Trollbeads 2009 Limited Edition China Collection

In 2009, Trollbeads released 10 silver and 10 jade beads by six Chinese designers to represent what they viewed as the significant representations of Chinese culture and history.  Most collectors would agree that the resulting silvers are some of the best charms ever produced by Trollbeads.  The silvers are incredibly detailed and quite substantial compared to similar beads produced recently.  Sadly, the jades have not held up to the test of time; I’ve heard that since these were dyed, the colors have faded off some of the stones.  These beads were released for a limited amount of time in 2009, and unfortunately, if you haven’t been collecting for that long, they have appreciated quite well in value with some of the rarer ones selling for $100-150 and the less popular ones for $50-75.

The UK also saw the release of a limited edition China bracelet which had all 20 beads and in addition a numbered silver scroll, wooden box, and certificate of authenticity.  Only 500 of these bracelets were released and they were sold for £648, which seems like a steal when you compare that to today’s going prices.  No special lock for this limited edition set, it included the lace lock and a 17 cm bracelet.

This set called out to me because of its theme, but I was hesitant to try and find so many retired and popular charms.  Once I started though, I was able to find all the beads within a few months – the harder part was waiting to buy at a good price, though I did luck into some great buys.  I stuck with the silvers and I am so enthralled with these charms!  For some of the silvers, the details are hard to see so I’ve taken pictures from all angles.  It’s difficult to pick a favorite, but I would have to say the Great Wall, Eternity, Birds and Flowers, and Clouds and Flower – they are absolutely exquisite.

Earlier this year, Trollbeads released another limited edition collection titled Chinese Hidden Zodiacs.  These beads were also spherical in design, but much smaller being only a portion of the size of the LE China silvers.  What they lose in size, they lose in detail as well and I have a real hard time distinguishing the design on these.  It’s important to note that there is also a dragon & phoenix bead from the World Tour Hong Kong, but that one is also smaller than the LE China dragon & phoenix, so don’t be fooled.

In conclusion, I’m so thrilled to have these charms in my possession.  These beads have a surprising amount of heft and their beauty in representing my heritage makes this a very personal collection to me.  I had a hard time deciding which glass beads to pair with this set that would appropriately showcase the China silvers, but I settled on yellow/gold and a touch of red.  Yellow and gold were the Imperial colors and only worn by emperors of old, and red has always been a lucky color for the Chinese, so I couldn’t think of anything more fitting!

Bead index (starting from left): chess lock, unique red/yellow clovers, unique yellow longevity, LE China pig, chick & badger (retired), orange steel (retired), LE China birds & flowers (retired), unique two-tone red dillo, LE China great wall (retired), unique yellow python, LE China eternity (retired), unique yellow ohm, LE China white snake (retired), unique red longevity, unique yellow swag, LE China dragon (retired), unique yellow fern, LE China clouds & flower (retired), unique yellow longevity, LE China rabbit, bird & deer (retired), scarlet armadillo, LE China silkworm (retired), unique yellow ornament, LE China dragon & phoenix (retired), unique brown scales, unique red/yellow dice.

  • Michelle

    stunning! lucky lucky girl! I’ve only really looked @ since first finding your blog and so hooked. now to decide what beads to buy first !

    • Leann

      Too many to choose from ;).

  • Endangered Trolls

    Love, *love* these beads. I think my favourite is the Dragon & the Phoenix. Second to that probably the Silk Worm.. he always makes me think of the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. (Laugh away, I won’t be offended ;))

    It’s a real shame that the 2012 Chinese Hidden Zodiac release didn’t quite live up to these. That said, I do still like the newer version – the details are there but they’ve been crammed onto such small beads that they’re difficult to decipher 🙁

    On that note.. I need to finish my Chinese Hidden Zodiac set.. /sigh 🙂

    • Leann

      I honestly didn’t think I would end up collecting all 10. I got the one I really wanted (flowers & cloud) and then the itch began! I’m so happy with them though; honestly one of TB’s best collections! The LE Zodiacs are kind of a letdown, I can hardly see any details with the naked eye. I honestly like the new zodiacs from the fall collection better (even though I know you’re not a fan! LOL).

  • Ashley

    Wow Leann! The way you put your bracelet together with all ten of the charms is just beautiful, love the gold/yellow/red combinations of colors…..cannot think of better colors to represent China! It really does set off all ten charms perfectly!!

    Just curious…but do you, personally, have more TB bracelets or Pandora bracelets? 🙂

    • Leann

      Thanks, Ashley! I am really proud of this collection ;). Honestly, I think Pandora is still edging ahead as I’ve been collecting for 18 months and Trollbeads only 6 months (:O), but they’re getting close!

