My love for Moroccan jewelry started in my childhood. I used to accompany my aunts to the Medina, our city downtown, and look for authentic Moroccan jewelry pieces.
That was a passion many Moroccan women shared: Checking new and vintage jewelry arrivals and acquire pieces when the price of gold and silver was low. Banks weren’t very popular at the time and women used to invest the majority of their money in authentic Moroccan jewelry.
But that’s not all. Moroccan Women REALLY love jewelry and it’s not just materialistic. Every Moroccan woman and girl is proud of her jewelry box and all the jewelry pieces her mother or grandmother passed down to her, a well as those she was gifted or she acquired throughout the years. There is a sentimental attachment because each jewelry piece has a history of its own.
That’s how I spent my childhood, listening to my grandmother, mother and aunts’ jewelry stories. Now here I am, with a passion for Moroccan jewelry and antique Moroccan jewelry designs. Put me in a traditional Moroccan jewelry store and you won’t hear from me for hours!
Shopping Moroccan jewelry, whether online or in Morocco, can be very overwhelming for anyone who isn’t a Moroccan native or familiar with Moroccan culture. There are many factors to take into account during the search and buying process and one can easily end up overpaying or buying a counterfeit jewelry piece.
Tip: If you are visiting Morocco, check my Morocco Shopping Guide where I go through Morocco markets’ rules and dynamics. This guide is so helpful when shopping for handicrafts and souvenirs in Morocco.
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 connoisseurs, it is possible to guess where a Moroccan woman is from just by looking at her jewelry adornment. This is possible because each region of Morocco has its own jewelry designs.
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, most antique jewelry is nowadays expensive and hard to wear casually.
Moroccan traditional jewelry 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 an expert, you can easily make the wrong choice and buy a counterfeit.
Fortunately, there are some traditional jewelry designs that are quite affordable, relatively easy to shop and that go beautifully with modern fashion.
1. Moroccan Berber Necklaces
One of Morocco’s 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 925 silver sterling but there are many designs made of gold.
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 from evil and negative people. It is a classic in Moroccan jewelry, usually worn in gold or silver necklaces and embellished with complex engravings.
You can find the Moroccan Hamsa in almost every jewelry item in Morocco: Hamsa necklaces, Hamsa pendants, bracelets, earrings, .. Hamsa hand jewelry is a real classic and most Moroccan women have at least a couple of pieces 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 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.
Antique Moroccan Jewelry
As I mentioned earlier, antique Moroccan jewelry is REALLY expensive. Most Moroccan women are content with the antique jewelry pieces they got from their mothers and grandmothers. It’s really hard to find a reliable vintage jewelry seller, whether you are shopping online or in Morocco.
So unless you found that rare pearl or know a Moroccan jewelry expert, I would recommend focusing on Moroccan jewelry pieces using high-end materials (gold, silver, pearls, jade, coral, etc) that are inspired by vintage Moroccan designs.
To be honest, that’s what I do. I also design my own Moroccan jewelry as it’s really hard to find those vintage pieces I grew up seeing. I sometimes put a few jewelry pieces here.
Buying Jewelry in Morocco
In Morocco, the best place I go to purchase authentic Moroccan Jewelry is the Medinas, Moroccan cities’ downtown. This is true especially for the Medinas of historical cities like Marrakech, Fez, Rabat, Chefchaouen, Casablanca, and Tangier.
Although quite overwhelming, Moroccan Medinas are the perfect place to shop for jewelry and handicrafts. I don’t know one single person who didn’t feel excited in Moroccan Medinas! They are the heartbeat of Moroccan cities and where Moroccans shop for everyday necessities, the perfect place to shop and be immersed in locals’ everyday life.
In most Moroccan cities, Medinas are organized in sections for each shopping need: Moroccan jewelry, spices, rugs, traditional clothes and so on. There are hundreds of thousands of products available and hundreds of variations for each product.
If you are planning on doing some shopping in Morocco, make sure you check my Morocco shopping guide. I love shopping in the Medinas and I know they have a crazy shopping potential, but they can also be overwhelming and it’s best to know a few things before going there.
A few years ago, one of my cousins purchased an expensive Berber necklace only to realize days later it was made of fake amber.
This being said, you shouldn’t be worried if you shop mindfully. I always do my research before shopping and I am sure by doing so too, you can acquire jewelry that you can pass down to the next generation, like my mother’s necklace that she got from her grandmother. It is 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