Monthly Archives: December 2013

Winter Vacation – 2013-2014 – Thailand   Bangkok is an excellent place to buy gems and jewelry tools and a trip to Silom road is a great excuse to stop by the Afghan and Pakistani antique shops near the river. In addition my son had just finished the Diamond Appraising section of the GIA Graduate Gemologist course and he asked me to pick up some diamond tweezers if I could. I took… Read More

Thomas “Tom Bol” Guta and his Japanese wife, Nariko, were some of our best friends when we lived in Kathmandu Valley in the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1970s he revived the natural -dyed Tibetan carpet industry and in the 1980s and early 1990s he turned his artistic talents to reviving Chinese silk tapestry-woven Thangkas. While doing all this, and practicing the Dharma, and brewing chang, and working on his Ph.D at Tribhuvan… Read More

August 2012 – Bokhara, Uzbekistan The One that Got Away! I had finished reading Travels into Bokhara: The Narrative of a Voyage on the Indus Being an account of a Journey from India to Cabool, Tartary and Persia. (1834)  by Sir Alexander Burnes not long before I reached the Amulet Hotel.  It had originally been built as a madrasah for Islamic students to study philosophy and religion in the early 19th century by the famous… Read More

Tibetan Turquoise Beads

General Introduction When did humans first start wearing beads and why did they start? According to Lois Sherr Dubin, in the The History of Beads (2009, p. 19): “… the earliest known beads are associated with Middle Paleolithic people. They were discovered at Skhul Cave on Mount Carmel and have been dated to approximately 108,000 B.C., at about the time Homo sapiens populations were replacing the Neanderthals and developing new and more complex cultures.” Both those beads… Read More

In the summer of 2011 I went on a 21-day horseback trek through the Altai Mountains in Western Mongolia. After the trek we set up our yurt at a 3-day Eagle Festival. The Boss-lady on the trek was a Kazakh woman named  Amangul. She was a prize-winning singer and musician, and one night she entertained us in the communal yurt. For addition information and a photo gallery… Here is a video of… Read More