Archive | Gold Knot Bracelets

Real or Artificial Elephant Hair?

In the attached picture one of these bracelets is at least 60 years old (maybe even 100) and the other one is about 60 minutes old! It is such a joy to make something like they did so long ago in the bush. In fact it was fun to restore the very old, very real elephant hair bracelet, if for no other reason than to see how the magic knots of Africa were tied back then.

A real and an artificial elephant hair bracelet with gold knots

Clearly the knots on both are new. I did them on the same day after a European client asked me if I could restore the bracelet his father gave him 45 years ago in Mombasa, Kenya. It was great to see the old design and also now you see why my designs are so similar to those traditionally worn in East Africa. This contrasts strongly with the big chunky ones I have been asked to repair in the past. They are usually much newer and more fragile and hastily made to appease a tourist or hunter. I hear people say “Oh, I bought it on the streets of Cape Town or Johannesburg, so it must be legal.”

Wow, how naive can you be? Commercial trade in elephant products is illegal in most parts of the world nowadays, with a few exceptions if you have the right Cites permits. So that elephant tail hair from a street side vendor is probably from a poached elephant – a market no one should support. But I think it is OK for me to rework the knots on very old ones like I did here.

If you like the look and feel of an elephant hair bracelet, and don’t want a silver, gold or copper one from my collection, then look into artificial hair models. Only you will know the difference when wearing one in public and no elephants will be harmed in the process. You can even order them as combo models with silver and artificial hair models, or gold/hair or even (as two of my clients suggested) gold/silver/black tricolor models.

PS If you look in a big dictionary you will see they define artificial as a synthetic material that has been reworked by hand to make it look even more realistic.

Under the old Baobab tree

Actually I am sitting making elephant hair knot bracelets under some Oak, Wattle and Manzanita trees but the idea is the same – not that a Baobab tree gives you much shade. Weren’t most such bracelets and other old traditional African jewelry made by some artistic person sitting on the side of the road or village under a thorn tree to get some relief from the scorching sun?

Well we have scorching African style heat here in California and I lost my studio in the Big Oak fire last month near Yosemite. But not before I rescued most of my inventory and big collection of wires and hand tools so now I am sitting outside in the shade making them anyway as orders keep coming in via SafariGold.com and Safarigoldjewelry.etsy.com.

Who needs a fancy modern studio anyway? In the picture above you can see the burned bush just beyond my tool case with a sample artificial elephant hair knot bracelet with 3 gold knots that I have just completed.

Thank you all for your continued support. We will be ready for Xmas in time as well.

Memorable Graduation Gifts

Comparison of silver vs gold knotsA few years ago a polite, elderly lady, who was struggling a bit with her English, called me to order a new bracelet for her son. I loved it when she said, “He is now a full time practicing hot-shot lawyer. And he is still wearing that old silver elephant hair knot bracelet I gave him when he went off to college.”

Muttering mostly to herself, she went on to say, “It just won’t do. He has to look more respectable now.” So I was very happy to help this proud mother select a new gold one for the first lawyer in the family.

Every year about this time we hear from parents like this lovely lady. They are rewarding their recent graduating children with a gift they can wear for a very long time. So much more heartfelt than a gift that just sits on a dusty mantel somewhere.

Elephants are famous for having very long memories so modern elephant hair knot style bracelets are very appropriate for occasions like college graduation – or even for using as send off gifts when you release your teenagers to go off to college and flee the home nest. Plus they are suitable for men or women, big or small, rich or poor, since they come in a variety of sizes, are very adjustable so they can’t accidentally fall off, and can be ordered in copper, artificial elephant hair, silver or gold – or many different combinations thereof.

Solid gold bracelet bangle

Silver and Gold, or Gold and Silver?

Just when I was starting to think that there weren’t any more combinations of silver and gold, or metal and artificial elephant, a customer insisted she wanted a 4 knot gold bracelet with silver knots. I had thought of this before but gold people are usually very particular. On the other hand, I was an idiot because one of our most popular products is the 4 knot silver bracelet with gold knots. The gold knots just add a touch of class compared to an all silver model, but I thought the reverse would be true adding silver knots to a gold bracelet.

Gold on silver or silver on gold strands elephant hair knot bracelets.

Not only was I wrong but on further examination, I did offer 2-knots and 3-knots silver with gold strands bracelets that I had forgotten about. Isn’t it fun selling direct and interacting directly with your customers, even though we live 3 time zones apart?

Of course, being a passionate lover of these bracelets, and blaming her mother for the variations (while thanking her husband for letting her spend the money) she wanted earrings to match. So now they also come in both flavors as you can see here:

Did you know the knots really slide on these earrings? They are about 5 cm (1.5″) in diameter. I plan to make some even smaller petite ones to match our SimbaCub line soon.

And like all our bracelets, they are made from fully rounded wire in a traditional East African and Southern African style making them ideal for anyone with a love for African safari adventures. All silver is Argentium tarnish resistant 935 sterling silver and all gold products shown here are 20/14KY gold fill. Rose gold may be substituted for the same price and solid 14KY gold is available for those where only the best will do. See the Simba bracelet section in the Safari Gold shop for specific items.

Fine Safari, Zoo & Wildlife Jewelry with an African influence

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