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20k Chinese Vintage Diamond Bracelet, Peranakan Jewellery

Details on GemGardener.com

Vintage Straits Chinese gold bracelet set with 39 brilliant cut diamonds in 20k gold.

This diamond cluster bracelet is dainty, at 6″, for a petite wrist. It is part of the fine jewelry of the Straits Chinese community in this region, with over 50 years of history.

The diamonds are cluster set on 7 shared bezels (plus 2 single diamonds at the ends), where each ‘floral’ shaped bezel holds between 3 to 6 diamonds, all closely sized, each approximately between 2.5mm to 3mm.

The exception is the centre ‘flower’, with slightly bigger diamonds (3mm to 3.5mm) clustered around a 4mm diamond.

Hand crafted to the Peranakan tradition of diamond jewelry, the diamonds are set high, in a semi flexible bracelet that cleaves to the wrist with a wonderful form. The links are individually hinged so they fold together and feel ‘soft’ on the hand.

Also, the diamonds are set with bead prongs so small the eye notices only the diamonds (the gold work between the diamonds is finely ‘concealed’). This explains why taking a photo is so tough, with so much halo from the shine of the diamonds.

Yet it is this superb craftsmanship, considering form and function, that delivers a piece of diamond studded jewellery to a subtle glamour in its petite package.

While Western retro diamond jewelry has a certain old fashioned appeal, so do these Straits Chinese studded bracelets, just in a more delicate package.

Given the slimness of such designs, these bracelets were layered then as they are stacked today. Just before the 1900s and right after the second war, it was not uncommon to see Peranakan ladies wearing a few bracelets with bangles, interspersing diamonds with pearl or jade jewelry. A little like Gatsby-era fashion, perhaps?

These old delicate pieces are surely the jewelry art of Straits Chinese craftsmanship, distinct from jewelry from China in both their size and culture.

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