The communities surrounding Siem Reap have a long tradition as jewelers, working with gemstones, silver, beads and seeds to create handmade rings, bracelets and necklaces.
During the Angkorian period, many of the statues were adorned with exquisitely detailed jewelry such as crowns, necklaces, bodices, rings and earrings. These items, which were often made of gold, were among the first to be stolen. Thankfully, the Cambodian government has successfully recovered many artifacts, so we have a clear indication of the magnificent artistry possessed by the people of that era.
Over the past 20 years, in the wake of civil wars, bullets were recycled to be shaped into ornate jewelry, giving birth to a new and popular medium. Bullet jewelry is just one example of the local community’s ability to utilise non-traditional materials.
While more traditional materials continue to be used, local villagers have developed a knack for recycling or reusing materials to make bags, wallets, purses and baskets. For local jewelers, what hasn’t changed is the ability to fashion jewelry of incredibly fine detail and quality. All handcrafted jewelry and accessories available at the Fair Trade Village are authenticated by the AHA.