Much of the jewellery that one sees for sale in Mexico is made in Taxco, Guerrero.  It is a famous silver town and has been for many years.  Unhappily though, very little of the current work made there is traditional in any sense, much of it designed for tourist shops.  Aside from not having a good sense of traditions, tourists often bargain prices down much too low so that quality has to be abandoned to meet the ability to still sell and survive.
For those reasons I do not buy in Taxco but search in small communities for well made traditional jewellery typical of those regions.  I was overjoyed to find this work made in the State of Mexico, in the area of Toluca, outside of Mexico City.
This work is much like that of the eighteenth century, just as wearable now as it was then...  I have seen similar pieces in museums such as the museum of anthropology (el Museo Nacional de Antropología) in Chapultepec Park, Mexico D.F., and the museum of popular culture from the area (Museo de la Cultura Potosina) in San Luis Potosí.
This is all made with excellent skills and will last you a lifetime.  None of these items are cast or made factory style.  Each pendant and piece is cut by hand, filed, sanded, and polished.  The lines are stamped into the pieces and they are hammered to give them shape.  The soldering is painstaking as it is done in steps.  The jeweller begins with the solder that melts at the highest temperature.  The next pieces to be fixed together will use a solder at a lower temperature.  The jeweller has to take great care to keep his flame at a low enough temperature that he doesn't melt what has already been worked on.  Step by step, it is all time consuming and finished just perfectly in this work.
Most of the jewellery that we buy in our shops at home is assembly work - item after item, each exactly the same as the one before - factory made - to keep prices low.  This is art from a jeweller's table, more appropriate to the shop of a fine crafts jeweller.
The earrings have wires slipping into the ears with hooks at the back to lock the wires into place so that you cannot accidentally lose them...  and all of the work is sterling grade.
My photography of the work does not show it in the best way.  Do be assured that it all looks better in real life...  now enjoy seeing images of the traditions that have been carried on for hundreds of years...

   MEX-03.   All of the earrings shown here look a great deal better in real life than in the photos.  I haven't managed to discover a way to capture their allure in the images.   Earrings #6 are 2 3/8 inches long, have stamped dangles, and pale yellow facet glass stones acting as flowers with two tiny leaves next to each.  The dangles flick nicely when ones head is moved.   $105.US.   Earrings #7 are long (over 3 inches) and elegant.  The tiny wires in the design have each been placed in their positions by hand and soldered carefully.  This is much more work than you might realize.   $115.US.   (#7 is available)
   MEX-05.   These earrings are small and delicate, with the first three featuring pairs of birds facing each other.  The birds are just over 5/8 inch across.  Earrings #10 have the simplicity of just the birds.   $38.US.   Earrings #11 have small dangles hanging from the birds.   $45.US.     (#10 & #11 are available)
   MEX-07.   Here are some wide and graceful earrings, sure to be eye-catchers just as the ones which Frida Kahlo and others wore.  They realized the beauty and wonder of their own cultures and loved to demonstrate it.   Earrings #19 are more floral lace than they are anything else.  Each one has a bird darting for flowers.  The earrings are 2 1/4 inches tall.   $125.US.   Earrings #20 are more solid and heavier, with two moveable slices in each one.  The birds are very three dimensional as they are portrayed in the back as well as in the front.  In the front they have a green facet glass cabachon between them as well as rich red cabochons on each side.  $170.US.   (#20 is sold)   The most intricate of the three is this last pair #21.  They measure 2 1/2 inches in height and were very labour intensive to create.  The birds kiss as an explosion of silver radiates beneath.  I have worked in silver but have never had the patience or the skill to create anything this complex.  $245.US.   (earrings #21 are available)  
   MEX-11.   This is the most complex of the necklaces that I have bought.  I kept looking at it, and in the end, found it irresistable.  The chain is detailed with each section made by hand and it attaches to a series of flowers, four of them emphasized with pinkish red glass facet stones.  Everything is hinged so that it moves as things in nature do.  There are four little butterflies around the flowers and a large lacy one hanging below.  It is quite wonderful with hanging leaves attached as well.  The entire piece circles 23 inches across on the inside.  This is expensive, but I think you may never see another...   $920.US.
   MEX-12.  I tried this pin out on a black tank top that I have with a fine set of pleats at the front.  I pinned it right there, and it looked just amazing.  The pin is 2 1/4 inches across, and of course a complex group of pieces all soldered together to make one intricate oval.   $135.US.
   MEX-13.   There are always wonderful pieces from these jewellers bringing along the poetic aspects in the Latin world.   Pendant #1 is 2 1/8 inches tall, graceful and lovely with two birds settled on a flower studded heart, with a swinging pendant hanging beneath.   $75.US.   Pendant #2 is a small pair of birds nestled together.  The pin measures 1 1/4 inches across and costs  $45.US.   Pendant #3 hangs nicely in real life.  I didn't realize that it got moved a little when I took the photograph.  The piece is 1 3/4 inches tall, has a pair of birds and a flower studded heart.   $75.US.   Pendant #4 is a large pair of birds sitting on a flowered branch.  They are charming as usual.   $110.US.    (#2 & #4 are available)
   MEX-16.   $155.US.
Mexico silver earrings   MEX-24.   This is a light and colourful pair of earrings decorated with pairs of birds, beaks together.  The earrings are 1 1/4 inches tall and decorated with red and green facet glass stones.   $65.US.
Mexico silver bird pins   MEX-26.   There are two bird pins here.  The larger one is 1 1/2 inches long from beak to tail ($48.US) and the smaller one is 1 1/4 inches long ($38.US).
silver bird earrings MEX-27.   These are tiny silver earrings each with a pair of birds sitting at the top of a flowered heart.  They are 1 1/16 inches tall.   $58.US.   (I have one pair remaining)

