Amber Jewelry in Kashgar

The first time a man we’ll call Abdul walked in off the streets of Kashgar, and showed off his Amber, we were admittedly ignorant. We could not tell that it was valuable. He told us that he sold it for thousands and thousands of RMB. What he didn’t sell in his shop, he sent via his contacts to the rest of China.

Most of the Amber he showed us was dark red and opaque. He wore it as a bracelet, thick and chunky dark red beads or they were strung as a long necklace, also thick and chunky. The Amber we were used to seeing was clear and had bubbles in it and leaned toward a honey yellow.

Abdul visits our cafe regularly and is addicted to our salt coffee. He brings in and shows off latest arrivals of very expensive amber. Most of it comes from Turkey and are very old. Since he knows that I like to make sterling silver jewelry, he has given me the beads to make some necklaces and earrings out of. When the jewelry sells, I’ll pay him for the beads. Often the amber he sells is opaque and red as that is what is more appreciated locally. I went to his shop and chose the only strand of honey-like Amber he had. When I finished making some of the jewelry, he said ‘next time I’ll give you red, it’ll be even more beautiful.’ It’s clear that the reason he had only one honey coloured Amber is because that is also his preference. The amber I chose is special because of it’s clarity and also it is very old. The beads are for sure vintage, maybe even antique. Abdul says that the hole in the middle of the bead shows off its age. Because these holes are very large and smooth, it means they have been strung and used over and over again. The holes have worn into large tunnels that run through the beads.

Undoubtedly, one of the perks of being in Kashgar is meeting all the interesting people. Abdul is just one of the people who’s company we enjoy.

Note: This article contributed to our blog from Gallery Cafe in Kashgar when they left from Kashgar middle of  last summer. The original article was published in 18th Nov 2010. We posted here because we thought it might be helpful for fellow travelers to make future Xinjiang travel plan. We missed Gallery Cafe!

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One Response to “Amber Jewelry in Kashgar”

  1. Hmm! I enjoyed reading and story of amber jewelry in kashgar . Nice sharing.

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