Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

hi friends

recently I bought this bracelet. Seems Tekke / Turkmenistan, but I never saw them with blue stones. And, the stone doesn't really look like a stone, silvercolor shines through it. 

Anyone any idea about this bracelet? Where it is from, what the blue can be, age,.... I'm a bit clueless!

Thanks all!

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Comment by Joost Daalder on November 22, 2016 at 11:01

Very informative comment, Jamey! I must admit that I had not yet across blue stones (lapis lazuli or any other) on Afghan bracelets. (Of course Turkoman jewellery does feature the odd turquoise, usually to frighten off the "evil eye".) But lapis ... Admittedly, it does look good!

Comment by Anne Marie Eleveld on December 18, 2015 at 21:30

hello Jamey

very helpful! thanks a lot for your information. I already thought it was strange to have blue stones!

have a good weekend

Anne Marie

Comment by Jamey D. Allen on December 18, 2015 at 21:07

This is an Afghan bracelet, of a type that is normally set with flat oval carnelian stones (or occasionally red glass imitations).  The stones are lapis lazuli--which is native to Afghanistan (and Pakistan),  To make a generalization, Afghans do not wear lapis.  They more often like red stones (carnelian) and to a much lesser degree, sky-blue stones (turquoise).  They also like charmaksud--the State Stone of Afghanistan.  (See this link for a dialogue: http://beadcollector.net/cgi-bin/anyboard.cgi?fvp=/openforum/&c... )  It has only been over the previous about-30 years that Afghan smiths have begun to place lapis stones into traditional jewelry.  This ranges from fast-job commercial beads and elements, to high-end jewelry--and essentially began when two friends of mine hired Afghans to upgrade Kuchi necklaces, by replacing the glass (or missing) "stones" with lapis.  Since that time, this has become so popular as EXPORT JEWELRY, that many people (mistakenly) believe that Afghans 'traditionally wear lapis'--which is not the case at all.  In antiquity, Central Asians wore lapis.  But in modern times it has much-more been a mineral for export.  China and Europe have been the greatest users of lapis.  So, when you see an Afghan piece set with lapis, it has more-or-less been made for export.

I hope this is helpful.  Jamey

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