If you’ve walked on the black sand beaches of the Canary Islands or tasted the exuberant fruit of the banana trees that surround your luxury residence on Tenerife, you’ll understand how the strength of the earth has impacted these islands with a fiery soul. The volcanic strength that beats below the earth of Tenerife has branded the character and the culture of its inhabitants and the celebration of the unique nature of these lands continues today through artists that are reinventing man’s relationship with the elements. The singularity of the Canaries is evident in folklore, gastronomy and art, so perhaps it won’t surprise you to learn than these volcanic island roots are also reflected in applied arts such as jewellery.
Probably used since time immemorial but reinvented more recently by young jewellers and artisans, today lava rock and the jewellery made with it inspire plenty of curiosity and attention from visitors to the Canary Islands. A fascinating body of work has been produced that combines the various forms of this fiery rock with other pieces and precious metals to create compositions that are full of personality.
If you take a stroll through the numerous little boutiques of Costa Adeje or visit one of the local mercadillos that are so popular in the area, you can find many examples of jewellery crafted with different types of these igneous rocks formed by the transformation of magma when it comes in contact with the atmosphere. It’s the same process that created the Canary Islands themselves, and it has indelibly marked the character and the orography of this oasis.
Depending on the composition of the earth and also whether the contact with the atmosphere’s temperature was sudden or slow, there are many different types of rocks formed from lava. For those of you who need a bit of brushing up on the subject, these materialize in different colours and textures with which the artisans and Canary Island jewellers have learned to make extraordinary things. In its most crystallised form, when the lava has cooled down more slowly and results from a longer process of formation, volcanic lava produces, among others, three semiprecious stones of tremendous beauty: olivine, known as the green jewel of the Canaries, basalt, which comes in black and green varieties, and black obsidian.
At the other extreme, scoria, the rock most commonly known as Canary Island lava or magma, is showcased in jewellery that highlights its peculiar porous and matte texture, the product of the quick cooling of the gas bubbles inside the magma. Though it’s possible to find it in reddish, greenish, or even light tones, the most popular colour in jewellery is black, for its solid personality, and you can find it combined with silver, gold, or other semiprecious stones in a wide range of styles and at all price points.
Perhaps because of lava’s origin at the heart of the Earth, many small communities believe that volcanic rocks have healing powers. Since antiquity, many cultures have associated volcanic rock with the liberation of oppressed feelings and the elimination of tension. Though these beliefs form part of popular wisdom and haven’t been scientifically proven, many villagers will recommend that you get yourself a pretty bracelet or necklace made with lava so that you can put this ancient rock in contact with your skin and benefit from its essence and serenity. And our recommendation? Do it, for the simple reason that it’s a token of Abama and your beloved luxury residence in Tenerife. Your elegant reminder will encourage you to visit again sooner rather than later.