Enter the Dragon – Pearl Jewels for the Lunar New Year

Outstanding pearl jewelry and timepieces, suffused with meaning, to mark the start of the Lunar New Year

by Reema Farooqui

Starting February 10th, 2024, we step into the new Lunar year, the Year of the Dragon. The dragon holds immense significance in Chinese culture. In fact, in the Chinese zodiac, this extraordinary (but mythical) creature represents strength, nobility, success, and good fortune. So, 2024 is going to be a great year for Dragons everywhere. But for pearl lovers, it’s going to be fabulous.

Dragons and Pearls

Chinese culture brims with references to the dragon. In Chinese folklore, this noble, powerful but benevolent creature controls the weather and seasons. It’s no wonder then, that Chinese iconography often depicts dragons soaring among billowing clouds.

A dragon holding a flaming pearl is a common image in Chinese folktales and is often seen in Chinese paintings as well as on fabrics and decorative objects. The Dragon and the Pearl, in fact, is one of the most beloved story in Chinese mythology.

The pearl symbolises knowledge and wisdom in Chinese culture. In this way, a dragon’s pursuit of a pearl represents the quest for enlightenment. In short, a dragon just cannot be separated from its pearl.  

Here are some stellar jewelry pieces showcasing dragons and pearls, that were created especially for this Lunar New Year.

Mikimoto Dragon-Themed Capsule Collection

Mikimoto, one of the world’s most iconic pearl jewelry brand, debuted its dragon-themed pearl collection last week. The collection consists of five one-of-a-kind pieces, including two brooches, one ring, one pendant and one jewelry tray.

Each piece showcases a unique depiction of the mythical dragon alongside a perfect pearl. In one piece we see a finely detailed silver dragon holds a lustrous white Akoya pearl in its claw. In  another piece, this allegorical beast, crafted in 18K gold, wraps its long, sinuous body jealously around a gleaming golden South Sea pearl. Yet another dragon sits on the lip of a highly polished, stainless-steel tray, triumphantly holding up a radiant, white Akoya pearl.

The pieces of this collection are vivid in their representation of the dragon motif, depicting the power and majesty of this creature in superb detail. The theme running through this collection places the pearl as the dragon’s treasure, long coveted and at last, acquired.

Jewelmer Golden South Sea La Chance Pendant

Jewelmer is an international luxury jewelry brand which is synonymous with its exceptional golden South Sea pearls. This year, for the Lunar New Year, the brand crafted the La Chance pendant which depicts a dragon holding a large, round, deep gold South Sea pearl. Made in 18k yellow gold, the pendant is a charismatic emblem of wisdom as well as strength and represents the auspicious energy of the Lunar New Year in exquisite detail.

Paspaley Year of the Dragon Dive Coin

At world renowned Australian South Sea pearl brand, Paspaley, the arrival of the Lunar New Year is being commemorated with a special edition, Year of the Dragon Dive Coin pendant. A jewel rife with meaning and symbolism, the dive coin bears all the hallmarks of Paspaley jewelry – exquisite gem materials and fine craftsmanship.

This 18K gold coin features a 20mm disc of gray mother-of-pearl bearing the image of a dragon, holding a ruby in its jaws, a nod to the imperial dragon of Chinese folklore. On the reverse side of the coin, a star is etched into the mother-of-pearl, with a brilliant-cut diamond in the middle. The star symbolises the mysterious symbols found in the night skies as well as the beauty of the night sky around the remote Kimberley coast of Western Australia.

Harry Winston Moments Collection Watch

The House of Harry Winston is celebrating this Lunar New Year with a limited edition timepiece featuring an imperial red dragon. Set in a rose-gold case, framed by two concentric circles of diamonds, the watch features a gleaming pearl at its noon with bezel-set diamonds making up the other hour markers. The dial is embellished with a red enamel dragon peeping through carved, iridescent mother-of-pearl clouds. Highly symbolic, this watch ushers in a year of good fortune and success.

Piaget Altiplano Zodiac Watch

Piaget Altiplano Year of the Dragon Zodiac Watch
Piaget Altiplano Timepiece

Piaget’s celebration for the Year of the Dragon includes a blue and white Altiplano timepiece showcasing the artistic skill of enameling artist Anita Porchet. Porchet has been collaborating with Piaget since 2006 and her breathtaking cloisonné enamel creations are an unarguable testament to her immense skill and artistry.

On the white gold and diamond Zodiac timepiece we see a blue enamel dragon flying through swirling clouds of white mother-of-pearl, on a sky of softy shimmering gray mother-of-pearl. The fine details on the dragon are brought into relief with white gold highlights. Bold and striking, this watch is not just a timepiece, it is a work of jeweled art.

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