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The Story of Trader Lou Meeting a Lapis Lazuli Sterling Silver Jewelry Artisan in Chile

Posted by Trader Lou on

Chile had been on my bucket list for quite some time. A few months back, I decided to visit Chile and relax for a week or so. As a traveler and merchant, my arrival was full of wonders. Let me walk you through the story of my journey to Chile and how it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Now, I've traveled all my life. Exploring new places and finding new things brings me the type of joy words can never express.   For my visit to Chile, I dressed in traditional Huaso style. Traveling economically and disguising myself as a local has always been my secret to explore more about the place than an ordinary tourist can.

In Chile, I was not expecting to interest locals. After all, I was dressed just like them. However, I should have known my unique ruby locket with a gold chain was bound to attract curious eyes.

Strangely, I caught a man staring at me. He looked miserable, with patched clothing and wounded hands stained with black grime. He started walking towards me. I was terrified; I could not afford to get my locket stolen in a foreign country. How could I have forgotten to take it off! I condemned myself, still frozen in my tracks.

Just then, someone pushed me unintentionally, and I fell on my back. I looked up and the guy was standing with his hand extended and eyes locked on my locket. He stared at the ruby with a delighted smile. "What do you want?" I shouted. The busy street paused for a second. I brought myself back to my senses; the guy was extending a hand for me to take and stand up -- he was offering help.

I took his hand, and he gave me a reassuring smile. I had taken his help, but I did not trust him the tiniest bit. 

He apologized and introduced himself. After a short conversation, I found out that he owns a workshop. He also clarified that he was a craftsman and was merely excited to see my Ruby pendant. We talked about gemstones of all sorts. He looked interested in my locket. I was curious about him, and he was curious about the stone I was wearing.

He pointed his finger at the ruby, asking me where I got it from. I told him I had crafted it myself, which impressed him.

Then, we started talking about the gems again. I was showing off my knowledge about the stones, but clearly, he had the upper hand.

An hour or so into the conversation, he took out a pouch from his pocket and showed me a beautiful dark-blue pendant. It was breathtaking. I could not help but ask if he stole it. He took no offense and humbly replied he crafted it himself. The pendant reflected his skill and expertise.

I asked him more about this stone. He told me it was called Lapis Lazuli, unearthed from Chile in 1905. Since then, its popularity has only increased.

 Shop: Sterling Silver Jewelry

The craftsman continued to tell me more about the stone, and I listened happily. I assumed Lapis lazuli was an expensive stone. However, it was an inexpensive semi-precious stone with many benefits. Lapis Lazuli is a celestial stone with the power to open minds. It brings peace and stability while also boosting self-esteem and confidence. One can make jewelry out of it and gift it to their spouse as a token of love. I was truly blown away by all this knowledge!

I enjoyed the conversation. Our love for gemstones became the foundation of our newfound friendship.

I visited his small cottage, which was also his workshop. There, he showed me more of his work. The rings, necklaces, and other lapis jewelry were awe-inspiring. He was a pure artist. Those black stains on his hands were proof of his hard work and dedication.

My new artisan friend showed me several unique stones from his collection. Although I had seen the jewels before, I was delighted to see them in their crafted form. However, I was most excited to hold the mesmerizing Lapis Lazuli in my own hands. I felt unworthy of something so beautiful.

See, Chile not only introduced me to this beautiful rock but also an artisan friend who I will cherish forever. A friend who inspired me and reinforced the belief of never judging a book by its cover.


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