First of all, thank you for shopping at my site! I appreciate your business and will do everything possible to make your shopping experience here a pleasant one.

Much of the jewelry represented in my store is hand-crafted in Nepal (about 70%). The rest is from India and Bali. I carefully choose each supplier based on product quality, value, customer service and the practice of ethical business practices (ie no child labor). The stones are genuine and semi-precious and most are from Nepal or India. The settings are sterling silver. The "925" stamp on the bottom of each piece is assurance that the metal is 92.5% silver. This is an industry standard.

The main source of the beautiful jewelry I sell on my site is significant to me. From 1991-1993 I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal and grew to love the country. Nepal is a wonderful and full of gorgeous hills, mountains and rivers, and beautiful people. I lived in a "mud house" for two years with a panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountains out my back window. I could even see Mount Everest on clear days, 60 miles to the north!

Although in many ways, particularly aesthetically, Nepal lives up to its "Shangri-La" reputation, life there is very difficult for its people. The annual family income is only about $300 per year, there are few accessible hospitals and most of the people are subsistence farmers. One of the most significant problems facing the country is poor water quality. When I was there only about 20% of the population had access to a clean, reliable water supply and this contributes greatly to disease and malnourishment. My assignment as a Peace Corps Volunteer was to assist rural communities in building reliable, clean drinking water systems. During my tour I helped establish water projects that provided thousands of Nepalese with clean water, and the people I trained are continuing this work today. It was a very rewarding feeling, but I still feel as though I gained more through the experience than I contributed.

So how does one go from water engineering to importing silver jewelry? Starting an import business was the last thing on my mind. But I had some influential friends who convinced me that doing so would be fun and help maintain my connections to Nepal. They were right! When I finished my stay in Nepal I departed with a bunch of products ranging from jewelry to Gorkha Knives to carpets. I even brought back about 500 wooden ties (most of which I still have)! The jewelry and particularly the rings were the biggest hit. The quality was excellent and I was able to offer them at very affordable prices. The one thing that really makes the rings special is the beauty of the gems. I haven't seen anything that compares.

My partner in this business is Prithbi Shrestha. He lives in Nepal and operates a successful trekking company: Nepal Panorama Trek. If you are considering visiting Nepal check in with him for info. He offers excellent tours. Prithbi has three children and a beautiful wife, Chie. He takes care of all the business in Nepal and is very reliable and a good friend!

All the jewelry from nepal is made in a type of "cottage industry." There are 15-20 families in Kathmandu and in the surrounding hills who craft the rings in their homes. This is a means for them to generate extra revenue for their family at their own convenience.

In addition to buying some great stuff on this site, your purchase will also help people in Nepal. I also donate time (running the group's website) and a little money to Friends of Nepal (FON). And once in a while we will run a promotion on that will directly benefit FON. FON is a group of former Peace Corps Volunteers that gives small community development grants to local organizations in Nepal. FON is currently supporting the following projects which are underway:

School Construction:  An entire village in Dolpa District is building a school for their children. The focus of the school is teaching and thus preserving the ancient Bonn Culture. The village is in far western Nepal, 10 days walk from the closest road and very close to the Tibetan border. The Bonn Culture is a cousin of Tibetan Buddhism and actually precedes the Tibetan Religion. This project is being coordinated in part by Friends of Dolpa, a non-profit organization to which Friends of Nepal has recently funded to support this work.

Women's Health: We funded a local group to train health workers to screen women in remote villages for breast and cervical cancer. The project has been very successful and may be replicated in other parts of the region.

Goat Raising: We provided a small grant to group to purchase and breed goats as a means of income production.

If you would like to find out more about Friends of Nepal, or make a donation (without buying jewelry!) please contact me.

About me... I live in Rhode Island with my wife and 3 sons. I hope you enjoyed your visit!



Some of my village friends

My best friend "Buda"

Machupuchare 25,000' +

My beautiful neighbors!

Tika-- A Nepali/ Hindu tradition

I think she may be an Angel

Mt. Annapurna- in Western Nepal

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