I wanted the necklace to have an antique Oriental feel, like something that might have been worn by a young woman from a wealthy family in Beijing, whose father worked as an advisor to the Emperor in the Ching Dynasty (me day-dreaming away here...). One day, the Emperor's advisor was invited to attend a state function at the palace, and he took his wife and beautiful daughter with him. Whilst the men were waiting for the Emperor in the main hall, the ladies were led to meet and pay their respect to the queen and the numerous concubines in the royal garden of the Forbidden City. On their way there, they bumped into the Emperor's procession, and they immediately knelt down and bowed their heads. Being young and curious, the girl lifted her head ever so slightly to catch a glimpse of the Emperor, who was in his fifties. Their eyes met, and the Emperor was instantly mesmerised by her beauty. A few days later, the Emperor sent a Royal summon to the advisor's home, for the girl to be admitted into the palace to be a concubine. Unbeknown to her parents, the girl had already given her heart to a young scholar who worked for her father. To disobey the Emperor's order, however, would mean death not just to herself but her whole extended family, all those who shared the same surname. She was utterly broken hearted but had no choice. The night before she was taken to the palace, she wrote a letter to the love of her life, explaining that she had to sacrifice herself for the sake of her family, but her love towards him would never end. She gave the letter to her maid, together with her favourite necklace, and asked her to smuggle them out of her guarded home and give them to the young scholar. "Tell him" she said to the maid, "to put this necklace close to his heart. As long as it's with him, I'll know that his love for me has not died. In our next life, and many more lives to come, I'll search for the necklace, and I'll find him wherever he is in the whole world. It's a symbol of our ever lasting love......."
The necklace is actually longer but I tucked it up at the back for photo purpose. Hope you like. Again, please click on the photos if you'd like a larger view.