Why Bali Jewelry is Special And What You Can Tell Your Clients
The land, people and mystery of a small island in Indonesia
Bali, a small island in Indonesia, is widely known in the jewelry world as the home of the world’s best gold and silversmiths.
When viewing the art and design of a specific culture, one must consider the land the people reside on: its plants, animals, and natural surroundings; and the peoples’ customs and beliefs. All of these influence how people live, how they interpret the world, and how they bring forth their creations in the world. Learn about more cultural techniques when you download the bonus article [opt in].
Bali is a beautiful island with trees that are generous with their flowers, letting them fall gracefully to the ground for people to use in their mandala offerings to the Gods, and their altars.
Of course since Bali is an island, the climate is hot, and the ocean is a big part of life. The birds, monkeys, and sea animals are constantly visible to people, and the rice paddies are the livelihood and source of food for many.
Spirituality is an integral part of life in Bali. Altars for the Gods grace the corners of every home, and they are also present outside of homes and businesses to bring in good fortune. People make daily offerings and prayers to the Gods in these spaces with flowers and incense.
The women in Bali pray daily with offerings and flower mandalas. A mandala is a symbol of the universe. Within a mandala are patterns, repetition, and balance. Visitors can learn about such things through staying at a place like Five Elements Bali.
Creating a mandala focuses attention and establishes sacred space. Creating mandalas is also a way to walk the beauty way, leaving beauty wherever you go.
This is a big part of identity and culture which is reflected in the designs in the workmanship. Walking through the streets in Bali you will notice flower mandalas, beautiful flowering trees, offerings that the women make as prayers to the Gods, and beauty in every corner.
Each mandala offering is infused with prayer and intention to show gratitude for the new day.
Beauty is important to the Balinese. It is a gift to the Gods. This is why the workmanship is superb.
The workmanship and artistry of Bali is unique, detailed, and high quality. There are many artists and people who make handmade goods in Bali. They value the love and time that is invested in these pieces, the stories the art tells, and the tradition of the island people.
With a strong connection to their ancestors and karma, people have a belief that the talents and characteristics of the dead are passed on to the living within their families. They carry on the traditions from generations before.
There are so many choices and a wide variety of jewelry and styles found in Bali including modern and antique styles.
Traditionally, Balinese goldsmiths like to work with metal that has a high content of gold such as 22k gold because it is softer and more malleable for carving and chasing techniques (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/asia-south-east-asia-islands-peninsula/indonesia/some-tips-on-buying-jewelry-in-bali).
In tribal Balinese cultures gold has a spiritual significance because it is a gift from the heart of the earth. The Balinese have a special appreciation for nature, the abundant flowering trees on their island, the beautiful beaches and the sea, and the abundance from the earth including the gift of precious metals.
The Balinese people are master craftspeople: wood carving is a significant part of their culture, and this comes through in some of the detailed jewelry designs.
The antique style is very popular and have a lot of filigree and granulation which is the work of the island of Sulawesi, also located in Indonesia. Learn about more cultural techniques when you download the bonus article [opt in].
The Balinese jewelry specialties are very fine filigree work, granulation, and jawan. Filigree is a traditional craft of delicate metalwork using tiny beads and twisted threads of metal soldered together to create an image or design. It looks like lace and it is hard to believe that human hands can create such detailed patterns using precious metal.
Jawan is a technique using tiny spots of silver that create a decorative texture. These techniques developed instead of chiseling or engraving the metal. Granulation is another technique that looks like jawan but even smaller dots of metal. The surface of the jewelry is covered in granules of metal and this is an ancient technique.
With a strong appreciation for beauty, flowers, and nature, the Balinese love bright colors, however Indonesia is not a large supplier of precious stones, so many designs are purely metal. Instead their gold and silver is complemented by their bright clothing and textiles.
The jewelry designs have symmetrical designs that mimic nature and the sea. Popular imagery is flowers, sea creatures like turtles and sea stars, and mandalas.
The symmetry and perfection of nature is an aspect that is mimicked in many designs.
Silver Marquise Bali Earrings with Epoxy
These earrings feature a distinct combination of Balinese Jawan and filigree techniques in a modern style. The swirls of filigree look like the wind and the japan on the outsides are reminiscent of the symmetrical flower offerings throughout Bali. The epoxy in the middle is nice touch that mimics the blue sky of Bali.
Silver Flower Ring with Crystal
The flower ring has a beautiful japan detail you can see when you look closely at the dots in the design. This is the traditional Balinese workmanship we mentioned earlier, and this piece is a modern take on the enchanting Balinese heritage.
Silver Turtle Ear Studs with Cubic Zirconia
Sea turtles and sea life are a big part of life on an island. Sea turtles are sacred in many cultures, they are creatures that are thousands of years old from the prehistoric era, and the mothers travel back to the beach where they hatched in order to lay their eggs. What does this symbolism mean to you?
Silver Starfish Ear Studs with Cubic Zirconia
Another sea or ocean motif here, and these earrings are available with CZ or a black crystal stone.
Silver Teardrop Ear Studs with Cubic Zirconia
These earrings are in the shape of a drop of water, a precious resource in Bali, where the water system is not necessarily clean. Also they say there is only a 5 year supply of water remaining on the island, so when it rains it is a very good thing.
The rainy season in Bali takes place November through February, when it rains daily in the afternoon. The air feels full of water with the humidity and overcast clouds, and then the heat breaks when the downpour happens. Again, this is a big part of life in Bali which influences the jewelry designs like we discussed.
Silver Bali Round Ear Studs with Cubic Zirconia
These luxurious and exquisite sterling silver studs feature the traditional Balinese jawan technique using tiny spots of silver to create a decorative texture. This texture has a distinctly symmetrical design that reminds us of the offerings and wood engraving art in Bali.
Silver 15mm Vine Ear Hoops
These hoops incorporate the ancient and traditional Balinese filigree technique with artistry. Once again mimicking nature with the vine motif, these hoop earrings are popular in Bali.
Silver Oxidized Ring with Cubic Zirconia
The square pattern on this ring looks a lot like the wood carving that Balinese men work on. There are many small villages in Bali where wood carving is one of the main crafts, and you can see doors, chairs, wall hangings and all kinds of furniture that incorporates these intricate and masculine yet delicate designs.
Silver Bali Earrings
These sterling drop earrings have a tribal pattern with triangles and modern and simple style.
Silver Patterned Nose Clip
Our nose clips are meant for the septum, and have a lot of detail featuring the jawan technique. Septum piercing is prevalent among warrior cultures to create a fierce appearance.
The use of septum piercings is prevalent in Irian Jaya, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, also in the South Pacific (http://info.painfulpleasures.com/help-center/piercing-information/history-body-piercings).
Bali 30mm Silver Ear Hoops
Hoop earring styles are very popular in Bali and the simple yet intriguing and touchable filigree design in these silver hoops make them unique and distinctly Balinese. The rope-like geometric design is unique to this style and can be matched with any jewelry collection.
Whether you are dreaming of visiting Bali, have visited Bali, or just appreciate the art and culture of another land, this jewelry will be a beautiful and versatile addition to your jewelry box.
The designs can add elegance and accent to any outfit—the detailed earrings, necklaces, and rings can dress up jeans and a white t-shirt, or could fit perfectly with a dressed up outfit to make it trendy, like the Jewelry Insider might recommend with her modern take (@JewelryInsider). Each time you look at your piece, think of the intentions infused in this adornment and work of art: connection with nature, spirituality, and the appreciation for beauty.