Lapis lazuli is among the earliest gemstones used as early as the 4th millennium BC. The Egyptians utilized lapis lazuli stone in artwork, amulets, jewelry, ornaments and cosmetics.
The KEMET Royalty Collection is inspired by the ancient Egyptians. The collection is designed and handcrafted by artisans steeped in decades of tradition and craft to create gorgeous art jewelry pieces in 18K gold vermeil and lapis gemstone.
Lapis was also used in their religion. Amulets of deities inlaid with lapis lazuli were made of Osiris, Horus, Maat, Tet, Ra, Baste, Ibis and the goddess ISIS. They truly believed in the metaphysical powers of lapis. According to Ancient Egyptian myth, the sun (Ra) rolls across the sky each day and transforms bodies and souls. They believed that Lapis’ gold flecks were like stars in their night-time sky and by meditating on these colors the ancient Egyptians believed that supernatural forces would transform their lives. In the dry, barren land of the Egyptians, this deep cobalt blue color was both a physical and spiritual contrast to their arid desert pallets.
The garments of priests and royalty were dyed with Lapis to indicate their status as gods themselves. To present day, Lapis Lazuli’s deep, celestial blue remains the symbol of royalty and honor, gods and power, spirit and vision. It is a universal symbol of wisdom and truth.
The dung beetle which laid eggs that transformed into larva were seen as an earthly symbol of the heavenly cycle of sun and rebirth. Popular at the time, the scarabs were usually carved from Lapis Lazuli, as its deep, celestial blue remains the symbol of royalty and honor, gods and power, spirit and vision.
Egyptian High Priests used lapis lazuli also for healing purposes. They grounded lapis into powder and swallowed to prevent gallstones. Egyptians also used lapis to prevent sleeplessness and melancholy or fever, as well as an ingredient for eyewash.
Queen Hetepherus (2600-2500 B.C) had lapis into silver casings for bracelets, ankles and necklaces. Queen Iput had a beetle pendant of lapis. Queen Seneity had a lapis of ovoid beads with discs of gold, carnelian and green feldspar. Queen Nefruhad also a tomb at Thebes containing lapis beads and Queen Ashotep (1650-1567 B.C) owned a diadem crown of lapis, gold, carnelian and feldspar.
Kings wore pectoral necklaces of lapis and other stones. King Tutankhamen wore a scarab bracelet of lapis symbolizing the Sun God. Elaborate pectorals of Lapis Lazuli, carnelian and also gold covered the pharaohs Osorkon’s chest, while rings and bracelets of the same combination also adorned his arms and fingers. Lapis scarabs were buried in his wrappings, a large one on his heart.
So prized was this gemstone, that at Karnak, the relief carvings of Thutmose III (1479-1429 BC) show fragments and barrel-shaped pieces of lapis lazuli being delivered to him as tribute. King Ramses (1292 B.C) required lapis as a tribute.
Since no mines of lapis exist in Egypt so it is believed that the stone then reached Egypt along the trade routes from Meroe and Afghanistan.
Mombasa is proud to launch the KEMET Royalty Collection, honoring the ancient African kings & Queens and our collective heritage.
Love & Light,
Hanna & Regbe
Mombasa is a social enterprise that collaborates with artisans in developing countries to promote their creativity, pay fair wages and give them access to international markets. The SAFARI Collection is one such partnership with talented artisans in Kenya.
The SAFARI Collection is designed with the global consumer in mind. The Swahili word safari means journey, and we want to take your on a journey with us from Nairobi to Mombasa. We curated a selection of versatile necklaces and earrings all made from locally sourced recycled brass. Each piece is handcast, simple and ethically sourced and can be mix-and-matched to appeal to the urban woman. From bold and chunky to unisex style necklaces, the collection is inspired by geometric shapes and nature to deliver a strong yet minimal aesthetic.
Mombasa's mission has always been to redefine luxury as handmade or hand-touched goods, with a vision to collaborate with artisans around the world and break the cycle of poverty by paying a fair wage. We believe that when artisan entrepreneurs are given opportunity, their families benefit and their communities flourish.
We are proud to present to you our new SAFARI Collection; a new kind of luxury that is handmade, ethical fashion at accessible prices.
Love & Light,
Hanna & Regbe
It has been an incredibly busy Fashion Week season for Mombasa these past few months.
