This neck ring represents a fraction of the wide repertoire of silver jewellery made, worn and exchanged by highland communities in northern Thailand. Large neck rings were worn in tiered sets or with a chain and pendant known as a ‘soul lock'. This type is worn by the Hmong, Yao, Lahu and Akha.These ethnic minority groups migrated into Northern Thailand from Burma, Laos and Vietnam during the 18th and 19th centuries. Silver was valued more highly than gold by many highland communities. Silver jewellery was a way of investing a family’s wealth to be passed down as heirlooms. It was also believed to have protective properties. Today, where security maybe a problem, silver is kept locked away while aluminium is used as a substitute.