I was thrilled to share my story about my beautiful jade pendant with Desiree at the New York Times! Read my story below and read other personal stories from jewellers on the New York Times website:
Sarah Ho, a granddaughter of the Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho, is a jewelry designer based in London. One of her most treasured pieces of jewelry is a jadeite pendant that belonged to her grandmother, Clementina Leitão Ho, who died in 2004.
The pendant features a jadeite disc, translucent but with a saturated, rich green color. It is framed by pavé diamonds in an octagonal shape similar to the fung shui talisman, the bat gua. It is a typical shape in Chinese jewelry design and is believed to bring good luck.
“The pendant was gifted to me in 2006,” said Ms. Ho, 40. “It belonged to my late grandmother but was given to me by my aunt, Angela Ho, as a wedding gift. She wanted me to have something that not only my grandmother loved but also had worn often.” Ms. Leitão Ho raised Ms. Ho after her parents, Robert Ho and Suki Potier, died in a car accident in 1981.
Ms. Leitão Ho, Mr. Ho’s first wife, came from a prominent Portuguese family in Macau and was known as a great beauty with exceptional style. “My grandmother was probably one of the most fashionable women in Macau,” Ms. Ho said. “She had an amazing collection of jewelry which she wore every day. Depending on her outfit, she would match it with mesmerizing gems — definitely a trendsetter in her time.”
Ms. Ho said the pendant changed her own design sense. When it was given to her, she said, “I was working mainly with diamonds and my aunt thought the jade would be a great inspirational piece for me. Green was my grandmother’s favorite color.”
Now, as a designer with a shop on Duke Street in Mayfair, “My mother and grandmother are my muses but their tastes varied,” she said. “My mother grew up in London in the Swinging ’60s and ’70s, in a world of changing fashion and trends. Her choice was much bolder.”
The women also have helped to shape Ms. Ho’s thoughts about her business. “As a jewelry designer, I understand that for collectors it has to have a lasting investment value,” she said. “But there has to also be a sentimental worth.”
- Desiree Au