Contemporary Sparkle Complements an Ancient Game

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Mah jongg jewelry by designer Sandra Davis shines in new book about the ancient Chinese game of strategy and its culture.

The concept is simple: Pair mah jongg tiles with crystals, silver and gemstones. The result is a fresh face for the staid look of traditional mah jongg jewelry and an exciting business concept for Detroiter Sandra Davis.

Now Davis is garnering more attention as Mah-Jongg: From Shanghai to Miami Beach (Chronicle Books, September 2005) features three of her mah jongg bracelets and notes that the “Esdee site is a good source for mah-jongg earrings, necklaces, pendants and some very pretty bracelets.”

Davis, the jewelry designer for Esdee Collections (, specializes in assorted earrings, bookmarks, necklaces and much more designed with bone tile beads carrying the same symbols as authentic mah jongg tiles.

“One of the co-authors is a customer,” says Davis. “She asked if she could borrow a few items for a photo shoot. At first I didn’t realize it was for her book but it is extraordinary to find that the only jewelry featured in it is Esdee jewelry.”

In the book by Christina Cavallaro and Anita Luu, three Esdee Collections bracelets are perched atop one another at the bottom of page 21.

“I have to say that it has been great for business,’’ says Davis. “I can’t make the jewelry fast enough and I believe the book and those three bracelets have a lot to do with that.”

A native of Tampa Florida, Davis has worked as a journalist in Florida, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Michigan and now works in public relations in Detroit. The rest of her time goes to running two jewelry businesses.

“I was playing Mah Jongg long before I knew what it was,” says Davis. “I went through a phase where I found computer games very relaxing and therapeutic, so I bought a program that featured these beautiful tiles with various symbols. Later, years later, I began designing jewelry and as I looked for unusual beads, I ran across tiles similar to the ones I had clicked on my computer game.

“Now, I’m hooked on the tiles but have little time to play the game. So holding the beads and drawing inspiration from their beauty is about as close I come these days to being a Mah Jongg maven. At least I can help other folks look good while they play!”


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