When I was a young girl, unlike my daughter, I did not like to wear jewelry, or in other words, I didn't have jewelry to wear. I became more particularly interested only in silver jewelry as I grew up. I have since then started to wear some interesting pieces, and yet, jewelry become part of my personality. My interest on each piece of jewelry includes story, art, beauty, culture, and civilization.
NOTE: Interestingly, my name in Thai is "จารุณี" or "JARUNEE" (English, Jaa-ru-nee). The name "จารุณี" is a combination of two words: "จารุ" (meaning: ทองคำ, gold) and "มณี" (meaning: แก้ว, gem) -- making จารุณี = ทองคำในเรือนแก้ว, meaning "gold in a gem house," my father claimed.
Siamese Sterling Silver Jewelry
Siam, changed the name to “Thailand” in 1939, has a long tradition of fine metal and silver works. The silversmith of Siamese and/or Thai jewelry is special and appealing. Siamese silver jewelry found today in the collectable market is mostly “niello” or “nielloware” style, created by carving out areas of the silver and baking a sulfur/metals powder in the carved out areas. The design often displays Mekkala, the Goddess of Lightning, and represents the Thai version of Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit epic from a Hindu religious tale, which had a profound impact on art and culture of Thailand. This design with a contrast of colors between the black field and highlighted silver is usually a typical, unique, distinctive look of Siamese silver jewelry, as is shown in most pieces.
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TURQUOISE & Native American Jewelry
The relationship between stones and human culture is, like all relationships in nature, mysterious and impenetrable. Yet, jewelry always has a special place and meaning in the Native American cultures, reflecting a natural bond and special relationship between people and nature. Turquoise is synonymous with the landscape and people of the Southwest. Turquoise is worn by every native of the Southwest as a sign of relative wealth. Turquoise was cherished above all else in creation -- turquoise, stone of sky, stone of water, stone of blessings, good fortune, and long life in the parched infinity of mountains, red rock, and sand.
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Some of my favorite designers include: JOHN HARDY, JUDITH RIPKA, SLANE & SLANE, BARAKA, SALAVETTI, MENEGATTI, and etc. Many have stories to tell, especially with each collection.
Noppakao, 9-Gem, Thai Princess Ring
The nine gems, usually consisting of diamond, ruby, emerald, yellow sapphire, garnet, onyx, moonstone, zirconand tiger's eye, have been considered as auspicious gems appropriate for the decoration of the King who is bestowed with august power and whose benevolence is limitless.
The “nine-gems” (Nop-pa-kao in Thai), or more commonly known as the “Thai Princess” rings have been part of Thai jewelry tradition since the long history of Thailand. It has become more popular especially to the western world since the 1940’s. The older pieces were made of gold. The traditional nine-gem, Thai Princess ring usually features eight pear-shaped gemstones (ruby, emerald, yellow sapphire, garnet, onyx, moonstone, zircon and tiger's eye) and nineteen round-cut white sapphires or diamonds (which have later been replaced with different kinds of gemstones). These genuine gemstones are set on a fancy princess setting, which makes the ring unique and truly stunning. In the old days, all pieces were made by hand. However, in the modern days where there is a rise in cost of labors and more advance technology, there seems to be less concern in silversmith since there are more demands. Not surprisingly, Thai Princess rings have become more collectable and hard-to-find pieces. This "Princess" design is also found in antique gemstone rings.