A growing disturbing trend on social media has left many shell-shocked – and disgusted at the same time.
Pictures of human teeth jewellery in form of necklaces and rings are circulating on social media leaving many with questions where they come from and why some would bedazzle themselves with such out of the ordinary, dark and “inhumane” sparklers.
But the practice, as old as time itself, is not new in this world. Human teeth jewellery industry has been in existence in so many cultures, and most popular in Fiji, Kiribati Islands and New Zealand.
It has found itself a new market in recent times, especially in Africa amongst millennials.
Out of curiosity, the publication looked into the market to find out more about the trend.
Human teeth necklaces and rings are readily available in the market and offered for sale in shops. The pieces range from USD$40 to $200 depending on the number of teeth found on the piece.
In some cases, requests are made to jewellers for designer teeth gems. These tend to be more expensive than readily available ones.
Front teeth and canines are preferred the most – and mostly valued with their roots intact. That means they should be carefully extracted from the source to make sure they don’t get damaged since this is where the necklace cord is usually put through.
Now the question on so many people’s minds is where teeth are gotten from?
According to Daily Sun reports, in South Africa, human teeth are being sold on the black market from as little as R200 per piece.
While not dismissing the fact that teeth may willingly be brought into jewellers by the owners, in most cases they are stolen from graves and mortuaries – or illegally sold by dentists.
Dentists are not allowed to donate or sale patients’ teeth, unless with approval from the owner.
As the market booms, a growing concern has been from the relatives of the deceased. Many wonder if their loves ones in graves still have their teeth intact.
The probability is very high that most deceased may be toothless as they are being hunted down for the newly-found gem.
It takes courage and a higher level of not caring what people say for those who don such trinkets to even go around with such unusual, horrifying and dark drip.
And as the trend grows, government regulations need to be constantly checked to ensure correct processes are followed in the making of human teeth jewellery.