Hmong silver torque (neckring) from Laos

Image Description
This beautiful torque, or neckring, was handcrafted in Laos and purchased in the 1980s. It was made at a simple forge by hammering and drawing -- pulling the silver through increasingly smaller holes until it is of the desired size. This torque is silver and features delicately incised designs on the ring and on the flanges on both ends. It is likely made from French coins or silver bars.

Among the Hmong in Laos and Thailand, both men and women wear torques and it is often the first piece of jewelry a Hmong child acquires. A silver torque such as this one is worn in times of danger or illness, as the Hmong believe that silver binds a persons souls together, offering protection.

This torque weighs 135 grams. The opening measures 3.25 inches or 8 cm.
Approximate Price/Value: $253