  • Angela

    This is a very happy bracelet, I like the red yellow combo and the silvers are spectacular. Lord knows I need to focus, finish a couple collections before I start salivating over another… feeling like a kid in a candy store , want to have them all.

    • Leann

      I want them all as well! 🙁 I wish my wallet would cooperate, lol.

  • rainey

    Lucky you to have acquired all 10 of the silver beads. I’ve only been able to pick up 5 of them — a couple at retail, the others between $80-$90 each. I see the occasional one I’m missing but I haven’t seen prices below $100 in a long time and that’s too rich for my blood.

    One of the great things about them is that even one or a few do great things to a bracelet. So if I never get the remaining 5 I’ll still consider myself lucky.

    I quite agree about the jades. The fact that they are dyed put me off right off the bat. The colors are unnatural and it seemed pretty clear they wouldn’t last. Meanwhile, the intense colors competed too much with the silver charm for my way of thinking so even tho I understand the collectors who snap up the full bracelet as often as they come up for sale it really isn’t something I pine for.

    PS Dragon & Phoenix is one I’m still looking for so I appreciate your warning about the difference between the ’09 LE one and the Hong Kong edition. Thanks!

    • Endangered Trolls

      I was lucky and got all of mine at original RRP minus the White Snake (the store had split them and evidently the only one someone wanted was the White Snake!)

      I waited for a White Snake to show up at original RRP but it just didn’t 🙁 In the end I paid quite a chunk for one from Lili Jane (little over double the original RRP). It did sting at the time but I’m happy I now have him to complete my set.

      The Dragon & the Phoenix is quite popular I think but it’s also absolutely stunning. Definitely my favourite of this set.

      • Leann

        Wow! That’s wonderful. I wish I was lucky enough to have started when these were still in the store. But at least there’s enough that there’s still around and being sold ;).

    • Leann

      I lucked into a couple great deals, but did have to find the last 3 on eBay :/. They have appreciated quite handsomely since their release! Now that I have the set, I find it difficult to break them up, but you’re absolutely right. A few goes a long way on a bracelet.

      • Angela

        Did Troll have assigned product numbers for the silver charms? Also the new ones are they suppose to have identical design just smaller and less visible?Trying to figure how to I’D the original on eBay?

      • Leann

        The production beads do have product numbers but I rarely see the production used on the eBay auctions. I usually just search by their names – try “Trollbeads China” “Trollbeads LE China”. The names for the individual beads are listed in the picture towards the top of the post. 😀

  • RNKate

    Although I only started my love of Trollbeads earlier this year, as soon as I saw these in a blog somewhere, I knew they were my Trollbeads “Holy Grail”! Well, that and the old silver bead with Moonstones, but that one is a pipe-dream. At least these are still attainable!

    I was VERY lucky, and a friend on a Trollbeads forum sold me the whole set of silvers for $600! I didn’t think $60 per bead was a bad price, especially now! In my humble opinion, the craftsmanship of these silver beads is amazing, and far superior to the ’12 Zodiac set. The details worked in to the designs, and the stories they tell, are truly pure works of art.

    Then, on my journey while creating a very special braceet to commemorate my Husband’s service in the US Army, I found a jewelry store in Australia who, almost miraculously, had just been sent a few sets. The owner told me that he got a note with his last shipment that said they found a few sets at the warehouse, and figured he wouldn’t mind selling them. He was also gracious enough to not jack up the price of the sets, so I got them at RRP!

    The jades are just simple & gorgeous. The only thing is that you want to make sure that you see pictures of any of the jade beads of you are buying them aftermarket. The color intensity, and sometimes even the actual tone, can widely vary between them.

    The other thing that I love about these beads is how versatile they are! You won’t be stuck just pairing the jades & silvers over and over again!

    I LOVE these beads, and don’t regret a single dime that I paid for them! I know I’m super lucky to have found my complete set the way I did. I wish anyone else that is searching for a set, or trying to complete their set, the best of luck!

  • Beverly

    I apologize for adding to a two-year old post, but I am actively pursuing these! Can you tell me how many cm high the China Limited Editions beads are? I don’t want to buy any Hong Kong Tour versions by mistake, as I have never seen these beads in person. Thanks in advance.

    • Leann

      They’re very similar in size to the HK Auspicious but bigger than the Dragon & Phoenix.

      • Beverly

        Thank you, Leann. This will be my first collector’s quest. I’m so excited.

      • Leann

        Good luck! Let me know how it goes :).