Archive | Silver 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.

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.

3, 5, 7 Thin, Standard, Kingsize

The 3 standard widths of elephant hair knot bracelets. Shown here with 4 knots each in sterling 935 silver.

Our standard bracelets are all made of fully rounded wire for smoothness, comfort and durability. The pictures on this page each show a lightweight 3 strand model (where 4 knots can look and feel a little heavy), our standard 5 strand model that is nicely balanced and very popular, and our King/Queen size, extra heavy model with 7 strands and some big chunky knots for those who really want to make a statement.

Notice that when we say 5 strands, for example, we mean 5 strands at the thinnest non-overlapping parts of the bracelet. Other people call these 10 strand models because they count the number of strands in the overlapping parts of the mechanism and especially in 4 knot design, there is overlap most of the way once closed on a wrist.

The examples here all feature models made in Argentium Sterling 935 silver. Argentium silver is tarnish-resistant compared to standard sterling 925 silver. Doesn’t mean they will never tarnish, but only to a lesser extent and over a much longer period of time. Of course, you can easily polish them back to a bright shiny finish.

Comparison of widths on silver bracelets and bangles

Please see Silver Knot Bracelets in the Shop menu for all the options and pricing. While the magic sliding knots of Africa allow for a lot of adjustments on your wrist, for a better fit first select Small (typically teenagers or skinny ladies, under 6.5″ wrist), Large (for big men and very big women, over 7.5″ wrist) and Medium for the rest of you. If you provide an actual wrist message in a note at checkout we will make the bracelet specifically for you since they are all handmade and unique originals.

We have had many comments, and compliments, on how our bracelet design is most similar to those originally from East Africa with the tight knots that don’t have any loose “fly-out” wires to get bent or caught up in daily usage. No wonder since we originally imported many such products from both East and South Africa until we couldn’t properly serve the market in terms of size, quality and genuine quality metal wires, so we came up with our own way of making them after a long period of trial and error. Today they are all made in California but still with an African heart as you can see from the other products on our website.

Want a smaller, petite and very light bracelet for a youngster, even a baby, or for an older lady with very thin wrists and a desire to just have a touch of Africa for special occasions? Then see the SimbaCub line of bracelets which are only in 5 strand models, but made from a much lighter gauge wire. Elegant, classy and petite, but not recommended for everyday wear or heavy usage.

All products mentioned here are also available in the more common 2 knot traditional style, as well as our own unique 3 knot style. Plus they are also available in 20/14KY yellow gold fill, 20/14KR rose gold fill, solid 14KY gold and copper, as well as combinations thereof.

Elephant Hair Knot Bracelets and Safari Jewelry

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