A pair of cuff links made with stones of triangular-cut Kingman stabilized with almost featureless backfields, but each displays minority specks of light tan mineral matrix. The bezel is sterling silver, and the fasteners are made of nickel.
Stone size- 15x19mm
*One of a Kind!
Bryant was born in To’hajiilee, NM in 1983. He is from the Water Edge (Mom) and Sage Brush (Dad) Clans. Bryant is a self taught silversmith. He has been training himself for about 6 years. His mother, Irene, was a smith, but she quit when he was born. He never got to watch or learn from her. He did inherit her tools, however he wants to learn more about his traditions. He also wants to pass on his talent to the next generation. He now lives in Albuquerque with his three year old son, Elliot.
He describes his work as “saw cut”, Silver Sun is very pleased to have this young artist who takes pride & satisfaction in his work. When people respond positively to his art, “it makes me feel good inside,” he says. “I love what I do; it feels more like a hobby than work. I am very lucky to be part of the Silver Sun family and honored to be working alongside Etta Endito who has taught me a lot about the art of silver smithing. I have learned to express myself through my work; I’m always looking fir a challenge, anything is possible and there are no bad ideas… I have done a few shows with Silver Sun, IACA Fall/Spring markets, Indian Market openings at the Silver Sun Gallery and last year I was honored to participate in the celebration of The Indian Craft Shop’s 75th year in Washington D.C. I got a lot of good feedback from customers and other artists.” He is very intense and fully absorbed when he is creating his art. “Imagination is the start of art,” says Bryant.
Kathleen Sanchez, She-u-tani, was born and raised in San Felipe Pueblo. She is a designer of jewelry and turquoise. Most of her designs are inspired by and based on her Pueblo heritage.
Kathleen has been working alongside Silver Sun’s silversmiths for years. This collaboration has resulted in many unique, outstanding, one-of-a-kind pieces. Once in a while, a piece will come with a beautiful poem from the heart, evoked by either the design or the turquoise itself.
“Family, friends and my Pueblo are very important to me, “ she says. She has a huge extended family in the Pueblo, including close brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. She has two grown children and three grandkids. “I participate in the Pueblo culture and dances. I am very happy when my family is part of this too.”
Kathleen has been with Silver Sun for over 36 years. She is now part owner, production manager, and buyer. Kathleen graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in American Studies and a minor in German.
Etta and Randy Endito have been silversmithing together since 1980. Etta, from Crownpoint, and Randy, from Smith Lake, New Mexico met in 1978. They have been married for 36 years come August. They have three grown sons and one daughter in middle school. Etta say her greatest gift for 2013 is her granddaughter Sofiia, who is four months old now. She also has a grandson, Mikey, who is eight years old. She says, “I love them with all my heart, along with their mothers.” So far, all three sons show interest and talent in silversmithing following in the footsteps of their parents. The Endito family is a true team, loving and respectful of one another.
Etta and Randy both helped their mothers in their jewelry making after school. Both mothers were very good silversmiths. Etta has a piece of jewelry that her father made years ago, which she treasures. Etta and Randy have enormous of respect for their parents and are grateful for the lessons they learned.
Randy’s specialty is the shaping and stamping of the silver. Etta enjoys creating the designs and patterns. They come together in harmony, building a unique piece of jewelry. Etta says, “We are proud to be making jewelry. This is something we still make in America, by Americans. Buy Native American Made!” Etta worked 7 years as production manager with Deanna. She became the turquoise buyer with Deanna. She kept learning and getting to know miners and cutters. This year she bought all kinds of turquoise, Charoite, and Spiney Oyster with Kathy & Deanna. Deanna says she gives Etta full authority with the checkbook, because she knows what she is doing! “She has a gift for matching and picking winning rocks.”
“I’ve been working for Silver Sun for 21 years. I’ve learned a lot from Deanna. I will forever be thankful to her for teaching me a lot especially in the turquoise area. I know my turquoise mines now. She has also taught me a lot about the Native American Indian jewelry business. I can say that I’m very mellow and love meeting people. I get along with just about anyone. I have a lot of respect for other artists, God Bless Them. “ –Etta Endito.
