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 may be unique to the artist or handed in a family of silversmiths.
Before the Native peoples of the Southwest used metals, they made heishi. Meaning "shell jewelry", heishi are small tube-shaped beads made of shell or stone. The Kewa Pueblo people (formerly Santo Domingo Pueblo) are renowned for their skill in making heishi. An ancient art, heishi beads have been found as far back as 6,000 BC.
A staple addition to your Southwest fashion collection, Carico Lake Turquoise is also a collectible North American Turquoise with an astonishing color palette. Ranging from highly unique electric greens to sky blue; from teal to mossy, earthy greens. And rarely, a nugget with both earth and sky color. The highest grade Carico Lake Turquoise is gem-quality American turquoise. Originally known as Stone Cabin, and then Aurora #8, Carico Lake Turquoise has a colorful history for a dried-up lake bed in a remote part of Lander County. The mine has come to rest with the owner of Sunwest Silver Company, Ernest Montoya.
Authentic Handmade Native American Jewelry
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.
Authentic Native American Handmade Jewelry