One of the most elegant forms of Peruvian jewelry includes the wings of the elusive blue morpho butterfly. Once the butterflies live out their natural lives, their beauty is preserved by locals who collect their wings. Artisans place the delicate, often iridescent wings in expertly crafted settings made with .950 sterling silver. The result are necklaces that tell a story of the Amazon’s wild beauty – handcrafted keepsakes that remind us of the many treasures nature provides. Butterfly wing jewelry is the perfect gift for a butterfly lover, or anyone who deserves a special present for a graduation, birthday, or “just because.” Each butterfly wing necklace comes with a sterling silver chain.
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Handcrafted Peruvian Jewelry stands out for several reasons. Each piece shows a particular artisan’s style, as well as Peruvian tradition. The materials are often native to Peru, making them exotic and unique. Huayruro seeds, for example, are natural seeds found in Peru’s Amazon. Butterfly wings from the Amazon are also placed in jewelry settings to create beautifully organic jewelry. Native stones and shells include sodalite, chrysocolla, spondylus, obsidian, and nacar. Each one ranges in hues, making every Peruvian bracelet, earrings, or necklace a special treasure for a woman with discerning taste. This Peruvian Nacar Bracelet is made with shells that are perfectly polished and meticulously set. Nacar is another word for mother of pearl, and this mother of pearl bracelet is a perfect gift for Mother’s Day.
When it comes to Seed Jewelry, Peru is a great place to start your search. Peruvians have found ways to use their natural resources like seeds to create very unique designs. My favorite kind of Peruvian jewelry is Huayruro Jewelry, which is made with tiny red and black seeds. The seeds are collected from the Amazon rainforest, where they have been admired by locals for centuries. They believe the seeds attract good luck and ward off negativity, and bring protection to those who keep them in their homes or wear them in jewelry. The vibrant red and sleek black seeds make gorgeous and Seed Necklaces and earrings, as well as bracelets. In Peruvian tradition, newborn babies are often given a Huayruro Seed bracelet as a good luck charm. An Huayruro Seed Necklace or bracelet makes a fantastic gift idea for the woman who has everything, or anyone who could use a little bit of extra luck and encouragement.
In Peru, there are longstanding handicraft traditions that inspire up and coming artisans. Even those that create modern designs often use a bit of the traditional motifs and materials that are so important in Peruvian culture. Bird and llama motifs, native Peruvian stones and shells, carved gourd and huayruro seeds are all common in Peruvian jewelry. The native stones like royal blue sodalite are found in both classic and modern pendants, bracelets and earrings. The deeper the hue, the more prized the sodalite is. Master silversmiths create perfectly fitting settings to accent the natural stones in their Peruvian necklaces, and women choose them not only for the color, but also for the metaphysical powers sodalite is said to possess. Many believe it is a calming and healing stone, and that it can open the channels of communication. For this reason, it is said to be a stone for writers and those who speak publicly. The necklace pictured here is an example of a classic Peruvian sodalite necklace design.
The finest sterling silver from Peru is .950, meaning it is 95% pure silver. The sterling silver we usually see is .925, meaning it has less silver content. The extra silver content in .950 sterling makes it especially eye catching, and more valuable as well. The Peruvian bracelets, earrings and necklaces made with .950 sterling silver are remarkable pieces of artisan jewelry. The sterling in this Sterling Silver Flower Bracelet is hammered by hand to give it a three dimensional look and extra shine. The flower design is complemented by a sturdy sterling heart clasp, and an elegant black suede cord. Pieces like this are our favorite finds in the marketplace, because they are special pieces of Peruvian Jewelry that display the talent of Peruvian artisans.
In Peru, Mother of Pearl is called Nacar. This lustrous white shell is often featured in artisan jewelry designs like this Mother of Pearl Silver Necklace. The shell is carved by hand to enhance its natural shine, and then attached to a .950 sterling silver finding. The chain itself is also handcrafted with woven sterling silver. Peruvian Jewelry designs often utilize the natural resources that are so abundant in Peru, and showcase the beauty of the country itself. Peruvian necklaces, bracelets and earrings feature stones and shells including Spondylus, Sodalite, Serpentine, and Obsidian.
This bracelet is a nice example of a sterling silver piece made by a Peruvian artisan. I can’t talk enough about how talented many of the artisans are, and how impressive their designs are, particularly when you see them in person. The silver flower on this Peruvian bracelet is hammered to give it texture and shine, and it is placed on a soft black cord that not only adds elegance, but also makes it a very comfortable piece of jewelry to wear everyday. The most impressive Peruvian jewelry designs are made with .950 sterling silver, like this Sterling Silver Flower Bracelet. The unusually high silver content makes them especially beautiful and gives them a lustrous quality that lasts forever with minimal polishing and maintenance.
On our most recent trip to (we’ll be back and forth a lot in the next couple of months) we spent a lot of time in the artisan markets. The array of handmade goods is always amazing, and just when you think you’ve seen it all, there is another booth with a different variety of creative designs. As always, my favorite areas of the market are the ones that feature sterling silver Peruvian jewelry. When I first started thinking of ways to bring this jewelry to women in the US, I spent hundreds of hours looking at the work of different artisans, and finding the best quality and most interesting designs. The work I put in then is what allows me to easily find the best designs, but I’m also always open to working with new artisans who are using their creativity to make unique Peruvian earrings, bracelets and necklaces. My favorite designs are often the ones that are distinctly Peruvian but still made with a sense of universal style that anyone would appreciate. These Huayruro seed earrings made it into the collection because the paring of native seeds and elegant sterling silver beads creates a modern look that still maintains a sense of Peruvian culture.