Hand Crafted Jewelry: Resources Directory Guide




Middle Eastern Jewelry

Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian tombs of the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC have yielded a great quantity of headdresses, necklaces, earrings, and animal amulet figures in gold, silver, and gems. A well-known example is a royal diadem from Ur made in the shape of thin gold beech leaves (British Museum, London).Fine gold and silver jewelry was also made in ancient Anatolia, Persia, and Phoenicia. Techniques included granulation (in which surfaces are decorated with clusters of tiny grains of gold), filigree, inlaid gems, and cloisonné and champlevé enamel. Evidence of Egyptian influence on Phoenician work and of Mesopotamian styles on Persian work suggests widespread trade or other contact.

In Egypt and other North African countries, systems of verification of silver content and dating have been in place prior to the 20th Century. Sometimes, on the same piece one can find an Ottoman stamp and/or the stamps of one or more other countries, as well as the stamp of a particular workshop or craftsman. Despite the existence of multiple hallmarks and stamps, would seem to help clarify the issue of not only placing and object but also dating it. This might be true except for the fact that usually there is no readily available listing of such stamps and often-contradictory stamps coexist on the same item. At times an obviously Yemeni, Libyan, or Tunisian piece may have an Egyptian stamp, reflecting most likely either the time of its entry to the country or its validation at the time of sale in Egypt. It is often also unclear as to which direction individual pieces may have traveled in crossing borders.

Coins used in decoration may also be a consideration in dating a piece. Care must be taken however to assure that coins presented are original to the composition. Coins are often passed down through families as part of a dowry. They may have been removed from one piece and placed on a later piece. Coins, like jewelry, travel. Much Yemeni jewelry contains Indian coins; Jordanian pieces display Palestinian coins. The Maria Therese Thaler, the Saudi Riyal, the French Franc and various Egyptian coins are all important in the making of ethnic jewelry and can be found throughout the region, not only their country of origin. Many coins are not original but rather stamped imitations, sometimes modified to avoid the charge of counterfeiting.

Similar pieces with Palestinian coins are often reported as being from Tafila, a Jordanian town previously on the major crossroads between Hebron (Al-Khalil) and major Jordanian towns and cities.

Middle Eastern handmade jewelry can be placed on belly dancer outfits. Belly dancer outfits normally have thousands of beads and coins. When a belly dancer is dancing you can hear the sound of the beads and coins shaking together with the beat of the music.







Indian Handcrafted Jewelry

African Jewelry

Middle Eastern Jewelry

Spanish Jewelry

American Indian Jewelry