Peruvian tribal jewelry has been made for centuries. Indeed the Incan royalty was adorned in variations of the tribal necklace. Read our guide for more facts and information…
True antique Peruvian tribal ivory necklaces are hard to come by. There are many places on the internet where you can get tribal ivory necklaces, but in truth most of these are not antique. The ones that are available may be made of vegetable ivory, which comes from the ivory palm which grows in Peru. This is likely what the ancient Incas used for ivory. True ivory comes from the tusks of elephants, tusks of walrus or from the teeth of whales. None of these materials would have been available to the ancient Inca, so vegetable ivory was cut and smoothed into stones for the purpose of adornment. One advantage of this type of ivory is that it readily absorbs the colors desired for the decoration.
Any true ivory necklaces that you do find today are indeed likely to be antique. Ivory has been banned for decades as elephants, walrus and some types of whales have been put on the endangered species list and the hunting of them has become illegal. Ivory that you find in newer jewelry is likely to be ivory that has been cut from larger chunks of antique ivory to match the desired piece of jewelry.
Other Peruvian Necklaces
You can find true antique silver tribal necklaces for sale fairly easily. Along with the Spanish conquerors came Spanish craftsmen. Silver is a substance that is readily found in Peru. This is one of the main reasons for the Spanish conquest of the Incas.
The Spanish craftsmen had no trouble whatsoever in obtaining silver, and much of the antique Peruvian jewelry is crafted from that. You also find the usage of a substance which is called alpaca silver. Alpaca silver is a mixture of silver, tin, copper or nickel, although nickel is also a substance that is now in short supply. These substances are blended together to make a reddish colored metal alloy. Alpaca silver is usually .900 pure while sterling is .925 pure.
Whether it is sterling or alpaca silver, true ivory or vegetable ivory the antique Peruvian tribal necklaces are lovely. You can easily see the workmanship in the antique necklaces. These are not necklaces that have been touched by any machine. Each piece is totally handmade, resulting in each piece of jewelry being absolutely unique. Each feature is finely tooled by an individual craftsman, and there is a wide variety of tribal necklaces to choose from.
Where to Purchase Peruvian Necklaces
You may be lucky enough to run up on an antique jewelry store and find an antique Peruvian ivory tribal necklace. If not, your best bet is on the web. It may take a little searching, but if you find what you are looking for, it will truly be worthwhile.