History Detectives

Do you ever watch the PBS show, History Detectives? I love it! So here is my little mystery, one of them anyway. I bought this bracelet in 1972 or 1973 in an import shop in West Lafayette, IN (home of my first alma mater, Purdue University). Later, I ran into the owner in a restaurant while I was wearing it. He told me he had purchased it himself in Afghanistan and that it was an Afghan tribal bracelet. He said it was 75 years old which makes it well over 100 now.

I have always loved it and wear it often but I’ve always wondered if that’s what it really is. It’s very heavy and even has holes in some places in the silver that go all the way through. It has no maker marks or hallmarks. It was also cracked so after I moved to Arizona I took it to a Native American jeweler who reinforced it with a large piece of silver that you can see here (below).

So fast forward to a day in early 1999 when I got my weekly Time magazine in the mail. I remember staring at the cover for a few seconds; I wasn’t that interested in Hip Hop or Lauryn Hill, really, and then it dawned on me.

She was wearing a bracelet identical to mine! You have to look at it from the right angle to recognize it and the prong things are not visible in the shot of her (above).

Here’s another shot of her wearing it, although blurred…you can see the prongs here.

Over the years, I’ve tried to contact her a few times, through her website and Twitter, to see what she knows about her bracelet, where she got it, but I’ve never heard back. I’ve also tried, for years, to find another one online to see if it’s really Afghan but I have never found it and the Afghan tribal bracelets I have found don’t really look like it.

But…get this, I have searched for info about her bracelet and have found numerous references to it, most recently in a June 2012 article here. “Before she retired, she was photographed on the cover of Time magazine wearing a bracelet with the Illuminati pyramid with the Eye of Horus on it.” I never perceived my bracelet that way and just don’t believe it and would it be an Afghan tribal bracelet if that were true? I can see the pyramids, obviously, and I can see the 4 eyes on each end of the bracelet, although I never recognized them as eyes until I began reading about it. So…do you think my bracelet symbolizes the Illuminati???? Does the Illuminati even exist? Or is it a conspiracy theory? And since when is the Eye of Horus evil? The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power and good health (Wikipedia).

A lot of mysteries and histories, huh? I was thinking of submitting it to History Detectives but their emphasis seems to be on things relevant to American history. Of course, I can try. And one of the History Detectives, Dr. Eduardo Pagán, is a history professor at Arizona State University, my real alma mater, right here in town, so I could email him also. Since I now wrote it up here, with pictures, I guess I will just send it off to them. What do you think?

I was going to show a couple of other pieces of jewelry today but this got too long so, if you’re into jewelry, stay tuned. Some of them have stories, too…

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13 thoughts on “History Detectives

  1. Fascinating photos but the narrative makes it all so good. By all means, I think you should give others with formal backgrounds a chance to consider the problems you’ve encountered. Aren’t you glad to bought it when you did!

  2. I think this is so exciting, Candace!!
    I would try to contact anyone who could even remotely help you with it.
    Please do keep us posted about it.
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    xo.

  3. wow… how interesting. first… you are very observant to have noticed your bracelet was the same on lauryn hill was wearing. second, i think you SHOULD investigate and see what you can find out. it’s too interesting not to! and you should definitely post again when you do find out. it’s a pretty bracelet. mine seems boring, now. =)

  4. It is a mystery wrapped in an enigma! LOL.
    How about contacting “Antiques Roadshow?” They are always so knowledgeable about things like that.

  5. Hi Candace,

    I own a bracelet that is very similar to yours. It is indeed an afghan pachto bracelet and I wouldn’t doubt yours is too. Apparently this type of bracelet was an amulet and came with its exact copy as they were worn symmetrically on both wrings.
    I stumbled upon your blog while looking for the twin of my own bracelet and thought at first yours was! I could send you via email a description and background of my own bracelet the seller gave me, as well as a picture of it because it is really really close. It is also roughly a 100 y.o. so I am now wondering if it might have been crafted by the same person!
    By the way, I am French and bought my bracelet in Italy, so it is a worldwide search 😉

    Ash

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