Tag Archives: colored stones

Joys of Jade

A symbol of all that is good and precious in some cultures, jade is different than other types of valuable gems or precious metals. It is a metamorphic rock made up of tiny interlocking mineral crystals. The term “jade” actually refers to two separate gems: nephrite and jadeite. Modern gemologists use jade to describe both.

Jadeite comes in a wide range of beautiful colors: shades of green, yellow and reddish orange in addition to white, gray, black, brown and lavender. Nephrite’s colors range from translucent to opaque and can be light to dark green, yellow, brown, black, gray or white.

Ounce for ounce, jade is more valuable than gold — and that’s before you take into account the value of the piece’s antiquity. Jade is always appreciating in value.

Joys of Jade

Jade in Chinese Culture

“Gold has a price; jade is priceless.” —Chinese proverb

Nephrite was the first jade discovered in China, and it has been a symbol of status, spirituality, health and purity in Chinese culture for 9,000 years. Today, Chinese nephrite deposits are all but depleted, so most jade traded in modern China is jadeite. In a nod to tradition, however, every winning athlete’s medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was embedded with a piece of pure nephrite jade.

Why We Love Jade

The way it interacts with light: Jadeite’s structure scatters light. If properly cut, a white piece with a small green spot will make the gem appear completely green if lit from behind.

The way it differs from other gems: Due to the way jade interacts with light, it is rarely faceted. Even semi-transparent jade is usually fashioned into cabochons, beads or other styles. It’s soft enough to carve yet durable, so the stone can be cut in unusual ways. Add this to the fact that rough jade can be quite large, and the result is often unique designs you won’t find in other jewels.

The way it rings: Nephrite rings like a bell when struck. Artisans have created chimes, xylophones and gongs from melodically resonant jade.

Joys of Jade

The Three Cs (and Two Ts) of Jade

  • Color: For both jadeite and nephrite, green is the most valued color. The finest jadeite — almost transparent with a vibrant emerald-green color — is known as “imperial jade.”
  • Cut: While jade is rarely faceted like other gems, plain as well as intricate jade carvings are judged by their artistry.
  • Carat weight: Jadeite is generally sold by the piece rather than by weight. For top-quality imperial jadeite, slight size differences can make for large value differences.
  • Transparency: Jadeite’s transparency ranges from completely opaque to semi-transparent. The best jadeite is semi-transparent.
  • Texture: Jadeite has a smooth, even texture that makes people want to touch and hold the gem.

To see our collection of extraordinary jade pieces, visit Eiseman Jewels at NorthPark Center in Dallas.

 

david webb

David Webb was one of the most talented and influential jewelry designers of the 20th century. A handsome, charming Southern gentleman, Webb arrived in New York City from Asheville, North Carolina at just seventeen and picked up a job repairing jewelry in Greenwich Village.

David Webb

The self-taught jeweler went on to work for several large design houses, such as Tiffany & Co. and Harry Winston. In 1948, Webb opened his flagship store on the cosmopolitan Madison Avenue, which would go on to become one of America’s greatest luxury jewelry houses.

Webb approached jewelry as an art, not as a mere product to be bought and sold. His design inspiration came from many sources, including nature and the animal kingdom, and he employed enamel and colored stones to bring the creations of his imagination to life. In addition to his brilliant design sensibilities, Webb was also a master artisan who spent hours sitting with his jewelry craftsmen to make sure every detail of his pieces were perfect.

David Webb

David Webb’s jewelry is iconic and has been adored by socialites and movie stars since the brand was founded. Ava Gardner and Lana Turner proudly wore David Webb jewelry both in movies and in real life. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly and Estée Lauder were also dedicated fans. Elizabeth Taylor featured four pages of David Webb jewelry in the photo book of her famous collection, “My Love Affair with Jewelry.” And Diana Vreeland, the legendary editor of Harper’s Bazaar, was rarely seen without her favorite David Webb zebra bangle.

Although he tragically died of pancreatic cancer at the young age of 50 in 1975, David Webb left behind a rich legacy of design expertise and a diverse catalog of bold, highly detailed jewelry that continues to be treasured by collectors and fashionistas. To this day, his vision and legacy are carefully commemorated in his original Manhattan atelier. While many of David Webb’s competitors outsource their production overseas, at David Webb, every aspect of production takes place under one roof. In fact, the workshop located above the Madison Avenue flagship store is the last of its kind in New York City.

david webb

Original David Webb jewelry still remains highly collectible, but to associate David Webb exclusively with the past would be a mistake. It is currently enjoying a revival among young tastemakers and recently won Gold Design of the Year at The Town & Country 2018 Jewelry Awards.

Peruse our stunning selection of David Webb estate designs at Eiseman Jewels at NorthPark Center in Dallas.