Coral Art Salon looks like an ordinary souvenir shop from the outside. Located in the row of shop stalls behind the former ЦУМ (Central Universal Store), there are many like it – and a few that are better stocked! However, this particular tiny store has something others don’t. Displayed under glass right by the door are unique modern replicas of antique Uzbek and Karakalpak jewelry. These are the exact copies of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and other jewelry worn by women in this part of the world more than a century ago. These styles have disappeared as our culture changed, but there are still one or two jewelry masters who are dedicated to ensuring that the old ways are not entirely forgotten.
The shopkeeper might show you a photo book of the originals, from which these copies were made. Each element of traditional design in silver, semi-precious stones, corals, and pearls has a specific meaning and use. The exquisite and often hefty designs tell a story of Uzbekistan’s past, our heritage, and values.
Don’t be fooled by the Indian or Pakistani trinkets sold in every tourist-oriented shop in Uzbekistan! Keep your course true, find Coral Art Salon, and dig up a real treasure. These items can’t be beaten for the price.