• Lielezers

Silver, gold and other jewelry by Latvian artists


Going out to purchase Latvian made jewelry during a visit can become an exciting journey through the country’s art world, as persons will be able to acquaint themselves with Latvia’s rich jewelry making traditions and learn about silver, gold and other metal jewelry made by very skilled local artists.

The jewelry made in Latvia represents a wide range of styles, from copies of ancient jewelry found by archeologists, to "avant-garde" and "art deco" styles.

Modern jewelry handcrafted by local artists with their own distinctive styles can be seen and purchased in such Old Town jewelry galleries as "Putti" and "Marta Krasta’s Gallery".

Each piece of jewelry on display at one of these galleries, either it being an extravagant brooch or a pair of cufflinks, is mostly one of a kind, as only one or a few are made. This modern Latvian jewelry is made using silver, gold, copper, precious jewels, ivory and other materials, with artists combining different elements to create something truly unique.

Each of the artists displayed at the "Putti" gallery has a distinctive, individual style - "from playing with ethnographical elements of various nationalities and cultures of the world, from purity and ascetic lines of Bauhaus school, to attractive post-modern compositions and free paraphrases on natural forms," the gallery points out.

A very unique jewelry style that cannot be found in any other region of the world is the jewelry of the ancient Baltic and Finno-Ugric tribes, which are copied today by very skilled jewelry masters throughout Latvia, and have become very popular. Such jewelry can be purchased at galleries and museum shops throughout the country.

One place to see how such ancient jewelry is made is in the medieval town of Cesis, where local artist Daumants Kalnins works at his "Smithy of Ancient Jewelry" outside Cesis Castle. It is possible to purchase this unique jewelry in his shop, as well as try first hand at forging a piece yourself.

The "Baltu rotas" gallery in Old Town Riga is one of the best places to find ethnographic pieces of jewelry, with a wide range of silver rings, bracelets, neck jewelry and many other items on offer. The gallery also offers copies of jewelry worn by the ancient Prussians.

If in modern times jewelry compliments a person’s style, in the ancient times it was worn to bring fortune and to guard persons.