Indonesia's silver jewelry makers highlight traditional motifs

Makers are offering handcrafted models that feature Balinese and batik motifs to differentiate their products.

January 24, 2017

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Makers are offering handcrafted models that feature Balinese and batik motifs to differentiate their products.

Silver jewelry from Indonesia include earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets and pendants (L-R: Necklace from Jnanacrafts, bracelets from Bali Mandiri, pendant from PT Singaruda, ring and earrings from Bali Mandiri).

Amid intense competition, silver jewelry suppliers in Indonesia are offering handcrafted pieces featuring Balinese and batik patterns, which require intricate metalwork. The creation of unique handcrafted pieces is made possible by the existence of communities where metalworking techniques have been passed down from generation to generation.

Each community typically specializes in a particular technique. Silversmiths from the island of Java, for example, are known for filigree work. Those from Bali are known for granulation.

Other hubs for silver crafts in the country are the provinces of Jakarta, Yogyakarta, South Kalimantan, Western Nusa Tenggara, and North and South Sulawesi.

Indonesia being a major producer of silver, gold and other minerals is another advantage of the country’s jewelry industry. Various precious and semiprecious stones, including amethyst, opal and jasper, can also be found in the country.

Additionally, Indonesia’s government implements several programs to boost the competitiveness of the county’s industries, including the jewelry sector. The Ministry of Trade, for instance, helps encourage innovation and promotion of Indonesia-made jewelry through competitions and trade missions and exhibitions. Through the Directorate Export Training and Education, the government provides companies training to improve their design and export capability.


Price competition among local and international jewelry producers is the main challenge the industry faces. Domestically, silversmith shops are next to each other in villages, while competitors from overseas offer lower prices for bulk production and faster turnout.

Many silver jewelry suppliers in Indonesia intend to keep prices at current levels in coming months because higher quotes may discourage current and potential customers from ordering. Uncertainty over the economic changes that may take place in the US and the Europe are also prompting companies to maintain prices.

Despite this uncertainty, North America will remain a key destination for Indonesia’s silver jewelry. For 44 percent of the companies surveyed for this report, it will be the most important target market for the next 12 months. Europe, meanwhile, will be the top market for 16 percent of the respondents.

This article and its contents are provided by the Hinrich Foundation, a partner of Global Sources in promoting trade across Asia. The products and the suppliers featured in this article are export assistance program beneficiaries of the Hinrich Foundation.

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