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Baubles and bling for golden mouse
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Jewelers are baiting the '08 "golden mousetrap" with high-priced baubles and bling. A pendant "Angel Baby" has a fat cherubic face and wears jeweled diapers.

As the Chinese Lunar New Year - the year of the "golden mouse" - draws near, wedding bands and auspicious jade ornaments are hot sellers.

The year 2008 is an ideal year for marriages and babies, partly because of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, partly because the numeral "8" or ba, is auspicious because it can be pronounced to mean "fortune" and "get rich."

Golden mice, of course, abound, as do bejeweled rodents.

Platinum Guild International has launched its 2008 bridal collection to take advantage of the Chinese zodiac. After years of promotion by the international organization in China, platinum pair-rings have become favorites for wedding couples. The "pure white, rare and exceptionally strong" qualities of platinum are marketed as messengers of commitment and eternal love.

The new collection features 10 pair-rings in plain platinum and seven in platinum set with diamonds. Some bands feature a tiny, hollowed heart shape to express the Chinese saying xin xin xiang yin, two hearts sealed together.

The "Love Infinity" rings of platinum and diamonds feature a circle within a square. According to traditional Chinese thinking, the heaven is round and the solid earth is square. When the two are combined, "eternity" is the result.

The "Predestination" rings feature simple, classical design of a circle with a small, shining diamond in the center. The symmetrical arcs on the surface of the "Love Rhyme" pair-rings form a pleasing contrast, as the matte and glossy finishes give off a subtle glimmer.

Top Hong Kong jeweler Chow Tai Fook's diamond ring collections are even more luxury status symbols, each of them bearing a "Forevermark."

Only diamonds over 0.30 carats qualify to be inscribed the mark. Provided by Diamond Trading Company, the "Forevermark" is comprised of a rhombus symbol and an identification number inscribed on the table facet of the diamonds, the mark being invisible to the naked eye. The mark is only one-20th of a micron deep (1/500 the thickness of a human hair).

A ring with a "Forevermark" diamond is not only forever, but also personalized, making it an appealing choice as a wedding ring.

Chow Tai Fook has brought to Shanghai more than 40 rings featuring these unique, personalized precious stones, including one giant stone of 10 carats priced at 1.58 million yuan (213,800 U.S. dollars). They are available at the company's counter at Shanghai Jiuguang City Plaza.

For those who are about to become mothers and fathers, a jade ornament would be an ideal first gift to their "golden mouse" baby. It is an ancient Chinese tradition to give jade accessories to newborns since jade represents the quality of dignity. It is also believed that wearing jade helps to improve health, counteract evil forces and ensure peace.

Hong Kong jade jewelry manufacturer Jade Link's "Angel Baby" pendant features a big-headed smiling baby wearing a jeweled diaper. The figure is made of top-quality light-colored jade and the nappies are made of either white gold and diamonds or white gold and other precious stones. The pendant is sold exclusively at Jade Link's counter at Jiuguang plaza.

(Shanghai Daily January 10, 2008)

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