ISHKAR Lapis Lazuli Double Cufflinks in Silver
Beautiful sterling silver cufflinks with lapis lazuli stones from Kabul.
The organic and unprocessed nature of the lapis lazuli means each cufflink is unique with different shades of blue, white and gold in each stone.
Each cufflink is handmade by Mehdi Ansar, with the irregular charm and character you rarely see in mass produced items.
Ishkar source crafts from skilled craftspeople operating in challenging international contexts, including those displaced by war, natural disaster, and ongoing conflict. These countries include Mali, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Burkina Faso, Lebanon and Myanmar. By providing a sales channel between these countries and the UK, Ishkar helps these craftspeople to continue supporting their families while keeping their unique culture and skills alive.
Mehdi Ansar began life as a refugee in Iran. After school he earned some money for his family working in a car repair shop, and it was here he first gained his love for tinkering and using his hands. Today Ansar is the head of Blue Diamond - a talented group of seven jewellers all under the age of 25.
High in the valley of Sar-e Sang in North Eastern Afghanistan lie mountains streaked with seams of deep blue rock. This iconic stone – Lapis Lazuli - has obsessed humans for millennia. Once so exclusive it was reserved for the funeral masks of Pharaohs, and for the brush tips of the Renaissance’s most renowned artists, the price of Lapis Lazuli equalled the price of gold right up until the industrial age. Afghanistan is home to the world’s largest deposit of Lapis Lazuli.
On top of the amount ISHKAR pay the artisans, a further 10% goes towards the Turquoise Mountain Foundation. Turquoise Mountain supports Afghan artisans by providing them with three years of technical training, as well as a full range of business support following graduation.
The unique nature of each cufflink and the limited availability of this stock means Ivy & Normanton cannot offer returns on these items unless they are faulty.