Mexico silver bird pinsMex   MEX-30.   These two pairs of birds are sweet and romantic and make a lovely gift of love.  The small silver pin (1 1/4 inch across) is $42.US. and the large siver pin (2 3/16 inch across) is $90.US.  
Mexican silver earrings   MEX-31.   This is a beautiful long (2 3/4 inches from top of earhook to bottom of pendant) pair or sterling silver earrings wired with natural pearls.  They are typical, complex and stunning when worn.   $180.US.
Mexican silver earrings   MEX-32.   These earrings are 2 1/8 inches tall and swing nicely with pearls.  I think on the photo I took the pic when one pearl was swung away - but there are four attractive natural pearls hanging from each side.  The bottom part of the earring swings nicely back and forth when moving.   $78.US.
Mexican silver earringsMexState   MEX-33.   These earrings are 2 1/4 inches tall from top of earhook to bottom of pendants.  The half moon shape swings nicely when moving.  the earrings, because they are made of wire are fairly lightweight so comfortable on.  I always forget that I am wearing earrings at all when I wear this style.   $70.US.
Mexican silver earrings   MEX-39.   These silver earrings are 2 1/8 inches tall.  The pendant part swings gracefully from a loop behind the flower.   $70.US.
Mexican silver earrings   MEX-45.   Earrings #1 are shaped like a sleeping moon.  They are 1 1/4 inches tall.   $35.US.   Earrings #2 feature kissing birds and glass stones of blue and red.  They are very sweet and 1 5/16 inches tall.   $65.US.   I am sorry I didn't have this pin listed for Valentine's day but it is certainly one that speaks of love at any time.  The birds have their beaks together hidden behind a flower sitting over a heart shape.  A nice moon shape with dangles hangs below.  The pin is 2 3/8 inches tall.   $65.US.
State of Mexico corazon earrings   MEX-48.   The corazon earrings are just perfect.  The heart with flames stands 1 inch tall and if you include the hanging loop it is just over 1 1/4 inches.   $65.US.
silver sirena necklace  
MEX-50.   This is a sweet sirena silver necklace with a male and a female mermaid sitting together.  The hammered and etched pendant is 2 1/2 inches tall, and the 25 inch long hand made chain is 25 inches long.  It hooks shut.  I haven't had one of these for a few years, they are very difficult to come across.   $230.US.
silver ring with hands   MEX-51.   I haven't seen this style of ring for sale in Mexico before.  It is two hands holding each other, or shaking hands, with floral decorations around.  The design was carved into the silver so each ring that the jeweller made was different.  This is my last one of this style.  Size 8.  
Mexico State earrings   MEX-52.   These earrings are just under 1 3/4 inches from top to bottom and are brightened (they are brighter in real life) with purple and pink facet glass stones.   $105.US.
Mexico State earrings   MEX-53.   These gorgeous traditional earrings are 2 inches from top to bottom.   $180.US.
Mexico silver earrings   MEX-54.   These complex and delicate earrings are 1 1/2 inches tall.   $100.US.  
Mexico State earrings   MEX-55.   This pair of earrings was also designed by Victor Fosado Vazquez.  They are 2 1/2 inches from top to bottom and have small coral beads as accents.   $95.US.   (sold)

I have some silverwork below from Tlaxco in the state of Tlaxcala not far from Mexico City...  a jeweller named Eva Menendez teaches traditional work to her students, and produces her own designs as well.

Tlaxcala earringsTlaxco   Tlaxco05.   These earrings are typical of the Tlaxcala area and similar ones can be seen in their museum.  They have a light patterning on the cast pieces giving them a very nice texture.  I have 3 pairs.  They measure a little over 1 1/4 inches across.  They have a very contemporary look to them.  $55.US.
Tlaxco earrings spiders   Tlaxco07.   Spiders are a symbol of Tocatlan and make great little earrings.  They are 1 1/16 inches wide and just slip in...  $25.US.
Tlaxco earrings   Tlaxco08.  These earrings are just under 1 1/4 inch across.   $55.US.
Mexico Tlaxcala silver pin   Tlaxco11.   These pins are symbols of Quiahuiztlan, one of the four states that made up the federation of Tlaxcala in the
pre-Columbian Nahua state.  They depict various symbolic parts of life, the feathered hat for dances, the shield and sword for protection, etc.  The images are taken from the Aztec codices.  $48.US/each pin.

Tlaxcala silver pendants   Tlaxco12.   These pendants are post Spanish symbols in the state of Tlaxcala.  The city of Tlaxcala itself was founded by Cortes and he gained a military alliance with the people who had lived there before he arrived.   $48.US/each pendant.
Tlaxco Tlaxcala silver pin   Tlaxco13.   This rectangular pendant is a symbol of Tlaxco derived from ancient images.  It is a shape of a stone with much importance.  The pendants are just under 1 1/8 inch across at the widest.  $18.US/each pendant


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return to "Contents" page
    .....Ancient beads
    .....Eastern beads and ornaments
    .....Southeast Asia
   .....African trade beads
    .....North Africa
    .....the Americas including preColumbian
    .....Modern copies of ancient objects
    .....Odds and ends