Sleek design of a Ginkgo leaf in 18 karat gold, signed CUMMINGS by Angela Cummings for Tiffany, NY.
Not only the creator of this particular jewel found it to be a beautiful plant, Evolution also appreciated its design, as fossils closely related to the Ginkgo have been unearthed, dating as far back as 270 million years. Recognizable ancestors appeared in the early Jurassic. In later periods, the tree disappears from the fossil record, except for a small area in Central Asia. The Ginkgo is worshipped throughout the far East as a symbol of hope, love, magic, immutability, timelessness and a long life.
The Ginkgo biloba, also known as the maidenhair tree, owes its name to what is regarded as a misspelling of the Japanese term gin kyo: “silver apricot”, and a combination of the Latin words bis (two) and loba (lobed). This two-lobbed shape is usually found on leaves sprouting from longer shoots of the tree. This brooch by Angela Cummings could be identified as one of these, specifically the golden, autumnal variant.
The Ginkgo was adored by Goethe, who not only planted and nurtured several hundreds of its kind, but also dedicated a sonnet to its intricate splendour. The original version and a translation in multiple languages can be found on this page.
This leaf from a tree in the East,
Has been given to my garden.
It reveals a certain secret,
Which pleases me and thoughtful people.
Does it represent One living creature
Which has divided itself?
Or are these Two, which have decided,
That they should be as One?
To reply to such a Question,
I found the right answer:
Do you notice in my songs and verses
That I am One and Two?