Asia-based international fine jeweller Qeelin has announced a new collection of diamond necklaces featuring a Wulu diamond as the centre stone.
The news, revealed this week, marks the completion of a decade-long quest by Qeelin founder and creative director Dennis Chan and his talented team.
The painstaking work saw five workshops involved before the current skilled craftsman achieved the right proportion and brilliance: the current diamond polisher took three years before finally getting the finish that he wanted last year.
At an event in Beijing’s World Financial Center, the luxury brand formally revealed the gem alongside another “gem” – of the entertainment world – the up-and-coming mainland Chinese actress Guli Nazha, as its brand ambassador.
The event also marked the opening of Qeelin’s new store.
Born in Xinjiang to a Uygur family, the Beijing Film Academy graduate is famous for her natural beauty and Eurasian features.
She came to the attention of the entertainment industry at the age of 16, when she participated in a modelling contest and won the “Most Photogenic” award.
Nazha made her acting debut in the television series Xuan-Yuan Sword: Scar of Sky in 2012, and has since had roles in films such as God of War Zhao Yun (2016) and Dynasty Warriors (2018).
She is also a highly recognisable face in TV shows and has also appeared in a music video with the Taiwanese mega popstar Jay Chou.
Nazha has also been invited to be the “face” of top fashion brands and become an influencer in the fashion world.
Qeelin is the first international high jewellery house to team up with the actress – a move revealed alongside the equally exotic Wulu diamond.
Wulu, inspired by the hulu, the Chinese name of the bottle gourd, was the design that launched Qeelin back in 2004.
However, the Wulu diamond is a breakthrough – as the hardest natural gemstone has been carved into a shape never before achieved with such precision.
Believed to originate from Africa, the hulu has had a history of global travel, having made its journey to Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Most recognisable by its “8” shape, it became adopted into the local culture everywhere it went.
Other than being used as food, it can also be dried and used as a utensil or musical instrument.
In China, the hulu is an ancient symbol of health.
In bygone days, herbalists carried their goods inside a bottle made from a hulu for its fabled healing properties.
They believed that the melon had the ability to absorb the negative, earth-based qi (or energy) that would otherwise affect health.
That tradition has inspired the saying, “What is the medicine sold from the hulu?”, which is used to describe a mystery yet to be unearthed.
Aptly, this week's Beijing event was the proverbial big reveal.
Priced according to the size and weight of the individual centre stone, each of the 18-carat white-gold necklaces features a GIA-certified D, E or F-colour Wulu cut diamond of at least one carat, inscribed with “Wulu diamond” for authenticity.
Chan said that his team had worked through a lot of diamonds to finally achieve the right cut.
He said it had been a dream come true for him as Wulu had an important place in Qeelin’s history, being the first design that marked the birth of the brand 14 years ago.
Because of its history with ancient Chinese medicine, Wulu symbolises protection and safety, and its shape also suggests the sense of permanence which, according to Chan, echoes diamonds’ status as the symbol of eternity.
He said he hoped the new collection would become the gift of choice for conveying “everlasting love”.
“The diamond had to be shaped to look like a Wulu and yet be correctly cut for optimum reflection,” Chan said.
“Each facet demands the closest detailed attention to produce the full desired effect.”
The new collection has cemented Qeelin’s status as the epitome of international luxury with Chinese roots.
Qeelin is named after the qilin, a mythical hooved chimerical creature known in China as representing prosperity.