Peru may be known for the world-renowned Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, but few know that it has a long history with jewelry. The ancient Inca people often adorned themselves with beautiful, intricate jewelry made from gold and silver by their highly skilled craftsmen.
The Incans wore everything from nose rings, earrings, bangles, and necklaces, to sandals and chest aprons. Gold was the most common material used, mostly because the amount of gold a person wore determined how close they were to God. To an extent, this dictated their social status as well, because the more unfortunate could not afford to wear much gold. People of higher social classes adorned themselves with massive amounts of gold jewelry, demonstrating their standing and piousness.
Apart from using gold, the Incans also mixed gems and precious stones into their jewelry. Mostly, their bangles, earrings, and sandals were embellished with precious stones.
Rise of silver jewelry in modern Peru
As much as gold is appreciated and valued, it’s not the only material that is used for making jewelry in Peru. Silver is common and has been used for generations in the South American country. In fact, Peru is the second largest producer of silver in the world. It only makes sense that today, the country also produces all kinds of breathtakingly beautiful and unique silver jewelry, especially when you consider the long history of talented craftsmen and designers.
Perhaps one of the most recognizable names in the world of Peruvian jewelry is Evelyn Brooks, owner of Evelyn Brooks Designs. She designs a wide range of Peruvian-inspired jewelry and is often hailed as a pioneer in the industry, paving the way for Peruvian jewelry designers to make their mark on a global scale.
Evelyn says that there are plenty of opportunities “to become more recognized for their work” thanks to the continuous flow of jewelry design and craftsmanship talent in Peru. She is right. As reported by La Republica, a popular news magazine in Peru, production of Peruvian jewelry intended for the national market increased by 15 percent in a period of one year. Not only this, but international exports are also increasing year after year. This speaks volumes of the increasing popularity of Peruvian jewelry.
What makes Peruvian jewelry unique?
If there is anything that makes a piece of jewelry unique and meaningful, it’s that it has a story behind it. That’s exactly what makes Peruvian jewelry so different and special, and exactly why so many people seem to love it. While the beautiful designs of these necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and bangles are easy to fall in love with at first glance, it’s the story behind them that makes people value and appreciate them even more.
Peru has a rich cultural history and much of it is linked to its jewelry. For the Incans, jewelry was more than just adornment, it signified many things about a person, like their relationship with God. For the people of Peru, jewelry is a divine medium of self-expression, and that’s what makes all the difference.
Evelyn Brooks via Instagram