Books, articles, blogs
Learn with me

Sharing stories

One of the ways I share the stories behind jewellery, is by writing. Something I love doing! Over the past 20 years, I have done a lot of writing: childrens’ books (age 8-12), handbooks for heritage management professionals, and books on archaeology and jewellery specifically for a wide audience. In the digital realm I create guest posts on blogs, website texts and e-books. Scroll down to learn more!

A pile of copies of 'Silver and Frankincense' on a table, showing the beautifully designed cover
Online writing

Articles & blogs

I often write for journals and magazines, both online and offline, as well as for other blogs. You will find lots of articles on silver jewellery from the Middle East on the Jewellery Blog on this website, and below is an overview of some of my online publications.

Scented adornment in North Africa and Southwest Asia – Garland Magazine

Bracelets in diffcult times: the importance of ordinary people’s stories –

Age-old motifs in contemporary jewellery design – Art Jewelry Forum

Smell the Roses. The invisible side of personal adornment – Pink Jinn Blog

A series of regional posts on jewellery – The Zay Initiative

Silver Savings – Pink Jinn Blog

The Power of Henna – Arte & Lusso Magazine

Reading Vintage Jewellery – Arte & Lusso Magazine

Of Swords and Daggers – RAWI Magazine

A silver necklace from Tunisia and a silver pendant from Morocco lying on a desk, showing a card with Amazigh tattoos
Cover of the book Silver and Frankincense by Sigrid van Roode
The world of fragrance

Silver & Frankincense

This book presents a unique exploration of a little-known, invisible aspect of traditional jewellery and adornment from the Arab world: scent. It delves into rituals, traditions and customs from many countries across this vast region to explore how scent is used in personal adornment. The book offers insights into the social and spiritual values of fragrance and shows many examples of material culture, from perfume jewellery to incensing devices.

Silver & Frankincense is  beautiful. The magenta font is genius! It evokes the joy of fragrance. The colors are perfect for scent! The writing is from the heart, personal and respectful and perfect for the subject. Such a brilliant idea to write about scent and personal adornment with its spiritual connections. This book  follows from, and begets Sigrids work and deep understanding of meaning and jewelry.  
On a personal note, I found this book healing. In a time of great fear, loss, vulnerability, helplessness, conflict, confusion and danger Sigrid brings love to her work, and that, like Frankincense inspires and heals!
Barbara Black Koltuv, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Jungian Analyst and author

Author of 'Amulets, Talismans, and Magical Jewelry'

The book is deceptively small, belying the weight and density of information contained within. Don’t be fooled.

Even though scent is an inherently invisible and elusive substance, the author succeeded in bringing it to life, giving it substance, and making it both visible and understandable to the reader. Her style of writing is clear yet illustrative, and her narrative is both scholarly and approachable.

The six chapters capture the role of scent in all spheres of life – past and present, intangible and tangible, physical and spiritual, and both as an object and as an experience.

This is book is the perfect introduction to the role of scent in the Arab world. As with most perfumes it is contained in a small package, but its aroma and allure spread far beyond, carrying innuendos of past lives, spiritual values, and promises of future possibilities.

Ansie van der Walt

The Zay Initiative

Understanding jewellery

Desert Silver

This is the fully revised and expanded 2017 edition of my book Desert Silver. This book introduces the context and long history of traditional silver jewellery of North Africa and Southwest Asia. Jewellery is more than just adornment: it functions as communicator, amulet and bank account. All of these capacities are discussed in this richly illustrated book, showing examples from the seaside trading ports of the Maghreb to the ancient caravan posts in Southwest Asia.

Cover of the book Desert Silver by Sigrid van Roode

If you know nothing about jewellery from the Arab world, you will find this a perfect introduction that will entice you to read and learn more, even to start your own collection. If you are already knowledgeable about Arab jewellery, this is a wonderful book to put it all into context and to understand the relevance and value of these items. If you own or wear Arab jewellery, this book is a celebration of your cultural treasures and your heritage.

Ansie van der Walt

The Zay Initiative

I love Desert Silver, very readable, lots of info that I knew nothing about, but I love it the most because it shows commonly worn jewels rather than exquisite one of a kinds. Much like Silver Treasures by Marjorie Ransom

Patricia Deany

Collector and connaisseur

A pair of heavy silver bracelets from Saudi Arabia, placed on handwritten research notes
writing for you

Commissioned writing

I am available for commissioned writing. I take maximum word count and deadlines very seriously, and can help you develop a complete book concept or guest author a chapter.  Whether it is a coffee table book, a guest post on your blog or a magazine article, my contributions are well-researched and written in an engaging, lucid and fluid style. I have worked as professional editor and am familiar with the production process of books and periodicals – a background that will work to your advantage.