Yemen jewellery Market

Yemen jewellery market is a story into itself. The silver jewellery of Yemen is integrally tied to the massive movement of peoples in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In Yemen, over the decades and perhaps centuries leading up to recent period, the jewellery market.Through forays to jewelry markets around the Mediterranean and throughout the Arabian Peninsula, the most intricate jewelry came from Yemen. Good Yemeni pieces are exported to Jeddah, Damascus and Cairo on rare occasions. Yemeni market is famous for its silver ornaments.

The motifs in the worked pieces of the Yemeni jewellery are distinctive. In the silver souqs of Sana’a and Ta’izz, old and antique looking jewellery is sold. The typically Yemeni product is the silver jewellery crafted traditionally by the Jews of Yemen. The jambiya or the sharply curved tribesmen’s curving dagger is typical of countries of southern Arabia. Men on a special belt at the waist wear it. A special form of silverware is the Maria Theresa Thaler, which is a coin of Austrian origin. The Ottoman Turks introduced the coin in Yemen where it was in circulation till the end of the 1980s.The jewellers used a combination of simple geometric shapes (cylinders, lozenges, spheres and flat circles), in some cases formed by or connected by filigree work, and decorated with granulation on the surface. Amulets, bracelets and yokes (long chains of baubles to be hung at the neckline of a dress), and chokers (short necklaces worn against the throat) form their repertoire.

During past few decades. Gold had risen in value over the previous few decades, reducing the relative value of silver which result into fall of Yemeni silver market. But now again it is raising to peak stock due to new young generation silversmiths. They are keeping the traditional craft of finely worked silver alive.

There is, however, a market for their best work in Saudi Arabia. A fine hand-tooled sword of 85 percent silver might bring as much as $2500; a new woman’s belt done in filigree might bring $1000. (A good antique one might fetch up to $3000.) A few families in Sana’a have purchased complete new sets of wedding jewelry in the traditional style. Tourists, when they come, buy the new work, too. But most of the silversmiths agree that, if these crafts are to thrive again, there will have to be more customers.

The Yemen jewelry market shows the height of Arab’s love towards beauty and creation. They can never be less than any other nation in gaining beauty from ornaments.

Part of The Annual Catalog 2013/14

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