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Business Times Weekend

19 Jan 2020


THE YEAR OF the rat brings many charming rodent designs into the world of luxury. Top watch brands from Panerai to Vacheron Constantin have released elegant timepieces featuring the Chinese zodiac’s first animal. Independent jewellers such as Alighieri Jewelry and iconic global ones such as Faberge have also crafted auspicious rat-themed pieces for the growing Chinese market.

Festive jewellery for 2020 can be flamboyant or minimalist – depending on whom you ask. Michael Koh of Caratell, award-winning jeweller to the rich and royal, says: “For this Chinese New Year, we have quite a few customers looking into bespoke jewellery with multiple usages, such as an earring that can turn into a brooch or pendant, or a ring that can be detached to become a pendant. This allows the wearer to have the flexibility to change the look of the jewellery to suit their wardrobe.”

Caratell’s striking festive pieces include an 18k white and yellow gold Lion Dance ring adorned with rubies and diamonds, a symbol of power, wisdom and good fortune. Also exquisite is a pair of 18k white and yellow gold earrings with tassels, bedecked with corals and diamonds, signifying luck and success. It would look stunning with a qipao.

Jade and jadeite continue to be popular gemstones, seen as conferring beauty and nobility to the wearer. Mr Koh says: “We’re seeing an increase in demand for jadeite items, but with a youthful and modern twist.”

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