Vietnamese Jade Bangle


Having ancestral roots in Vietnam, the culture has consistently played a significant role in pinpointing the origins of my family. Following the fall of Saigon in 1975, my mother and her family immigrated to America, and settled in New Jersey. My grandmother, Linda, was accustomed to wearing jade bangles in Vietnam, as doing so was partaking in a tradition of Vietnamese culture. When my mom’s family moved to America, she brought along some pieces of jade jewelry, including the bangle shown. 
Jade jewelry in all forms have an extensive history, and according to the Cultural Heritage Association of Vietnam, the stone has been worn since 5000 B.C. Used in a variety of ways, jade was a resource for tools, weapons, and jewelry (ex. bangle). Jade pieces from the Nguyễn dynasty (1802-1945) have been found inscribed with the seal of kings, or with poetry which suggests that the jewelry has a connection with royalty, adding to the value and craftsmanship of these pieces.Traditionally, the bangles are worn on the left wrist for good luck. 
This specific jade bangle was given to my mom by my grandmother, who received the bracelet in Vietnam from my great-grandmother, who passed away before I was born. While my grandma has worn one since childhood, it is a traditional Vietnamese practice that both my mom and I don’t personally partake in. However, I appreciate the beauty and meaning behind timeless jade pieces, culturally rich in both history and design. 

Place(s): Vietnam, New Jersey
Year: 1975

– Rachel Sturm

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant