The jewel in Vietnam: spiritual and social object

The jewel in Vietnam: spiritual and social object

If the jewel has existed since the dawn of time, in Vietnam today, it takes new dimensions and new values. Whether you are in a village of an ethnic minority, in an old goldsmith village or in a big city, the jewel has different interests.


The jewel: spiritual and social object

For tribal women, the essence of their culture lies in their textiles and jewelry. Silver jewelry has a special meaning for many tribes in Vietnam. Specific pieces may indicate tribal identity, gender, age, marital status and even personality traits.

Their jewelry takes many forms - rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, cosmetic accessories, hairpins, combs, etc. As a rule, each group has its own design for each object. The jewels were traditionally passed from mother to daughter, so some pieces survived after decades of use.

Tribal women usually have at least two kinds of jewelry: everyday objects and special items (or rituals), often in silver. Jewelry has become a form of savings, which can be sold when money is needed.

Many women believe that bronze and silver objects can repel evil spirits. They wear them to protect themselves and their children when they venture out of their villages or work in the jungle.


The jewel as a heritage of Vietnam

You can attend various festivals dedicated to jewelry and goldsmiths across the country. For example, at the Antiques Jewelery Festival of Vietnam in Hue in 2015, more than 100 objects from prehistory to the Nguyen Dynasty were exhibited. This collection of rare, exquisite and impeccable jewels in gold, silver, jade, ivory, tortoiseshell, etc. is of a high level of technicality and art of manufacture. In 2013, the Hoan Kiem District People's Committee held a jewelery festival in honor of the founders of the trade. During the festival, a collection of ancient coins and several elaborate jewelry collections were on display. Visitors were able to discover the jeweler's and goldsmith's trade on Hang Bac Street in Hanoi. The festival, held at the Kim Ngan Temple, featured an exhibition showcasing masterpieces of jewelry by the artisans of Hang Bac and Dinh Cong. Lacquer ware from Ha Thai and Chang Son Village in the outskirts of Hanoi were also exhibited. The goldsmith village of Dinh Cong has existed for 800 years. Through the festivales and the old villages, men and women try to keep an inheritance of an invaluable value whose jewels are the timeless witnesses.


The jewelery industry

Originally, jewelry production from local Vietnamese manufacturers was a cottage industry, which was a small family business. Gold and silver jewelery was produced to meet the demand of local consumers.

The jewelry designs available were simple and were requested by Vietnamese consumers for more savings and speculation and less interest in aesthetics.

Later, many manufacturers began to modernize their product designs to meet the demand of new generations influenced by Western preferences. The popularity of foreign fashion products has also supported the demand. However, manufacturers still needed a competent production technology development. The quality of their products was inconsistent or substandard.

In the last decade, Vietnam's silver production has increased with the demand for Vietnamese consumption. Silver jewelry products, which were more affordable, have responded better to consumer demand in the country.

A lot of travelers bought the jewels during their holidays in Vietnam to make souvenirs for their friends and their family  because the jewel in Vietnam is not expensive but in high quality and beautiful. 

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