Posted by Dillon Hartman on May 23rd 2018
The most important policy we stress for our buying authentic Native American Indian jewelry or in making our jewelry would be for all items to be made of sterling silver or purer.
We craft our jewelry from 90% newly refined .925 pure Sterling Silver and 10% recycled Sterling Silver we have saved up from our filing, cutting, clipping etc.
As Sterling is fairly priced and fairly inexpensive we have no need to use anything less. We prefer the look of Sterling Silver over .999 pure silver due to the beautiful color that the tarnish adds to the silver. You will notice that .999 pure silver will have a whitish silver look and Sterling Silver jewelry will have a beautiful chrome / more blackish silver look. Once tarnish is added and the buffed off of the jewelry this allows for the details to show well against the bright silver. Sterling Silver also takes a much brighter shine. In addition Sterling Silver is much more durable.
When it makes sense we will use .999 pure silver for a different look and feel. .999 silver is great for earrings and pendants.
When it comes to jewelry from other artisans, most of what we carry we trade Turquoise or other gemstones for these items. We carry both Thai Jewelry items and Native American Jewelry items.
When it comes to trading for Native American Jewelry we only trade for genuine Navajo, Santa Domingo, or Zuni made jewelry. Most of the Jewelry we carry is made by seasoned, decorated high end Native American artisans. We also carry jewelry made by up and coming artisans that show true grit, talent and attention to detail and quality. We do not, under any circumstances, purchase imported items that are falsely made to look like or are marketed as true Native American Indian handcrafted jewelry and crafts. Sadly, not all sellers aspire to this same philosophy. Not to worry it is very obvious which pieces are Native made and which are made in 3rd world countries. High quality Southwestern jewelry is being made in other regions of the world by peoples have loved and collected this jewelry for decades. In today's market a wonderful thing has happened. All borders and race barriers have been broken. Southwestern style jewelry is being created by Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian peoples, infact some of it is the highest of quality and can compete with the best Native American artists.
Here at Durango Silver Company we are honored to have Nattarika Hartman. Nattarika was born and raised in
Chiang Mai, Thailand. She has been a life long artist with creations in paint, fabric, and metal. Nattarika has a degree in art and in fabric design. Dillon met Nattarika in Chiang Mai and fell in love with her and her culture and peoples as well as the local art. So together Dillon and Nattarika have added Thai Silver jewelry to our collection. Every time the go back to Thailand to visit family the bring a load of handmade Sterling Silver and .999 pure silver jewelry. Most of our Thai jewelry is handmade with primitive tools and techniques in the hills outside Chiang Mai, Thailand. The jewelry is made by local Hill Tribe Peoples. It goes fast, so keep your eyes peeled.
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