Mombasa recently participated in Day 3 OC FASHION WEEK® f/w17; presented by Lamborghini Newport Beach. Tatiana Shabelnik brought her globally inspired collection “Contrast” to the runway. The show took place at Soka University’s Founders Hall and wowed the audience. We were honored to introduce our couture jewelry collection to the fashion audience and industry insiders.
Mombasa and fashion designer Tatiana Shabelnik teamed again for a great cause at the American Heart Association Charity Event on April 1st in Beverly Hills at the LA Fashion Showcase "Rock the Red" Event.
On April 29th, Mombasa sponsored the CuffLinks Red Carpet Soirée at “Float” Hard Rock & Fashion Show with designer Lisseth Corrao in downtown San Diego. The event raised money and awareness for pediatric cancer.
Hats off to these beautiful ladies for making our jewelry designs come alive!
Love & Light,
Natural stones are believed to have metaphysical properties from releasing mental, physical and spiritual blockages to directing energy and raising our consciousness. Here we layout a guide to some of the stones used in Mombasa's jewelry design.
Turquoise is known as the “master Healer,” and is said to be the bridge between Heaven, Sky and the Earth. Many Native American cultures believe that Turquoise helps to connect the mind to the infinite possibilities of the Universe and is considered very sacred in Chinese cultures as well. It is a throat Chakra stone, as it helps to foster honest and open communication from the heart. It works to protect and align the chakras, strengthening the overall body in the process.
Amethyst is a natural stress reliever that encourages inner strength and brings wealth and a strong business sense to its wearer. It is a crystal of spiritual growth and protection. It brings clarity of the mind to their owner and helps you to become more in tune with your feelings so that you get to know yourself on a much deeper level. Amethyst crystals repel negative energy and attract positive energy, making them a wonderful protection stone for the home. They have one of the strongest powers to rid your home of any negative influence.
Labradorite cleans and opens the crown chakra by stimulating the wearer’s intuition. It is a power stone that allows you to see through illusions and determine the actual form of your dreams and goals. Use Labradorite to stimulate the imagination, develop enthusiasm and to see more clearly in meditation.
Agate is one of the oldest of healing stones. As a stone of strength, it was used in ancient civilizations, on the breastplates of armor, to bring warriors strength and make them victorious in battle. Agates are very protective stones, making them the perfect stones for amulets and medicine bags. They also bring us courage, emotional strength and self-confidence.
Pyrite is known to remedy financial hardship and attract abundance. The resemblance of Pyrite to gold has made it a traditional symbol for money and good luck. Its sunny golden color associates it with the sun and with the fortification and strengthening of the mind. Pyrite makes a wonderful energy shield, blocking out negativity from various sources.
Hematite is a very protective stone that helps you to stay grounded in any situation. It absorbs negative energy and calms you in times of stress or worry. When you wear Hematite, it helps you feel balanced, calm and centered. This stone helps you to find your own, unique talents, releasing self-imposed limitations.
Whether you believe in their power or not, it really doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with pretty, sparkly things.
Love & Light!
Few religious artifacts are as universal, loved or revered as the cross in Ethiopia. Neck crosses have been part of Ethiopian culture for thousands of years (it is believed that Christianity was practiced there since 1st century AD) and were initially made from wood, bone, leather, carved stones or other local material. Beginning in the 19th century silver in the form of silver coins became more prevalent in rural Ethiopia and soon village silversmiths began to create neck crosses from silver. Not only the faithful adorn themselves with a small cross usually worn on a string or chain around the necks, but often times, many also get inked with the cross on their forehead, neck hand or forearms.
The crosses share a name with Lalibela, universally considered the holiest place in Ethiopia, home to Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Throughout the wearable artifices, Holy Cross and Star of David are represented symbolizing the New Testament and Bible. The Lalibela cross is everywhere in Lalibela with citizens carrying the gold and brass crosses. They are timeless and transcendent.
Mombasa’s Signature Collection highlights the many variation of the Lalibela Cross. The collection signifies our heritage and is the essence of the brand. We hope you love these statement pieces in the Signature Collection – the Saba Beaded Cross necklace featuring faceted agate bead stones and pyrite beads; the Makeda Cross and Taytu Cross necklaces hand-crafted in our Los Angeles Studios using reclaimed leather and traditional glass beads. Each piece is unique and is designed for that special #Mombasababe with impeccable taste and a cultivated a sense of style.
Love & Light,