Dinh Cong Jewelry Village
Location: Dinh Cong Jewelry Village is located on the To Lich river bank is Dinh Cong Thuong Village, also called Dinh Cong kim hoan (Jewelry). It belongs to the present Thanh Tri District, Hanoi.
Characteristic: The name of the village shows us it is already famous for jewelry handicraft.
The Dinh Cong
Jewelers used to relate the following story: during the Ly Nam De
period (571 - 603), in the To Lich River area, there were three orphan
brothers of the Tran family called Tran Hoa, Tran Dien and Tran Dien,
who originated from Dinh Cong Village. After a period of exile in the
war, they learned jewelry making and came back to their native village
and opened a jewelry shop called "Kim Hoan", taking the gold
bracelet as their trade mark. The jewelry they made was very
sophisticated. As their prestige became more well-known, the king got
the three brothers to come to the royal court to make jewelry. The
brothers taught people in their village the profession. Since then, Dinh
Cong Village has been renowned for its jewelry, the skills being handed
down from generation to generation. Besides the Dinh Cong Village, Hang
Bac Street in the very heart of Hanoi is an area for jewellers
originating from Dinh Cong Village. |
fact the three Tran brothers are not the originators of the jewelry
handicraft, they simply contributed to the development of the
techniques. About 5 or 6 centuries earlier, ancient China had already
appreciated Giao Chi (the name of Vietnam at that time) as an area rich
in gold and gemstones, and the exploitation of these precious resources
was developed. A Chinese historian in about 187 - 226 A.D. wrote: Sy
Nhiep sent to China many gifts, at first these were gold and silver
items. In many tombs of the 2nd and 3rd centuries,
sophisticated gold and jade jewelry such as bracelets, rings, hairpins,
combs, earrings and necklaces have been found.
Under the feudal
regimes, kings and mandarins gathered skillful jewelers not only from
Dinh Cong village but also from other provinces to produce jewels for
themselves or to decorate their palaces.
To make sophisticated
products, jewelers must master 3 important techniques relating to the
profession, including carving, making and polishing.
technique involves carving a picture, design or motif on jewels, or on
gold or silver pieces. The pieces included necklaces, bracelets and
The making technique involves spinning tempered gold
and silver into strings and then making flowers, birds and animals from
these strings to stick on the jewels. This technique requires a careful
and skillful hand, so itï¿½s mainly reserved for women. The polishing
technique making gold and silver articles by shading not by carving.
skillful jewelers must master not only these 3 professional techniques
but above all the ancient technique of smelting. To use pure gold
(called also gold foil or gold leaf) for jewelry making, they have to
follow the traditional techniques of "polishing gold".
the making is finished, the article is ready for polishing. Silver
articles are brushed with sand and then with a solution of soot and lime
and then put on a fire. The article is then immersed in a solution of
boiled alum and finally polished with sand and pieces of glass. Gold
articles are brushed with a solution of pounded brick and liquid salt,
then put on a fire and cleaned. Then they are immersed in a solution of
boiled, sour fungus and finally polished with sand and by pieces of
Looking at the figures and motifs on the articles, one
can see the patience, skill and creativeness of these Vietnamese