Rings! Is there a culture in the world that does not decorate its fingers? I can’t think of one off-hand, but can think of many who even go all out on the toes! These digets just ask for adornment. Think about how much rings have meant in your own history…. Perhaps a wedding band? Engagement? Birth stone? College ring? There is plenty of symbolism going around even in today’s modern times. Whatever the case, there are those of us who love wearing a wild ring, one with a substantial stone or lots of detail work… Those people will love rings from Central Asia!
We finally have a bunch of rings photographed and listed in our Etsy shop. Most are old, from the 1950’s-1970’s, and show signs of wear. They might have nicks and scratches and even some dents. But, they are all handmade, worked in silver with torch and hammer. Designs are soldered, stamped, carved, and shaped by hand.
A customer recently sent in an image of a similar chunky ring from Afghanistan selling for about $20 on eBay. Ours are between $80-$180. “Why the price difference?” he asked. Well, it all depends on how much something cost to the buyer at the start. Then, age, handwork, silver content, rarity and other such qualities are taken into consideration. If an American jewelry artist were charging for the workmanship and materials, similar pieces would be in the hundreds of dollars! So, it’s all a matter of perspective and of provenance.
Click on the large image to move the slideshow forward.
Are the rings for men or women? Nowadays people wear whatever they like to wear. But, in the cultural context of wear these rings come from, most were probably worn by men. Some even served functional purposes. If they have a carving in the stone, they could have been used as seals. Central Asian women have many more options for jewelry than do the men. They have earrings, hair ornaments, clothing clasps and pins, anklets, bangles, cuffs, necklaces, toe rings and things I wouldn’t know how to pronounce or describe. As a part of their dowry, jewelry is an important part of financial insurance for a woman. If something catastrophic happens, her jewelry might help her find security. Men, on the other hand, wear mostly rings, if anything at all.
Enjoy our offerings! You can check out what rings we have available on Etsy by clicking here. You may also request a specific size or stone, but it may take weeks for me to get it for you. We do keep an ongoing folder of customer requests.
What about you? Do you have a favorite ring story that you could share with us? We’d love to hear it!