Meet South African celebrity jewellers, AmaThambo – designers to rockstars Die Antword, amongst others…

The name AmaThambo means ‘bones’ in isiZulu, with jewellery cast from the bones of a diverse range of South Africa’s wildlife.

“I wanted to create a range that showed the true diversity of SA – one that celebrated Africa,” says Shaun Miller, founder and designer at AmaThambo.

‘’South Africa is more than just the Big Five, we have an array of insects, forests, deserts, bush – all unique to this area, and all a piece of our communal heritage as Africans.”


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Ninja, Die Antword’s gift to Yo-Landi Vi$$er Source: AmaThambo


Cast in silver or gold and studded with a selection of sustainably- and ethically sourced African diamonds and other precious gemstones, AmaThambo’s range of rings, pendants, earrings and bracelets range from ghost crab earrings to rhino beetle cufflinks and anything else nature offers up.

“We find small creatures that have died of natural causes, and we use these to cast our jewellery,” he comments. It’s an interesting and unique way to capture the essence of Africa, something Miller says customers across the world are appreciating.


Rhino Beetle Cufflinks Source: AmaThambo


“Initially it was difficult to find someone to make moulds from the bones, because often the bone was crushed in the process,” says Miller. “We have since discovered a technique to create the mould with the use of vibration, therefore preserving the bone.”

While the initial mould is cast from a real skeleton, from there on, AmaThambo pieces are created from the mould, meaning that the bone is not present in the jewellery itself. The process allows a piece to be re-created while retaining a true and intricate reflection of the initial subject.


Ghost Crab Earrings Source: AmaThambo

Each piece of jewelry is wrapped in cloth with the story of provenance elegantly printed on it, closed with a wax seal, and placed in a leather pouch.

Currently based online and available at exclusive shops such as Elegance Jewellers in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, AmaThambo will be launching a dedicated store soon, with Paris and Las Vegas the expected locations.

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