Know What You Buy & Get To Know Eli. J
[Unfiltered photos taken and sent in by those who have received their 喜喜 jade earrings before I knew about the courier restrictions. Because your photos & feedback matter!]
In a series of 3 posts (on Instagram), I want to share a bit more about myself & what I do with those who are new here.
My name is Joanne, and @elijjewelry and @elijfinejewelry are my full-time passion and small business. I was a classical music major at uni, and taught piano and made & sold my jewelry since 2005 through mostly consignment on the side, only going into this full-time in late 2018.
Working with gemstones since the start, I started venturing into baroque pearls and jadeite more in 2017, putting countless hours into learning more especially about jade, not just through books and the internet, but also by going overseas to the sources, to learn, ask questions and study. (I ONLY use Burmese Type A jadeite jade on both my accounts.)
I believe jade is something you understand better not just through looking at pictures, but by touching and scrutinizing it yourself. I don’t claim to know everything, as there is still so much to learn. I run a small business here, your trust is important, and I am serious about never losing that trust because of misinterpretation about the quality or authenticity of my materials.
In fact, you can put your minds at ease, as with every new batch of jade, I send one or two pieces in for certification at NGI. I have been doing this since I started getting custom-cut or new batches of jade.
Always talk to the person you are buying from, if what you buy matters to you, and not just blindly trust what they say. Some jade at certain price points, well, you get what you pay for, or... it could very well not be jade.
A lot of my jade are custom-cut to size. Donuts, bars, teardrops amongst some of them. Why? Because originality and symmetry are important especially for earrings, and I am determined to choose jade myself and bring in jade that is of good quality. The intensity of color and translucency are some of the things that make jade more valuable, not only size.
Custom-cut is like having tailored clothing or anything bespoke, it will cost more to do, but it is worth it. If it is not custom-cut, it is jade that I have personally hand picked, or this year because of covid-19, bought from suppliers I have met personally and built relationships with over the years.
My xuangxi 喜喜 jade are another design I managed to find experienced craftsmen to custom-cut for me. These jades are not something you can find as readily available anywhere else.
Something I also take pride in, is the wide variety of pearls and gemstones I source, especially my baroque pearls and gemstone drops. These are almost always AAA quality. I also bring in Edison, round and oval freshwater pearls (mostly AAA), and am honest about any issues (rarely) and price according to quality and design.
Good quality material does not come cheap. You get what you pay for. If it is too good to be true, please do your research, and ask why. The days and months we full-time creatives/designers put into our work, nobody except our family sees. I often work 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week. But I do it because of my passion for my craft, because I hope to bring new and special things to you.
Designs like mine have been popping up all over IG... I believe you will be wise and compare apple to apple. (Everything- size & quality of gems, jade or pearls, material used, metals, if possible). Look for workmanship details too. But if you’re unsure, please feel free to check with me, I will be happy to guide you through.
And above all, you’re not buying just a piece of jewelry. You’re supporting a designer’s dreams and hard work, and bringing home a part of that person’s vision.
I’m not trying to put anyone’s choices down here. I just want to help you make informed decisions, and know what you’re buying. I understand that everyone has a budget. I have seen several accounts misinform consumers about their materials and it makes me angry. I have also seen an account blatantly put down my and other small businesses’ choices, and that’s not something I want to do here.
Women supporting women. Giving back to society when possible. And using the best I can find, to hand make unique, quality, elegant jewelry... this is what Eli. J is about.