Mayan Jewelry Journey through Mexico & Guatemala

In 2005, I went on a trip from Mexico City through Oaxaca and Chiapas, and on into Guatemala.

In Oaxaca I found some charming silver animal charms, in San Cristobal two crudely-made amber necklaces, and in Guatemala City some old coins known as ‘reales’, and an antique silver locket.

jewelry components from Mexico and Guatemala

amber, coins (reales) and silver from our Mexican-Guatemalan trip

Later, I cut up the amber necklaces, and used the amber beads, along with the reál coins and the silver locket from Guatemala City to make this ‘Mayan Journey’ necklace and earrings.

amber necklace and earrings

Chiapas amber and Guatemalan silver

The donkey and chicken charms from Oaxaca and the chain from México D.F. were used to make a charm bracelet to represent this part of the journey.

charm bracelet using Mexican amber & silver charms

Mexican charm bracelet using amber from Chiapas & sterling silver charms from Oaxaca

I don’t think I have ever made a charm bracelet before. Originally I was thinking I could add one bird charm, one donkey charm and a few pieces of amber and then use the others for earrings. However, it appears that for a bracelet to look good, there must be a charm on every other link, a lot more work than I was expecting, but I’m pleased with the result.

Baroque Church in San Cristobal Baroque Church in San Cristobal.

There is an amber mine near San Cristobal, and an amber museum in the city.

Ticket to the Amber Museum in San Cristobal

Ticket to the Amber Museum in San Cristobal


3 responses to “Mayan Jewelry Journey through Mexico & Guatemala

  1. Lovely idea to create your own memory jewelry from original pieces purchased. Amber is fascinating. As a silversmith jeweler for 28 years, I used it in many, many art jewelry pieces because of the light weight feel and various colors.
    Very nice post …

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