updated 21 Oct 2011, 04:30
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Tue, Aug 10, 2010
The Business Times
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Designer celebrates same birthday as nation with jewellery

ON July 10 - her birthday - jewellery designer Chua Gek Noi was on her way to the airport with her family when a banner declaring 'Happy 45th Birthday Singapore' caught her eye along the East Coast Parkway.

'I'm always reminded of my age because the government starts putting up National Day banners about a month before, around my birthday,' says the just-turned 45-year-old who was on her way to Bali to celebrate.

It was also that banner that gave her the idea for the one-off piece of jewellery that she has designed exclusively for BT, and which also reflects her own feelings for Singapore.

The first step for the co-founder of jewellery label Loang and Noi was to fashion the number '45' in gold and decorated with red rubies 'because it's both our ages and because red is the colour of our national flag'.

As '4' and '5' equal nine, she noticed how the '9' looks like a wing when drawn, which is how she added a pair of wings to represent a soaring nation.

'Nine reminds me of 'chang chang jiu jiu' which means 'longevity' in Mandarin so this symbolises my well wishes for Singapore,' says Chua. In the photo, Chua and husband/partner Foo Kia Loang pose against a backdrop that mimics the curved lines of a pair of wings. 'With these wings, I hope that Singapore will continue to soar as a country and in turn, our business as well,' she smiles.

The accompanying crystals signify a 'clean nation that is safe to do business in' - the bottom is detachable and reversible with one side boasting five diamond stars and the other a diamond moon, like the national flag.

A crown on top completes the design, and was influenced by the shape of the trees that she drove past on the ECP on the day she got her first inspiration for her design.

So, yes, you can say that this 'piece was created on my own 45th birthday, to celebrate Singapore's 45th year as well,' she concludes.


This article was first published in The Business Times.

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