Bernie's Trip to Mexico
Added over 7 years ago
By Bernard Heaphy
I've just returned from a two week buying trip to Mexico. Landing in Mexico City (there are any beautiful places to visit in Mexico but Mexico City is not necessarily one of them), I spent a couple of days exploring the city's handicrafts markets before moving on to the main focus of the journey, the delightful colonial-era hill town of Taxco situated 198km from Mexico City. Many tourists are already familiar with this town as one of the world's foremost shopping destinations for silver handicrafts and jewellery - there are over 250 silver shops crammed onto its steeply zigzagging streets - however sightseers will also be charmed by its colonial style whitewashed houses, cobblestone streets and central Plaza and church, considered by some to be a masterpiece of Baroque design.
As well as the established silver and handicraft shops, with their high fixed prices catering largely to the gullible American tourist market, the town hosts a weekend jewellery market at the Zocalo end of town. Silver artisans, big and small, come from miles around to sell their wares (often to the shops themselves) and it is far easier for us to pick up reasonable discounts here when buying in bulk for our store.
Mexican jewellery is characterised by a style and finish peculiar to itself; elegant and modern in design, it often features stones local to the region such as red jasper, malachite, onyx and amber. Another beautiful regional product is Spondylus shell, ranging in colour from light pink to the deepest of purples. However, jewellery buyers should note, many stones incorporated into Mexican jewellery are now imported from China and are of a low quality; stones are often dyed, made of pressed material, or are simply panels of enamel tricked up to look like real stone. If in doubt, inexperienced buyers should stick to excellent local plain silver jewellery, or directly ask the sellers if the stones they are selling are real.
As well as a beautiful range of earrings, necklaces, pendants and bracelets, I also managed to bring back some lovely hand-woven blankets in bright and earthy colour palates and some wood crucifixes set with hand painted tiles and iron nails. This joins the Mexican handicrafts already in our store, including our range of tin and tile mirrors, original watercolour art work by Celestino and charming muy rustico woolen rugs. Our new Mexican stock will soon be available to purchase on-line, but in the meantime you can visit us instore or emails us here for details.
Unfortunately I missed the Day of the Dead celebrations this year, always a highlight of a trip to Mexico. Still, town was lively with celbrations of all kinds including wedings, funerals and political demonstrations. A lovely place to visit, not to be missed on a trip to Mexico.
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