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Trends and Fashion

Behind the Design: Maura Green’s New Yin Yang Pendants

The Yin Yang symbol represents the Chinese concept that everything is made up of opposite, but interconnected, forces. It’s a salient motif for these tumultuous times, and one that jewelry designer Maura Green loves so much, she made the centerpiece of her latest collection.

 Green, who was just announced as a recipient of the Women’s Jewelry Association’s Jewelry Loupe mentorship program, says the symbol speaks to her because, “The idea that there is a duality in all of us—and in all things—which is necessary to achieve balance and harmony makes a lot of sense to me.”

 The New York City-based designer first dabbled in jewelry making at the age of 15 at Camp Nokomis, an all girls summer camp on Lake Winnpesaukee. She spent her remaining high school summers and weekends apprenticing with Deborah Dubois, a metalsmith at Glen Echo Park, an arts center outside her hometown of Washington D.C.

Top, above, and below: Maura Green hand-carved Yin Yang pendants, $925

 The $925 Yin Yang pendants—hand carved by a master artisan from white mother of pearl, black pinna shell, and abalone—are set in 14k yellow gold. The back of each one-inch-wide pendant bears a 14k gold evil eye, a universal symbol of protection.

Each pendant also incorporates a second symbol, and Green says “The decision to incorporate other symbols was partially aesthetic,” adding, “I wanted to make Yin Yang jewelry in a more intricate and interesting way than I’ve seen out in the world. I’m into details.”

The back side of each pendant features a gold evil eye

She adds, “All of the designs have a light and dark element. One piece plays on night (yin) and day (yang), where I combined white and gold mother of pearl to create a bright, sunny sky; and then black mother of pearl and pinna shell to create a dark moon sky. Another design uses flowers on one side, and skulls on the other for the cycle of life and death, or growth and decay. There’s also a design that depicts a caterpillar on one side, and a butterfly on the other, which represents both grounded-ness and flight.”

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