The simple form of an egg is the perfect shape for a jewel and one that the Greek jewellery house Lalaounis has been using for over five decades for its special Easter pendants and charms. After so many years, the Lalaounis house, has perfected the egg jewel and has a wide range of options that vary from simple gold forms to vibrant hard stone, gold and gemstone combinations. These charming little jewels have a faithful legion of collectors who each year add a new version to their necklace or bracelets or simply wear them on a chain as an everyday pendant.
The egg has long been associated with Greece and in particular during the Orthodox Christian Easter. As a symbol of rebirth, it comes into its own during these Spring celebrations so beloved in every Greek town and village where the churches are decorated with flowers and colourful holy processions take place. As well as the gold egg jewels, each year the house of Lalaounis creates gold-plated bronze decorations (below) in the form of eggs to add to the ‘lambada’ candles given by godparents to their godchildren to light at mass on the Saturday before Easter Sunday. Beyond the Easter celebrations, these can also be worn as pendants.
The egg is also central to firm's identity and the emblem of the house is in fact an egg with a stylised version of the founder’s initials. Demetra Lalaounis Auersperg, co-CEO and director of International Business, explains: ‘The egg shape is emotionally very important to us. Our father loved the simplicity and perfection of this shape that has no beginning and no end and is a symbol of rebirth and purity. As a man who valued his country’s culture and tradition, the egg held a special significance and he started the tradition of creating new egg charms every year. Some women have acquired so many that they have several charm bracelets to accommodate them all.’
Each year a theme is chosen that kicks off with the New Year good luck charms and continues into the egg jewels. This year the topic is coral, historically valued for both its beauty as well as its healing and protective powers . What's more, with these jewels the Lalaounis firm supports the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservationin protecting the biodiversity of the north east Mediterranean by donating a percent of their profits.
Two new eggs are presented this year featuring the coral branch motif. One is a flat egg-shape gold disc (above) with a cut-out of a coral. The other is luminous red carnelian egg decorated with a coral shape in gold. They sit alongside eggs from previous years with crosses, butterflies or flowers as well designs that replicate motifs and heritage gold-working techniques that the house is well-known for. These include the beautifully minimalist new hammered gold egg (below), a skill that the house is famous for as well as eggs in gold openwork incorporating the Nubia or Hercules Knot designs.
Colour is a key part of the eggs and you can choose from a wide range of tempting hues. Examples include a pastel green new jade egg with a gold band and a facetted gemstone, a dramatic dark green aventurine egg with swirls of gold (below) enveloping its form or the gentle pink of rose quartz adorned with delicate cross and butterfly symbols. The shimmering appeal of mother of pearl is captured in a series of eggs that have a contemporary appeal.
The eggs can be bought as they are or with a gold clip so that they can be worn on charm bracelets or necklaces. Now is the time to start your own Easter egg tradition that will bring you pleasure year after year and remind you of the joy of Spring.