Golden Strife


Large piece of genuine African amber with a remarkable 18K gold telsum

1 in stock


There are two stories in this pendant – two different histories that come together in unison.

THE AMBER: I was living in Ethiopia when war broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the two countries split. The Ethiopian government went out into communities with a large truck and rounded up families of Eritrean descent. They put them all in the back of the truck and drove them for hour upon hour to the Eritrean border.

And there they dumped them. These people, these human beings, were expected to return to Eritrea, a place they had never been and had no idea how to live, and establish a new life.

One particular Eritrean woman knew that she would most likely be deported. And she knew that, in her new life in a foreign country, she would need money more than her prized amber beads. She sold them, and then returned to her house to await the arrival of the truck.

A short time later, I happened to walk into the shop. The shopkeeper was devastated. His heart was broken. He knew how much this amber meant to that woman. And she sold it to him out of desperation.

I was honored to be the recipient of this history.

THE GOLD: Impeccable workmanship is hard to find these days – but I managed to find it in Addis Ababa.

This 18K gold telsum is a recreation of the incredibly detailed work Ethiopian silversmiths were known for a century ago. This style of telsum was traditionally made using coin silver, but are also made in a wide range of other materials.

You can pick this piece up from my studio in Boise, or I will happily ship it free of charge.

If you are interested in matching earrings, please contact me.


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