You will find jewelry of Algeria to be ornate, but you will find that gold is not used. This is because gold is considered to be an unlucky metal with which to work. For more facts and information read our guide…
Without the use of gold, silver is the most expensive metal used. You might also find pieces with copper or brass. Ornate necklaces and bracelets are crafted in old fashioned Berber manner, with enamelled coral and desert stones being part of the craft work. The making of the jewelry actually dates back to Byzantine times, and much of the style remains the same.
Popular forms of jewelry are headbands, broaches, shawl clasps and breast pins. All of these are fashioned by hand by the Berber artisans. One interesting type of jewelry is made in what is called a love knot.
History of the Love Knot
The love knot was originated when sailors and their loved ones would use a piece of rope to tie knots that would remind the sailor of his loved one back home. The more intricate the knot, the stronger was the love it represented. As time went on, artisans started making silver jewelry into love knots. Three lines of silver (or more) are joined together and then flattened. Its purpose is the same; a reminder of a loved one. The love knot itself was probably not started in Algeria. It is almost a world wide symbol of love and the intertwinement of the lovers.
The Algerian Love Knot
The Algerian love knot gained new popularity when it was worn by Eva Green in the movie Casino Royale, a James Bond film. It was also used later in another Bond movie. The particular love knot shown in Casino Royale was a necklace made of four strands of silver tied together and then flattened. This Algerian love knot necklace is a big hit with the James Bond fans. It symbolizes health, happiness and good luck.
With the popularity of the Algerian love knot booming, the actual handiwork of the Berber artisans could not keep up. The love knot seen in the movie became so popular that it is now produced commercially rather than by the old fashioned method of being made solely by the artisans of Algeria.
Procuring Algerian Jewelry
There are many sites on the web where you can purchase authentic Algerian jewelry. You may also purchase this jewelry from some higher end department stores. Remember that gold is traditionally not a part of Algerian jewelry, so if you see “authentic Algerian jewelry” with any content, it is not authentic. The jewelry is ornate, and if you are looking for just the right touch to finish off an outfit, this may be what you are looking for.