Troves of Treasures at Caravan Gallery

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Every now and again, you come across a place on the island that simply blows you away. Caravan Gallery is one of those places.

Radha Speer opened Caravan Gallery back in 1991 after realizing there was very little silver jewelry available for purchase on island. Her intention was simple: she wanted to provide unique, ethnic and one-of-a-kind jewelry at great prices. Having traveled extensively, practiced yoga for several years and traveled in India, it was important to Radha that the store have a spiritual element as well. Thus Caravan Gallery was born.…

Caravan Gallery is a unique St. John treasure in our opinion. Located on the second floor in Mongoose Junction, it offers a variety of items from jewelry to gifts to authentic artifacts. Caravan’s collection of African masks even compares favorably to that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City – Pretty impressive if you ask us. The collection is so amazing that a board member of the Smithsonian Museum of African Art recently popped in and purchased several items for his personal collection.

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So how did all of these artifacts from around the world end up in a small shop in St. John? Well as we mentioned, Radha has traveled extensively. During her travels, she began bringing back small treasures, which soon bloomed into a full-on collection.

“It’s such a thrill to be able to buy these incredible artifacts and share them with people who will treasure them,” Radha said.

And the best part – some of these treasures cost as little as $3. Others, however, depending on the rarity of the piece, can cost upwards of a thousand.

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Radha and her staff also create and sell jewelry she’s named “St. John Opal.” While kayaking along a remote shore of St. John, Radha discovered this truly unique stone, which turned out to be a type of green opal. Never cutting the stone from the earth, she collects pieces that fall naturally, has them cut by stonecutters in Asia and custom made into jewelry in Bali and India. The outcome is beautiful. See for yourself…

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Radha holding a piece of the St. John Opal

Caravan Gallery also happens to be the first store on island to offer the famous St. John Hook Bracelet. They’ve even had a pretty famous country star pop in to buy one. We’ll have more on that another day…

In the meantime, please stop by Caravan Gallery and check out some of Radha’s treasures. It’s located on the second floor in Mongoose Junction (upstairs from Ocean Grill) and is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 11a.m. to 7 p.m.

6 comments for “Troves of Treasures at Caravan Gallery

  1. karen gregory
    August 12, 2014 at 8:30 am

    My husband and I regularly visit Caravan Gallery, Radha’s choice of inventory is spectacular, unique and very special, and her staff. . . well, they are just as wonderful as the island! A definite must see when on St. John. . . and don’t forget to say hello to Jack and the other cats in Mongoose that Radha cares for. A quality shop run by a quality person.

    • August 12, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Many thanks for all your kind words. For me the whole experience has been rich beyond description: the relationships with vendors from many countries, fascinating overseas travel, the customers who come back year after year, and working with a loving team of smart and dedicated women … not to mention the thousands of treasures I’ve been privileged to select and share! I have been most fortunate – I have truly “followed my bliss”, and I am so grateful!

  2. August 12, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I love Caravan Gallery! It’s my first stop when I shop and I always go in 2-3 times during my stay and see something different each time. I love the St. John opal jewelry, I have 2 sets of earrings with the stone and silver that I adore!

  3. Mako
    August 13, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I love their sign about shoplifting and Karma. I would bet that works better than any security camera ever could in that store. Mary, the tall, cute blond that works there occasionally, is the best!

  4. Jeanne
    August 14, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I was lucky to discover Caravan in its earliest days, and have never missed it on subsequent visits. Its a tiny place, full of beautiful items and friendly people. St. John is the “island of my heart”♡, and a trip to Caravan always increases the beat!

  5. Patricia
    August 15, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Caravan is one of my favorite shops not only on St John, but anywhere. It has been a must-stop whenever I’m on Island since it opened for its unique finds, great prices and lovely service.

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