These silver breast plates , called Tefan, were status symbols worn by Timorese men of distinction as part of their formal dress. They were hand beaten , probably out of old colonial coinage, with a design pricked and hammered in from behind. This example has a crescent shape pricked out on it, which probably represents fertility (a crescent moon is the symbol of the goddess of fertility). They are worn on a string threaded through the hole at the centre (see photograph). This large example has a diameter of 15 cn/ 5 ¾ inches.
Ref: page 242, “Ethnic Jewelry From Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands”,Pepin Press 2002.