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Puzzle Boxes and Their History

Interestingly, the puzzle box dates back some 3,000 years, originating from Egypt where over time, its popularity works its way to China, Japan, Vietnam, Poland, India, Morocco, Persia, and other various countries.  While the puzzle box’s history is a long one, the best-known design is the Himitsu-Bako, which has only been around 100 years.  With this particular design, master craftsmen from the Hakone region of Japan work with the various local trees to come up with a wonderful selection of colors and styles. 

Originally, the puzzle box was made primarily for tourist or travelers looking to bring something back home that was reminiscence of the country visited.  However, this small box has now become much more.  In addition to being a great souvenir, the puzzle box makes the ideal jewelry box or gift.  Because these boxes come in so many designs, they truly make the perfect gift for people of all ages. 

What makes the puzzle box so interesting is that while on the surface it just looks like a sweet box, the truth is in its design, allowing you to lock it without a key.  For this reason, many people love having a puzzle box to keep jewels or other precious trinkets tucked safely away.  These boxes are designed with a number of movable parts.  Depending on the style you choose, you might need to push, pull, slide, or lift something to get the box to open.  Making them even more secure is the fact that the process of opening the puzzle box is done sequentially.  Therefore, unless you know the exact steps to follow, chances are the box cannot be opened.  Even more fascinating is that some boxes are made with just two steps to open while others can have up to 122 steps! 

With many puzzle boxes being so small, they are great for travelers who need a place to store treasures such as jewelry or even important documents.  For instance, if you travel for your job, a puzzle box could easily be kept in a briefcase or purse.  Keep in mind that during the 100 years of development, a wide number of new styles have emerged.  This means you will find a variety of woods, designs, and even sizes.  The development of the puzzle box has provided people with something pleasing to look at but also a functioning security tool.

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