Oxidized Sterling Silver is sterling that has been darkened using a surface treatment. This process helps to give the metal a "tarnished" look and is often used to provide contrast within jewelry pieces.
Navajo silversmiths are renowned for their intricate, detailed stamp work, a style developed over many generations. Stamping is done by hand, and the stamps themselves are often times unique to the artist or are handed down from generations of silversmiths.
Campito is derived from the Spanish word "campo" meaning "field" or "countryside". Mined in Mexico from the Pino Chueco and Cananea mines in Sonora, Campitos is a favorite for jewelry artisans. Campitos is unique in several ways. It grows in clay as free-form nuggets, rather than in veins which is typical of many North American turquoises. Its color closely resembles that of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and ranges from a light to medium blue with no matrix. Occasionally you may find pyrite inclusions, which give it a little bit of sparkle.
Raymond Beard is Navajo, and started working silver in 1978. He works in several traditional styles, including Zuni needlepoint cluster and inlay, Black Hills styles and the traditional Navajo silver styles he learned from his family.
When we asked Raymond if he has a favorite piece, he said he is most proud of a large concho belt he made with a crow dancer in the middle, and clusters of stone surrounding it.
Today, Raymond works out of Gallup, N.M., and Sunwest Silver is pleased to feature specialty items by Raymond.
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