- Fashion and Beauty
Tibetan jewelry: the most common types
Hmong (Miao) jewelry
The Hmong are a nomad group that lives particularly in Tibet, and also Thailand, Burma and other countries. In China they are known as Miao (meaning "raw rice"), but outside China they consider this name offensive. There are actually many branches of the Hmong, but the one referred here is the one that wears a specific type of jewelry.
The Miao wear complex and volumous silver jewelry, sometimes decorated with turquoise, coral, agate and other stones. Miao jewelry is often found as inexpensive fashion jewelry, that can be stylistically accurate or not, and even modern jewelry with a Miao twist. Engraved and heavy pendants, bracelets, earrings and rings can be found. Common motifs are the spiral, butterflies, fish, dragons, Buddhas, coins, among others, all with a specific meaning in Miao culture. The silver used by the Miao is usually "tribal silver" or "nickel silver", a cheap metal containing up to 30% of silver to no silver at all, that can be toxic, so should not be worn by children.
Nepalese Tibetan Jewelry
The Tibeto-nepalese ethnicities give an extreme importance to turquoise. To them, turquoise has medicinal powers, as it is the color of the sky, and is believed to bring the sky to the earth. Coral is the second favorite gem, considered more valuable than gold. The combination of turquoise and coral is very popular. Lapis-lazuli, agate amber and "Dzi" beads are also used, combined with copper or silver. Sherpa jewelry, for example, has an emphasis in beads, while Newari jewelry can be of gold, silver or copper embedded with those gems.