Bringing Jade to New Generations
Jewellery artist Lin Shiao Tung aims to modernize a beloved gemstone through innovation and personal touch.
“There’s no gemstone in the world as beautiful, gentle, and symbolic of many wonderful virtues as jade.”
—Lin Shiao Tung
Chinese jade holds a special place in culture and history; it’s a gemstone that was cherished as a symbol of a dignified man in ancient times. Despite its prestige, the precious stone faces the same challenge as pearls: it’s often seen as a gem for more mature jewellery wearers. Taiwanese jewellery artist Lin Shiao Tung is determined to change that mindset.
Through his whimsical designs, Lin has given jade a new look and a more intimate connection with its wearers. Lin started this initiative through his Eric Jade Bear collection, a line that features a playful jade bear surrounded by colourful gemstones.
With creativity and skill, Lin gave jade a contemporary design, and in so doing made the precious stone an emblem of love, longing, and innocence.
“Every piece of jewellery I create is meant to represent something meaningful and special,” he says.
Lin, who is now in his fifties, started designing jewellery in the 1990s and founded his eponymous company in 1999. He went on to create what would now be his signature collections, Eric Jade Bear and Messenger of Happiness—and the inspiration and motivation behind them, we discovered, are deeply personal.
Lin toiled tirelessly to build his jewellery brand, but this achievement came at a high price. Buried in his work, he had little time to spend with his growing children. Before he knew it, his daughter was grown up and leaving home to pursue her studies in the United States. Lin reflected melancholically on the day he saw her off at the airport.