Tag Archives: jade

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.

 

schepps

Seaman Schepps burst onto the jewelry scene at the turn of the 20th century with designs that challenged the status quo and defined a new style for the American woman. His clientele included Coco Chanel, Katherine Hepburn, the Duchess of Windsor and members of the Du Pont, Mellon and Rockefeller families, which led him to become known as “America’s Court Jeweler.”

We sat down with Anthony Hopenhajm, owner and designer of Seaman Schepps, for an inside look at this enduring and historic brand.

The Seaman Schepps brand has a very rich history — tell us a little bit about it.

Seaman Schepps himself was born in Manhattan, the child of European immigrants. He started the company in 1904. In his lifetime, he realized the American dream of working hard and building a world-renowned brand from the ground up. He left a legacy for his children, who assumed prominent roles in the worlds of fashion and literature.

How do the current Seaman Schepps designs reflect the brand’s history?

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Fine designs stand the test of time, as is evident in the jewels Seaman Schepps offers today — many of which were first created in the 40s and 50s and continue to be sought out.

Who were some of the notable figures Seaman Schepps worked with?

Seaman Schepps numbered among his clients many American First Families, from the Roosevelts to the Kennedys (including fashion icon Jackie Kennedy), as well as members of the English, Danish, Dutch and Greek royal families.

What is one thing we may not know about Seaman Schepps — the man and the brand?

Although he was originally from New York, Seaman Schepps’ first shops were in California. After experiencing limited success, he moved back to New York and opened his first shop in the 1920s around the corner from the Algonquin Hotel and its famed Round Table, where he attracted a loyal following among the stars of stage and screen.

What makes Seaman Schepps different from other designers?

Our heritage of signed and numbered designs is still in demand today and will continue to be sought out by fashionable women and collectors tomorrow.

What are your favorite pieces in the current collection? 

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I love our Link Bracelet and Silhouette Earring in various woods and 18-karat gold. And the mix of precious and semi-precious stones that create a fantastic collage of color in the Rio Bracelet, Multi-Baroque Necklaces and Bubble Earrings make them favorites, too.

When you’re designing pieces, who do you envision wearing them? 

Our greatest compliment is when a mother and daughter can step into our shop and each walk out wearing one of our iconic pieces that may have been created several decades earlier.

Other than past designs, what inspires today’s Seaman Schepps pieces?

Rare original stones have been an inspiration throughout the history of the company and continue to be to this day.

What can we look forward to seeing from Seaman Schepps?

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We’ve long been known as innovators for our daring use of unusual materials and combinations of stones, and we continue to bring cutting-edge original designs to our American and international clientele. This season will feature combinations of precious green Burmese jade with ruby, an ivory substitute in the form of a renewable vegetable nut, and our new home collection of hard stone clocks, frames and bowls in blue lapis lazuli, clear rock crystal and natural banded gray agate.

How would you describe the Seaman Schepps brand in one word?

Original.

View the Seaman Schepps collection today at Eiseman Jewels, the designer’s exclusive Texas retailer.