Hmong silver torque (neckring)

Image Description
This beautiful torque, or neckring, was purchased in Laos 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 handcrafted from silver and features delicately incised detail on both the ring and 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 122 grams. The opening measures 3 inches.
Approximate Price/Value: $235