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On a glorious sunny day on Koh Phangan, Phanganist’s Emma hopped on her bicycle and cycled the short distance up to Pet Tawan Jewelry to meet our wonderful friend Andrea.
We last formally spoke with Andrea last Summer where we learnt of her 18 years on the island of Koh Phangan and hers and her husbands jewelry shop Pet Tawan in Thong Sala.
Andrea left Germany in 1999 to officially live in Thailand and get married here, her husband is the silversmith in their shop Pet Tawan which means ‘Diamond of the Sun’ and is also the name of her grand daughter.
We sit down amongst the green plants at the front of the shop, like Andrea’s private little garden for a catch up…
Hi Andrea, how are you?
Ha-ha I'm getting old but I’m ok, I just can’t move much anywhere anymore.
What has been the focus of shop recently?
We are still a shop for specialist items and we like to make custom orders. We have a German customer now who wants everything really chunky which my husband loves to do.
But we also welcome small piece orders as he can do everything, apart from melted silver which is like making it in a cast, every piece we make is handmade, every little leaf and every little flower. Me, I’m the stone collector, that's why we only work with silver and mix the two together.
Have you been drawn to any new stones recently?
Yes sure, all the time I get new stones. I’m drawn to them each one, it’s just the feeling, the feeling even without knowing the properties.
Most of my feeling come with my eyes, some people feel with hands but I get some special feeling by looking at them.
Are you still making healing jewellery?
Yes we’re still making healing necklaces, all to order.
One man came with a broken moonstone so we put sodalite and silver with it and people can come and look and see what they like, I have more than 100 stones here and many powerful ones.
Can people ever get it wrong when it comes to stones?
No, a stone can never give bad energy. For me, it’s if you don't need it or if it’s not for you then it’s gonna go, you may lose it or break it but it cannot do anything negative, it will just be a beautiful stone.
What are your Husband’s interests at the moment?
Right now he’s doing the special order for Germany, it’s an amazing buffalo head and now he’s making a skull and if she likes it then she wants a scorpion too as she is Scorpio.
He likes to work big, chunky and massive. He's an artist not a salesman.
Do you notice a fashion with stones?
No not really, but I wouldn't know what people outside are doing. I love all the stones and some days I have favourites but I still like all of them.
After so long here do you still love Koh Phangan?
Yes, its difficult to say sometimes as I am afraid it will follow Samui and I would not like that, but what can I say?! I will have to try to move deep in the jungle as I don't need all the luxury. It has nature and is so beautiful anyway that I don’t think it needs luxury.
We sat and spoke with Andrea for much longer, we spoke about how well regarded the King was and she showed us some of her very special stones in the shop, even gifting a small stone to Emma to help her on her path, we could've stayed for hours.
Andrea’s green eyes sparkle with that magical wisdom that one can only achieve through a life of peacefulness and knowledge and all she wants for her and her family is to be able to stay here a long time and be able to sell her stones and jewelry which she loves and we hope as much that she can do this too!