Stunning gemstones that refract the light, hill tribe silver forged to perfection, macramé with its delicate patterns of knots, and so much more. Discover the rich world of Thai jewelry and the incredible artisans who preserve history through their crafts.
Cut in Gemstone
How one Thai jeweler discovered her calling
Most people have trouble pinpointing the moment that their life path became clear. Not so with Matta Nandrakwang, who remembers the day perfectly.
She was seven years old and living in Chiang Rai, Thailand, near the border with Burma. She saw a little girl, roughly her own age, from a hill tribe, whose clothing was adorned with beautiful jewelry. Matta says: “She had silver coins hanging around her face, more silver ornaments on her, as well as beautiful beads. I couldn’t take my eyes off her!”
While Matta had always been drawn to the natural beauty of her hometown, with its rich and diverse cultures and ethnic tribes, along with its abundance of gemstones, that moment solidified something that would shape her future and her career.
After graduating and working as a nurse in a public hospital, Matta continually found herself drawn back to the simplicity and beauty of gemstones. She says, “I realized I had much to learn and decided to enroll in gemology school. There I learned all about gems and jewelry making.”
After all these years, that early experience has informed her work and her passion for creating gorgeous pieces of jewelry art. Admirers the world over wear Matta’s creations with delight, a fact that brings her great joy and a profound sense of satisfaction.