Somehow Sharon Stone discovered Plata Nativa and went crazy for the multistrand necklaces combining turquoise, amethyst, quartz, lapis, and other semiprecious stones. Buried in an unprepossessing mall on Calle Florida—you’d never find it just wandering around—this little shop yields a spectacular mix of antiques and newly designed jewelry. But it is the collection of vintage smalls that steals my heart. I am on the verge of buying a cow-shaped incense burner when I see a devotional figure—for a home?a church?—that is clad in a silver dress and holding a rod with a silver fish; I am a goner. Though technically not an antique—one of the owners, Leonardo Alche, thinks it’s about 60 years old—I rapidly fork over several hundred dollars. (Like so many other shopkeepers in this city, he happily takes American currency.)

Fodor's Review:

This tiny shop tucked away in an arcade is filled with delights for both boho chicks and collectors of singular ethnic jewelry. Complex, chunky necklaces with turquoise, amber, and malachite—all based on original Araucanian (ethnic Argentine) pieces—and Mapuche-style silver earrings and brooches are some of the offerings. Sharon Stone and Liv Ullman have fallen for Florencia Bernales's knitted silver necklaces; other happy customers include Pedro Almodóvar and the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. Weavings and religious wooden statues complete the finds.


Hidden Gems

Tucked away in a jumbled mini mall off Florida street—the pedestrian shopping drag filled with mostly junk—is Plata Nativa, Negra Luna's marvelous boutique dedicated to the craftsmanship of South America. For more than 20 years it has produced Mapuche-inspired bracelets, necklaces, and belts woven from strips of native cloth and adorned with silver and stones like rhodochrosite and pampa onyx. Many of the pieces are under $100, but ask to see some of the unusual antique creations stashed away on an upper floor, such as the chacanas, festive Bolivian belts decorated with hummingbird feathers, which can run into the thousands. At Galería del Sol, Local 41, 860 Florida; 54-11/4312-1398;

Plata Nativa


Plata Nativa reviewRate it

This small, hidden treasure trove of indigenous and Latin American art and textiles also sells antique silver and contemporary ethnic accessories. But it's the necklaces woven in agate and turquoise, inspired by Mapuche jewellery, that have attracted loyal fans around the world.

Plata Nativa details

Unit 41,
Galería del Sol,
Florida 860, entre Córdoba y Paraguay
Area Retiro
Transport Subte C, San Martín
Telephone 011 4312 1398
Open 10am-7.30pm Mon-Fri; 10am-2pm Sat

Plata Nativa map

Map data ©2012 Google, Inav/Geosistemas SRL - Terms of Use
2000 ft
500 m