Samui Wining & Dining
Nature Lover
Finding or making that perfect piece of jewellery is a cinch at Chaweng’s Nature Art Gallery.


Nature LoverIf you’re a jewellery lover – and who isn’t? – you’ve come to one of the best places to get your perfect piece. And the best thing is, not only can you buy your ring or bracelet, anklet or necklace here on Samui, but you can also work with master craftsmen to learn how to make it yourself.


There’re several jewellery shops on the island, but the trick is to look for one where you can go to a jewellery-making workshop and craft your own piece, whether that’s bringing a stone from home to set into a ring, refashioning a precious family heirloom, or taking advantage of the vast experience of the staff to advise you on how to make your own piece from scratch.


Luckily, you don’t have to go too far to find a reputable jeweller on the island, one who’s been in the business for years, who only employs experts, sells only the highest quality jewellery and who can even teach you how to craft your own timeless piece. Michael Trav is an Israeli who, with his partner Shai Shalome Nissim, runs the Nature Art Gallery on the Chaweng Beach Road, just opposite Via Vai restaurant, near TOPS supermarket. He’s been making jewellery for decades, starting off in Israel then opening a shop on Samui’s neighbouring island, Koh Pha-Ngan. Michael and Shai now have three Nature Art Gallery branches on the two islands, selling not only jewellery but also leather goods, stones and objets d’art.


The gallery is crammed with items to suit all tastes, from hand-crafted red coral and silver belt buckles to rainbow moonstone belly chains and gold hoop earrings set with rubies and diamonds. Most of the jewellery is personally made by Michael, Shai or one of the three Nepalese goldsmiths on site, one of whom was the personal goldsmith to the King of Nepal, whilst the pieces not made by the team are carefully sourced for quality and originality. It’s virtually guaranteed you’ll find your elusive piece in the shop but, if not, or if you have something specific in mind, all you have to do is have a chat with the staff about having something made.


“Customers can come in with a picture of something they’d like and we can recreate the exact piece for them,” Michael says. “Or they can have a consultation and have an item personally designed. We can use silver, gold, leather, stones, shells ... anything from nature and anything they’d like. And if they want to learn how to make their own jewellery, they can come to one of our workshops and be shown how to make their own piece however they want.”


The jewellery-making workshop is on the upper floor of the gallery and is where just about anything goes. You can reset a stone from an old necklace or ring, or buy a stone and come to the workshop to set it in a bracelet or buckle. Or you could try picking out one of the Nature Art Gallery energy crystals and talking to Michael and Shai about the best way to set it.


This is something that Michael and Shai are particularly expert at. Michael and his team know everything about all the different types of stones available, so you can pick the best one to match your personality and what you want the stone to represent. You might want agate, which is said to tone and strengthen the body and mind and to give a sense of courage to the wearer. Or moldavite, one of the rarest minerals on the planet and known as one of the stones with the strongest energies, or lapis lazuli, the stone of friendship said to aid self-expression, writing and creativity. Whatever aspect of your personality you want to reflect or build upon, there’ll be a stone at Nature Art Gallery for you.


It’s something different to do on your visit to Samui. Jewellery is an ideal souvenir of your visit here, whether it’s having matching wedding rings hand-crafted for your ceremony on the beach or treating yourself to that jade necklace you’ve always wanted. And any jewellery you buy here is likely to be much cheaper than at home, especially if you bring a semi-precious stone or crystal with you to be shaped into your new piece. So it makes sense to go somewhere you can get exactly what you want and to talk to people like Michael and his team.


The gallery’s jewellery-making workshops run over one, two or three days and are held in English for groups of up to five. Making your own piece is a perfect souvenir of your visit to Samui, and a guaranteed way of making sure that elusive piece of perfect jewellery can be yours at last.


Lisa Cunningham

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