Handmade Jewelry from the Southwest is colorful, dynamic and very attractive. The Southwest is known for being one of the top locations in the world for exceptional Native handmade Jewelry in Sterling Silver and most often Turquoise. There is a large amount of Artisans in the Southwestern United States that make handmade Jewelry from their homes as well as from manufacturing shops located near the larger cities.
Handmade Gold Ring with Blue Wind Turquoise by John Hartman of Durango Silver Company, located in Durango, Colorado USA. Durango Silver Company has been making handmade Jewelry in Sterling Silver and Gold for nearly 40 years here in Durango, Colorado. Our specialty is high quality Handmade Silver Jewelry with exceptional Turquoise Gemstones. We have been collecting Turquoise for over 40 years and also mine Turquoise in Nevada. We hand cut most all of the gemstones used in our handmade Jewelry and create unique designs to mount our gemstones in.
This handmade Gold Ring to the left was created in the lost wax method by applying layer over layer of molten wax with a special Jewelers wax pen. Once the wax is created Jewelers investment is poured around the piece in a steel flask, it is then burned out over a period of eight hours and to a temperature of 1300 degrees. Gold is melted in a melting furnace and then poured under vacuumed into the void where the wax master once was. It is quite a process and the results are rewarding as each piece is one of a kind and very unique.
Handmade Jewelry made in this method is unusual as few Jewelers take the time to create Jewelry in this method.
Native American Handmade Jewelry began around 1865 and has become a major cottage industry in the Southwestern regions of the United States. The Navajo, Zuni and Hopi Indians of this region create some of the most spectacular Silver handcrafted Jewelry in the world. Silver Handcrafted Jewelry made by Native American Indians is collected by many individuals throughout the world.
The Navajo Indians have been the most prolific in creating handmade Jewelry, this Navajo Turquoise Bracelet to the right is a good example of Navajo Silver and Turquoise Jewelry. This Silver Bracelet is a beautiful piece of handmade Jewelry with great attention to the many Turquoise gemstones from the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine located in Arizona. Arizona Turquoise was discovered by the Natives over 2000 years ago and is still favored by most people in the world as it is generally blue in color.
The Zuni Indians have also been prolific in producing handmade Jewelry. They create a much different style of Jewelry then the Navajos, Petit Point Jewelry, Needlepoint Jewelry and Inlay Jewelry. Follow the links to find out more information on Zuni Indian Jewelry, they are great pages with lots of examples and descriptive text on handmade Jewelry by the Native American Indians of the Southwest.
Handmade Jewelry produced by Durango Silver Company is special because the Hartman family pay close attention to all of the details of the Jewelry they produce. This Sugilite Pendant is a beautiful piece of Handmade Jewelry by Crystal Hartman. It was also made in the lost wax method as the Gold Ring above was made.
All of the members of the Hartman family make handmade Jewelry, each has their own style and type of Jewelry they prefer to make. Dillon and John both cut the gemstones that our Jewelry is made from, John is a master Jeweler and has taught most of the family to create their own type and styles of handcrafted artisan made works of art. Dillon and John both made bench made Jewelry, Nattarika and Crystal both make Lost Wax Jewelry and also make beaded Jewelry and Estell makes Beaded Jewelry.
We all also appreciate the works of other Southwestern Artisans who specialize in handmade Jewelry. We often trade our gemstones for their Jewelry and we usually try to have our gemstones used in the Jewelry they produce for our company. We prefer to use our own gemstones so we are assured they are authentic and natural.
We invite you to look at our handmade Jewelry by browsing through our online store - you can use the category buttons to the left or you can also type in a particular key phrase if you already know what you would like to see.
To the left is a Sterling Silver Bracelet inlayed with Bisbee Turquoise. The Silver Bracelet frame was created with channels which house hand cut gemstones. Each piece of Bisbee Turquoise was cut to fit in the square channels, then set in the channels with epoxy and next ground, sanded and polished to complete a beautiful piece of handmade Jewelry.
To the right is a Sterling Silver and Bisbee Turquoise Ring handmade by Crystal Hartman. John Hartman hand cut this beautiful Bisbee Turquoise Gemstone and then Crystal created the design by flowing molten jewelers wax around the stone layer after layer to make this one of a kind piece of Jewelry art. Once the design was created in wax, the lost wax method of casting the master into Sterling Silver was used. Finishing the metal and setting the stone, Crystal spent an extensive amount of time finishing the piece into a beautiful piece of handmade Jewelry.
To the left is a Navajo Inlaid Silver Bracelet with Turquoise, Sugilite, Opal and Jet. This beautiful piece of Handmade Jewelry was created by making one long channel in the Bracelet frame to accommodate the gemstone inlay work. Each stone from large to very small was hand cut individually and then hand fit and glued into the channel. Once the gemstones were roughed in they were ground, sanded and polished to perfection. Navajo Handmade Jewelry such as this piece has special qualities that are not seen by native peoples anywhere else in the world.
To the right is a handmade Navajo Silver Ring with a Manassa Turquoise gemstone from Colorado. Notice the hand stamped Silver work this Ring has as it is unusual and attractive. Most Navajo Silversmiths make their own stamps out of steel to tool their handmade Silver Jewelry. The work you see on the Silver was all done with steel stamps and a hammer on sheet Silver and then it was cut to the desired shape, bent round, soldered together and then the bezel for the gemstone was soldered on the top side of the Ring. This is a classic piece of Navajo Handmade Jewelry.
