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NAVAJO STERLING SILVER NAJA NECKLACE BY GARY CUSTER

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Description

Description

In the mid 1800s, Navajo silversmiths started to use sand casting as one of their silversmithing techniques.  Today, silversmiths still use this technique by carving a design in tufa stone (a porous limestone) and then placing another stone against it.  The two pieces are fastened together and molten silver is poured in.  Once it has cooled, the artist takes the piece out and finishes it.  Gary Custer created these nine sterling silver najas in this manner.  Each naja has a stone; (from left to right) Royston Turquoise, Kingman Turquoise, Purple Spiny Oyster, Emerald Green Turquoise, #8 Spiderweb Turquoise, Red Spiny Oyster, Kingman Turquoise, Purple Spiny Oyster, and Pilot Mountain Turquoise.  The najas are strung with 12mm sterling silver hand made beads.  The necklace is finished off with tufa cast collar pieces and a hand made hook and eye.  A timeless beauty that you will enjoy for years to come.  Weighs 256 grams.  Signed.

2  1/2” wide x 3  1/2” long- Center Naja

1  1/2” wide x 2  1/4” long- Side Najas

30  1/2” long

The Navajos began working with silver in the 19th century, and began making things like buckles, bridles, buttons, rings, canteens, hollow beads, earrings, crescent-shaped pendants (called “najas”), bracelets, crosses, powder chargers, tobacco canteens, and conchos (for belts).  Their silversmithing skills has evolved and changed throughout the years, and in about 1880 Navajo silversmiths started to set turquoise in their silver work.  Traditionally, Navajo artists worked with jewelry techniques like repousee and stamp work, but today they explored in other Native American jewelry making techniques like Zuni inlay work and Hopi overlay work.

More Info

Additional information

Weight 20 lbs
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