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In Balinese life, gold is more coveted than Rupiah. Women can tell a man's wealth by the size of his 'kalung' (gold necklace).

Though the traditional center for gold and silver jewelry-making is Denpasar, the art has now also taken hold elsewhere on the island. Dozens of gold and silversmiths work in Banjar Pande Mas in Kamasan, four km south of Klungkung.

Once working under the auspices of the old Gelgel court, these smiths produce large, delicately ornamented silver and gold betel nut bowls, chased gold 'kris' handles, offering platters, and vessels for holy water.

A market still exists for these ceremonial objects, which are necessary for sacrificial and exorcist rituals, luckily guaranteeing the survival of the craft. Younger men work beside the older masters and learn the patterns and techniques by imitation and repetition.

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