For October we have added many new designs to the
site. My trip to Thailand was one of the best I've ever had. I found
Tribe Silver made into finished jewelry: something I'd never
seen before. I was also able to restock many items we had run out
of, as well as add several great new designs from various suppliers.
See below for
details on the Hill Tribe Silver, and check the site later this
month as we start to get our winter stock of jewelry and textiles
Opal or Tourmaline
With "the fire of the carbuncle, the brilliant purple of the amethyst
and the sea green color of the emerald, all shining together in incredible
union" opal clearly impressed Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), Roman historian
and author of the world's first encyclopedia. The Romans had been
wearing opals for centuries and considered them a symbol of hope or
purity, while for the early Greeks they embodied the powers of foresight
or prophecy. The more fancifully minded Arabs thought that opals must
have fallen from heaven in flashes of lightning thus achieving their
unique play of color or "opalescence".
As it is found in all spectrums of color, tourmaline is often described
as the "chameleon gemstone". It is not surprising to find a fine
tourmaline that mirrors the exact semblance of other gemstones,
such as emerald, ruby and sapphire. Some tourmaline crystals may
even appear as crystallized rainbows with several bands of color,
ranging from the most brilliant red to the deepest blue. Many refer
to tourmaline as the "muses' stone", for they are meant to provide
Hill Tribe Silver
years ago, the Hilltribe peoples migrated south from China into what
are now Burma, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. The six major tribes are
the Karen (Kariang, Yang), the Hmong (Meo), the Yao (Mien), the Akha
(Ekaw), the Lisu (Lisaw), and the Lahu (Mussur). The main profession
of all these tribes is farming, and all of them tend to migrate whenever
they feel that the soil at their present location is becoming depleted.
Each tribe is distinct, with its own culture, religion, language,
art, and dress.
undergoing rapid growth, it is unclear whether these tribes will
continue their traditional way of life, or whether they will be
absorbed by ever-encroaching Thai society.
The Karen prefer
to live in the foothills. Their bamboo houses are raised on stilts,
beneath which they keep domestic animals: pigs, chickens, and buffaloes.
Like all the Hill Tribes, they are skilled farmers who practice
crop rotation. They also hunt for wild game with spears and crossbows,
and use domesticated elephants to help clear the land.
are skilled in sewing and dyeing, and dress in white blouse-sarong
combinations with colorful patterns or beads for trim. They wear
their long hair tied back in a bun and covered with white scarves.
The Karen are gentle, peaceful, and cooperative people who reserve
their highest veneration for their ancestors and living elders.
Tribe Silver is handmade by the Karen Tribe. Each piece is crafted
by hand using techniques passed down from generation to generation.
The mix used has a higher silver content at 95% - 99% than "sterling
silver," which is 92.5%. More silver in the mix makes for a softer
metal that is easier to bend and shape into the wonderful designs
typical of Karen art.
the Karen observations of nature: bumblebees, dragonflies, stars
and flowers. In addition, abstract designs like spirals, weaves
and braids attach a spiritual significance when used. No two pieces
are exactly alike.
hammer marks are part of the allure of this artisan jewelry. Explaining
this to your customers will help them appreciate the work that goes
into each piece and make it all the more desirable. Purchases of
Hill Tribe Silver help to sustain an indigenous cultural handicraft
and provides the Karen people with a reliable source of income.
with a Story
When I make purchasing decisions, I generally look for something that
has meaning. Early on, I learned that what interested me most about
the goods I encountered in Asia was the story that lies behind almost
everything you see on our site.
A good example
of this is style R120, the Navratan
Ring. It's an interesting ring: lots of different colored stones,
a real conversation piece. The first one I bought was for myself,
but when people asked about it and I told them why I bought it,
they frequently wanted one for themselves.
is a traditional Vedic Astrology ring. The stones represent the
planets (Nav means "9" in Hindi, Ratan means "stone",
nine stones, nine planets...). The underside of the ring face is
left unfinished so that the stones touch the skin. This connection
between body and stone is believed to help balance one's energy.
Side note: the
Navratan is a two thousand year old jewelry design, but the ninth
planet, Pluto, wasn't "discovered" by the Western scientists
until the 1930's.
more trade shows than I can count, I have learned that price will
sell an item, quality will sell an item, beauty doesn't hurt, but
often the easiest and most engaging sale is made with a story. Because
of this I try to find items that have some unique history to them.
When you see our new Hill Tribe Silver, you will understand what
I am talking about. It is the sort of thing that when your customers
put it on and understand what it is, they will not only buy from
you this once but they will come back again to see what other stories
you have for sale.
of the Site
Arrivals section has all the latest goodies.
Tribe Silver: Handcrafted silver jewelry from the Karen Tribe
and Neckwire: New designs from Thailand, plus restocks.
Lots of new CLOSEOUTS!!!!
I'm very excited
about the new merchandise I brought back from Thailand. It's so
unique and interesting that I am sure it will be a big hit with
customers. Here's wishing you well this October!
Hand crafted Karen hill tribe silver ring in spiral flower
Simple, clean lightweight chain with unusual
links. Great for lightweight pendants. $3.50
off orders over $150
You may return any item for any reason.
We have a no-questions-asked policy. If you get something
you don't like, for any reason, just send it back!
All our silver jewelry is guaranteed sterling (at
least 92.5% silver), and whenever possible each piece is
stamped to indicate this. All our stones are genuine.
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