To the left is a Treasure Necklace made with many different types of authentic Gemstone Beads - Malachite, Sugilite, Coral, Varisite and Spiny Oyster beads make this what we consider a Treasure Necklace. Many of the beads were hand cut and some of them were cut with machines. Nattarika selected each bead to make this great piece of handmade Jewelry.
To the right is a unique pair of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Earrings. Nattarika created this pair of Earrings by hand with Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and Sterling Silver findings including a beautiful handmade Silver Bead from Bali. Durango Silver Company always has a good selection of Beaded Earrings available, we invite you to check out our site often to see what we have.
To the left is a Handmade Sterling Silver Pendant with a Natural Silver Ore Gemstone. This Silver Ore Pendant was bench made with Sterling Silver sheet and wire. John Hartman (Jeweler) began by hand cutting the Silver Ore Gemstone, then he wrapped the stone with a Silver bezel, twisted two round pieces of Silver wire to make the rope design and then wrapped Silver beaded wire around the edge and soldered the entire design together. The bail the pendant dangles from was made by cutting sheet Silver to the proper shape, bending it to shape and soldering three Silver drops to the face of the bail. Handmade Jewelry such as this Silver Ore Pendant are available from Durango Silver Company, all of our Handmade Jewelry is made in the USA!
To the right is a pair of Sterling Silver Tortoise Earrings with Bisbee Turquoise Gemstones. This pair of Silver Tortoise Earrings were handmade and produced by Durango Silver Company, they were made from sheet Silver, hand stamped, and then bezels were applied to the center of each piece to accommodate the Bisbee Turquoise stones. Handmade Jewelry by Durango Silver Company is quality Silver Jewelry.
Above and to the left is a pair of Navajo handcrafted Silver and Spiny Oyster Inlaid Earrings. This pair of Spiny Inlaid Earrings were made by creating the Sterling Silver channeled hoop shaped Silver that have voids that the gemstones can be fit into. The gemstones are then individually cut to fit and glued into the voids or channels. They are then ground, sanded and polished to perfection. Navajo Handmade Jewelry such as this pair of Earrings can be found at the Durango Silver Company online store as well as our Historic Trading Post in Durango, Colorado USA.
To the right is a pair of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Earrings designed with Silver filigree work. This pair of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Earrings were bench made with Sterling Silver Sheet and wire in the same manor as the Silver Ore Pendant above. The bottom pieces have Silver filigree work that was done by using small round wire bent to shape with half round Jewelers pliers.
Above and to the left is a Handmade Sterling Silver Lapis Pendant by Crystal Hartman. This Silver Lapis Pendant was made in the same manor as the Sugilite Pendant above. John Hartman hand cut this beautiful Lapis Gemstone and then Crystal created the design by flowing molten jewelers wax around the stone layer after layer to make this one of a kind piece of Handmade Jewelry. Once the design was created in wax, the lost wax method of casting the master into Sterling Silver was used. Finishing the metal and setting the stone, Crystal spent an extensive amount of time finishing the piece into a beautiful piece of Sterling Silver Jewelry.
To the right is a hand stamped Sterling Silver Pendant. Large Navajo made, sunburst design, teardrop blue Manassa Turquoise Pendant by Native American artist Albert Jake. This RARE Colorado Turquoise pendant is about both stone and silver work and focuses on a rare piece of natural Manassa Turquoise from Manassa, Colorado USA. This Colorado Turquoise stone is bezel set and surrounded by a rope or cable design and a hand stamped sunburst design and Spanish style hand stampwork. This large green Manassa Turquoise Pendant is hung from a large chased stripe design handmade bale.
Above and to the left is a handmade Sterling Silver and Turquoise Bracelet produced by Durango Silver Company. This exquisite Sterling Silver Bracelet was bench made in Sterling Silver and has a Manassa Turquoise Gemstone that was hand cut by Bill King who has been the owner of the Manassa Turquoise Mine. The bracelet was created by John Hartman of Durango Silver Company.
To the right is an antique Navajo Turquoise Ring that is typical Navajo Handmade Jewelry from the 1920-1940 period. It was made in the same manor as we make bench made Jewelry today, however, the Navajo's did not have the quality tools we have to make Jewelry these days. Durango Silver Company always has a nice selection of antique Navajo Silver Jewelry available, check our site often to see new items that are added often.
We hope you have enjoyed our presentation on Handmade Jewelry and have gained some useful knowledge from it. We invite you to learn more about Handmade Jewelry, Handmade Silver Jewelry and Handmade Turquoise Jewelry by following the links in our Learning Center to other informational pages that we have written on different topics related to Turquoise Jewelry. In addition, we would like to invite you to join our E-Mail Newsletter - about once every other month we send out a Newsletter to inform our members of what's happening with Durango Silver Company, new products, specials for our members and more. We also have a monthly drawing from our member base to give away free Turquoise Jewelry from our company. Please take a moment to become one of our friends by signing in below. We hope you think of Durango Silver Company when you are interested in Handmade Jewelry.