Shopping Moroccan jewelry, whether online or in Morocco, can be very overwhelming for anyone who isn’t a Moroccan native. There are many factors to take into account during the search and buying process and one can easily end up buying a counterfeit jewelry piece or pay too much than what the jewelry is really worth.
My love for Moroccan jewelry started in my childhood. I used to accompany my mother and aunts to the medina, our city downtown, and look for authentic jewelry pieces. That was kind of my aunts’ hobby: See new jewelry arrivals, what the current price of gold and silver was, and look for interesting jewelry pieces with great deals.
Banks weren’t very popular at the time, and women used to invest their money in authentic Moroccan jewelry items made with precious materials and precious stones.
Tip: For anyone visiting Morocco and planning on acquiring beautiful souvenirs and handicrafts, check my Morocco Shopping Guide where I go through everything you need to know about Moroccan markets and the products and souvenirs that are really worth your money.
The contact I had with Moroccan jewelry since my young age grew my love for authentic vintage pieces and the history behind each emblematic design. Now, shopping Moroccan jewelry is still one of my favorite things to do in Morocco and with all the imitation out there, I cannot imagine anyone shopping authentic Moroccan jewelry without knowing the main designs and emblematic pieces to look for.
Moroccan Jewelry Emblematic Designs
For the connaisseurs, it is possible to guess where a Moroccan woman is from, just by looking at her jewelry, as each region of Morocco has its own jewelry pieces.
There are dozens of Moroccan jewelry designs and variations and it can take pages and pages to go through all of them. The thing is, many authentic jewelry designs are nowadays either rare or hard to find.
Heavy jewelry pieces and heavy sets are a good example. Moroccan women are no longer wearing them unless on their wedding day, and even so, they only rent them for the occasion.
These heavy traditional items are very expensive due to their history charged value and if you are not a specialist, you can easily make the wrong choice and buy a countrefeit. Besides, it’s really hard to wear them as they are massive and hard to blend with modern outfits.
Fortunately, there are some traditional jewelry designs that are relatively easy to shop and that mix beautifully with all modern clothing styles.
1. Moroccan Berber Necklaces
One of Morocco most emblematic jewelry pieces is the Berber necklace, made with precious stones like coral and amber. These necklaces are perfect for women who like rustic, stand-out pieces and want to add a pop of color to their jewelry collection.
Berber necklaces come in different sizes ranging from massive pieces to more discrete ones. Authentic Berber necklaces are made with authentic amber and/or coral and can be quite pricey, costing hundreds to thousands of dollars. If a Berber necklace price is too good to be true, it’s probably not authentic, and unless you are looking for a replica, cheap Berber necklaces do not exist.
2. Moroccan Silver Bracelets
Moroccan silver bracelets are very popular in Morocco. Usually the thicker the better, they can be worn single or layered in sets to achieve a great thickness in the wrists. There are many designs to choose from and they can be either simple or heavily engraved. The most popular ones are made of silver but there are many designs made of gold.
Moroccan silver bracelets are very cherished by the fashion industry. They look amazing when combined with modern outfits, bringing an interesting rustic and tribal touch. That’s why they are hard to find online and sometimes are sold at very high prices.
3. Moroccan Hamsa Jewelry
Also called Khamsa, the Eye of Fatima or the Hand of Fatima, the Hamsa is a Moroccan-Jewish symbol representing a hand, believed to protect who wears it from evil and bad people. It is a classic in Moroccan jewelry usually worn in gold or silver necklaces and embellished with complex engravings.
You can find Moroccan Hamsa in almost every jewelry item in Morocco: Hamsa necklaces, Hamsa pendants, bracelets, earrings, .. Hamsa jewelry pieces are a real classic and most Moroccan women have at least one piece featuring this protecting symbol.
Moroccan Jewelry Prices
Depending on your budget you can either shop authentic Moroccan jewelry made with precious materials and stones, like gold, silver, amber, and coral or opt for good quality replicas.
Replicas are great for everyday wear and perfect if you have a limited budget. I have many Moroccan jewelry replicas from up to 10 years ago and they still look amazing. You just need to be gentle with them and avoid excessive contact with water and perfume.
If you want to invest in authentic Moroccan jewelry but can’t spend too much, look for silver-made jewelry like silver bracelets and silver Hamsa necklaces and earrings.
Silver costs way less than gold and is still a luxury material that will last you forever. The price will be much more affordable and will mostly depend on the weight of your item, so you can always adjust. You can also acquire gold jewelry items if you focus on lightweight jewelry pieces.
If money is not your problem, you can look for vintage silver jewelry pieces or authentic Moroccan jewelry made with pricier materials like amber, coral and gold. The most important thing is the reliability of your seller and the authenticity of your jewelry piece, whether you are shopping online on in Morocco.
If you are not visiting Morocco, there is Little Moroccan Things, a platform we are working on at moroccanzest and that is very dear to my heart. Little Moroccan Things will focus on quality Moroccan handicrafts for low to medium budgets, and it will enlist a few Moroccan handcrafted jewelry pieces. Quantity will be limited, so make sure you subscribe to Little Moroccan Things to get an email when we launch.
Buying Jewelry in Morocco
In Morocco, the best place to purchase authentic Moroccan Jewelry is the Medina, the city downtown. This is true especially for the Medinas of historical cities, like Marrakech, Fez, Rabat, Casablanca, and Tangier.
Although sometimes overwhelming, Moroccan medinas are the perfect place to shop for handicrafts and traditional items. They are the heartbeat of Moroccan cities and where Moroccans shop for everyday necessities. Visitors love them as well as they offer a great immersion in locals everyday life.
In most historical Moroccan cities, Medinas are organized in sections for each shopping need: Moroccan jewelry, spices, rugs, traditional clothes and so one. There are hundreds of thousands of products available and thousands of variations for each product, which can be overwhelming for non-Natives.
Bargaining is crucial in Morocco in order to pay a decent price for jewelry or any other item. Besides, it’s really important to check the seller’s reliability and products authenticity to avoid imitation and scams.
As I recommend in my Morocco detailed shopping guide, it’s best to look for the Medina jewelry quarter where most jewelry stores are located. These stores are in general quite small and showcase their items in the front. Often, the price of gold and silver will be showcased (with the same price for locals and tourists) which makes comparison easier.
A few years ago, one of my cousins purchased an expensive Berber necklace only to realize days later it was made of fake amber and fake silver.
This being said, if you shop mindfully, you can acquire jewelry pieces that can stay in your family for generations. My mother has two jewelry pieces that belonged to her grandmother. They are extremely gorgeous and still in perfect condition. A true family treasure.
Master Moroccan Medinas and get what you want. Order my Morocco Ultimate Shopping guide.
I knew nothing about Moroccan jewelry before coming to your post and now I feel confident with all your tips. Thank you for the great post and amazing pictures
I am glad i put my hands on you shopping guide. I would have wasted a lot of money if I havent read it. Thank you so much for the amazing tips (my favorite part was about Moroccan beauty products!!)
I loved everything about this article, the pictures, the description, the tips, thank you ❤
I just purchased your ebook and I am planning to read it on the plane on my way to Morocco (in a few hours!!!!). thank you!
I am planning on shopping Moroccan jewelry in Marrakech, I hope I find great pieces