  3. Posted May 31, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    What beautiful jewelry indeed. The antique jewelry the Chinese are accustomed to in the elaborate carvings, rare to behold and highly valued by traders alike. Much more rare than even jade and quartz.

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