We have been around since 1992, but the concept of finery in African artifacts and fantastic jewelry was fostered long ago. We were witness to vestiges of ceremonial outings, where the indigenes, both males and females, would put on dazzling shows just by dressing in their finest attires - clothing (they had names for each different kind -omu-aro, adire, kente cloth, Akwete,etc), fantastic jewelry, emblematic walking staffs, slippers and umbrellas. For instance, it was quite an awesome site, and still is, to witness a funeral procession of an elder in Accra, Ghana.
Elders (some of the men over six feet tall) would drape themselves in traditional Kente (royal) cloth, adorn themselves with ancient or ancient themed jewelry, and ceremonially hold huge festive umbrellas. It was quite something to see!! It still is!!!
And so it was not accidental that in 1992 when we opened our doors in the West Village in New York City, that we insisted and showcased nothing but the finest in African artworks, including fantastic jewelry. We can still hear our customers' first responses about the jewelry. "Oh, it is too big, oh it is not finished right - no clasps, oh, it is too colorful", oh, oh, oh....
But, we never gave in nor let up! And pretty soon the superstars, designers and a few politicians (!) noticed us, and the rest is history! Once they started wearing our jewelry, it seems the world took notice and has itself not let up!! African jewelry to our delight and trendsetting ways, is now worn everywhere.
Read more - scroll at the way down.
So, let us bejewel you and yours. Whether you are looking for the traditional, fashion-trendsetting, classical, timeless, opulent and oh my, unbelievable, look no further. It is all in here. You always find it here first!
We now also carry African influenced jewelry.
Enjoy. And don't forget to SHARE with friends and family!
Our Fantabulous Finds...
The Tuareg people used to dominate the Sahara Desert, but have settled in many parts of Western and northern Africa. Their jewelry which were handed down through generations, were made to reflect their families, "clans" or trade practiced.
Their beautiful and timeless jewelry is now known and sought after the world over. Many museums across the world have their jewelry on display. There are always some magic and relevancy attached, as the different styles and shapes tell stories. Unfortunately, because of their oral history base, we are beginning to loose some of those stories and their meanings!
But the jewelry remain timeless!! They are part of the African jewelry genre considered treasures. We bring them all to you. Everyone should own a Tuareg piece or pieces! Start a collection today!!!
Uniquely Beautiful Necklaces
Additional Fantastic Jewelry!
The necklaces below fall into the category of " wow, you see the most amazing things here"! All the jewelry except for one were designer made, using vintage bronze cast beads, amber, coral, inlaid woods, West African and other trade beads. This designer understood the cultural aspects of African jewelry.
The one remaining piece was what we believe was a rare piece from Morocco.
Using traditional ropes of raffia, jigida or leather
-vintage materials traditionally accepted for roping vintage African jewelry pieces - the designer hand crafted unbelievably beautiful and rare pieces.These are pieces that the Igbos of Nigeria would refer to as AKU (treasures!). They are one of a kinds and as well as being amazing, were considered power pieces!!
They should make for memorable gifts to self or to those you care for. They can also be framed and hung, perhaps in your private library or museum!!!
For any of the below necklaces,
please call for prices by numbers.
A wonderful piece of "bountified" elements of vintage Igbo hand cast bells, amber pieces, traditional West African beads including vintage wood, trade beads and gigida. We keep returning to that word, "bountified" because it more reflects the indigenous idea of wealth, knowledge and/or power that jewelry like these portray. The wearer thereby exudes authority, and in so doing tacitly demands the respect that comes with such.
Others may wear to attract same - wealth, knowledge and/ or power or even a partner. Don't all roads lead to those?
The fact that it is also so beautiful makes those on the sidelines green with envy!
Another wealth themed necklace of bounteous agates, old hand cast Igbo bells, glass and other beads and jigida. Gorgeous, eh?
Why so many wealth themed necklaces?
Because we offer you themes that we believe are important to Africans. As explained somewhere on these pages, these kinds of jewelry were seen as treasures (Aku - Igbo language)! Now, treasures should not be characterless, should they?
In addition to the explained wealth, knowledge and/or power themes, these kinds of jewelry also denote well being, as well as, of a good lineage. These again in turn offer one the opportunity to marry well - both ways. (Sorry. There are no direct translations!).
All these and gorgeous too!
Vintage Moroccan necklace strung with what we believe is a copal line. Clasp is missing. We can restring with a more current trade line and re -clasp, if you so desire. This necklace looks fit for a king or queen! Are you the royalty it is waiting for?
Maasai Necklace - Pl. see model above and here!
A most stunning piece! Could double as a necklace and/or a scarf
Can you imagine you stepping out with this, and of course, bedazzling everyone!! You could be the center of attention and rightfully so !!! A great conversational piece.
Multi-tiered necklace constructed of vintage Igbo royal bronze center piece, rare West African and wood beads, native brass beads and jigida, for a most desirable piece.
This is one of those pieces that is ready for and make any occasion. Be prepared, your sister or best friend may want to borrow and perhaps never return to you!
This amber and in laid copper makes a royal appearance and who better than you are that royalty? Why should anybody else have it? Wear and send us a picture!
You can also frame and hang, if that is your preference!
Amber, y amber, y cast bronze,y, y, y....!
Another incredible designer made of vintage Ghanaian center piece, amber y amber with their individually hand cast bronze tops, vintage iron red and other woods, vintage bronze beads and jigida. We are astonished to still be able to find fine jewelry such as this!
Another stunning ensemble of vintage stones and trade beads....
Stunning assortment of nkalari, royal Igbo bronze cast bead, amber piece, rare trade beads- including what appears to be vintage Italian beads- brass cuts, jigida and various other vintage West African beads. The choice of materials for this fascinating piece is amazing! A most wonderful piece!!
Highly priced ankalari makes a come back visit!
In the olden days, ankalari beads of the Igbos were very highly priced, and like many vintage beads of same category, ankalari only featured in ceremonial or royal wear, or the wear of recognized dignitaries.
These days, we can't wait to wear (see model on the Textiles, Furniture and Vessels, page)!
Handsomely constructed by this visionary designer, with a vintage rare Igbo center piece that seems to give it a stylish and floating appearance, and assembled with a multitude of Nkalari and other beads, this is a one of a kind timeless piece to have or present to a loved one or be seen in your library or museum!!
A most amazing Ghanaian Stool Necklace!
Oral history places the golden Ghanaian stool in the seat of power of the Ashanti people. In present day Ghana, the image of the golden stool still conjures up great emotional feelings of pride and power.
A wonderful piece of a bronze/brass cast center piece, that not only looks gorgeous but also contains ethnographic messages -a story on a piece of jewelry, not on a tablet!! By association, the piece may conjure up same feelings of pride and power in the wearer!!
Grand Ghanaian Necklace. (pl. see model above).
Vintage ethnographic signs and symbols tell the story of this piece. Vintage bronze cast pieces, wood and other beads, and jigida told the social story relevant to the people. Cultural discourse on jewelry - not on a tablet!
A unique, powerful looking piece that is sure to fascinate and perhaps inform!
A most royal Bronze, Amber and Wood Necklace
This unbelievable one of a kind piece was constructed of a rare old carved amber piece, wood (that appears fossilized), various vintage beads, jigida, and a most commanding vintage West African royal bronze cast center piece.
Perhaps you would like this in your personal library or museum and to occasionally wear to showcase?
This powerfully gentle (yes, gentility could go with power!) one of a kind piece of a cast (cast through the lost wax method) Ghanaian bronze mask, Igbo royal bronze cast beads, brass beads, wood and other natural elements, and jigida, would have been of great pride and joy to an old African - his/her very own mask, the one and only- to carry around in a jewelry form, and be admired by all! Even to a current day West and Central African indigenous person, to own a piece such as this one would be as Visa advertises, priceless! It would be his/her AKU (treasure, Igbo language)!
Our necklaces are timeless, legendary, fashionable, authentic, luxurious, trend setting, one-of-a-kinds and gorgeous! They are the ultimate in jewelry elegance!! As we stated elsewhere, these are the kind of pieces that helped start the current international African jewelry craze. As you may know certain fine jewelry (trade beads) used to be currency for Africans. We are able to bring you an amazing assortment in that tradition (and of course like nobody else can!) because we know Africa and her many "tribal" and ethnic adornments. We also know what you like!! Shop every day, for each is a true collectible - one for them and two for you!!! Have wonderful fun shopping!! And please come shop again!!!
We welcome inquiries from upscale Department stores that wish to establish an authentic and fantastic African jewelry section or add same to an existing jewelry department.
Be cautioned that age cracks, bends, nature trappings, color and other variations may occur. Africa's materials are natural and these perceived "imperfections"may add to the jewelry's beauty and authenticity. Please read the Terms and Conditions of Sale page for more details. At any rate, examine the product carefully and purchase only what is acceptable to you.
Necklaces in photos (upper left and right)
by Ashione Gallery
featured in the French magazine Numero