Rosella Sandoval is married to Dean Sandoval, Jr. They have four young children, one daughter and three sons. She works from home so that she can be with her children. She and Dean are teaching the children Navajo and Apache traditions. The family lives in To'hajiilee, New Mexico and works on their ranch raising bulls for rodeos.
Rosella mainly works with plain bezel pieces like earrings and pendants. Her silver work is very clean and compliments the beauty of the stones used in her jewelry.
Ruth Ann Begay was born in Phoenix, Arizona, but her family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where she grew up speaking only Navajo. Her father brought the family to Albuquerque and raise his children modernly instead of traditionally.
She learned how to silversmith by watching her mother and her sister. Ruth Ann began silversmithing professionally after high school and started with simple bezels, and soldering then moving on to decorative work such as leaves. She is now married and has one daughter, Desbah. When asked why she didn’t raise her daughter traditionally, she says, “Why send them back when they can go forward.” She has taught her daughter how to do silverwork but understands that Desbah’s interest lies in electric work.
Ruth Ann and her husband live in Prewitt, New Mexico. She says that New Mexico is her favorite place to be.
Ruth Ann has worked with Silver Sun since Silver Sun bought Hills Indian Jewelry. She drove 70 miles one way to work until the price of gas went up.
Ruth Ann uses modern tools to make her jewelry. She taught herself how to finish silver jewelry. Ruth Ann says that when she signs her name to a piece, it is important that the quality of her work be something that she can be proud of. Ruth Ann thinks that teaching silver smithing sounds interesting. She says that the value of being an artist is that she can find jobs that allow her to be creative.
Shane R. Hendren is a Master Metal Smith and Artist who has spent his lifetime working at his craft. For the past twenty years his principal focus has been on jewelry rooted in his Navajo heritage, incorporating traditional iconography and symbolism while employing advanced metals techniques such as Mokume Gane, and Engraving.
His work can be found in public and private collections around the globe as well as being featured in magazines and books. His hard work and dedication to his craft has been recognized by awards from all the major art markets with the greatest recognition to date being the 2007 Artist of the Year, awarded by the Indian Arts and Crafts Association. He is currently the 2014 Artist of the Year for the Indian Arts and Crafts Association.
Buttressing his traditional rearing is formal training, having received an Associates Degree from IAIA in Museum Management and a BFA in all Disciplines from the University of New Mexico. Shane’s dedication to the arts extends to service of the industry by first serving on the Advisory Board of AtlAtl and currently serving on the boards of IACA and IACA EF, currently the Ex Officio of both boards. Recognized in 2010 on the floor of the NM House of Representatives for his service to the arts.
Marvin and Lillie Lovato, a husband and wife team, carve intricate heishi beads out of turquoise and shell. They have been working with Silver sun for 37 years. Marvin was in Olson's English class before she went into the Native American business.
They each learned to make heishi from their parents.Lillie's parents specialized in small, thin beads and when they were married they taught each other how you make the different styling.
They said that their favorite part of the job is designing jewlery and trying new materials. Attention to both beauty and quality has earned them blue and red ribbions at the New Mexico State Fair and Santa Fe Indian Market. "Where trying to make something contemporary and still conform to the framework of our traditional ways," Marvin says. "Their is an idea behind everything" For example, turquoise means life. In my necklaces with turquoise, that piece is like life."
Marvin and Lillie raise their 5 older children traditionally, but only a daughter is getting into the craft. Marvin and Lillie work out of thier home in the Santa Domingo Pueblo in northern New Mexico. Marvin is also very active in the Santa Domingo Trible Council. In their spare time, Marvin enjoys farming corn, chili, and other vegetables, and let's not for get bowling. Lillie teaches canvas crafting to the elders and traditional food making to the women and girls of her tribe. Very few Santa Domingo families make their own turquoise and heishe.
This brilliant deep blue turquoise is one of the most expensive and rare. Bisbee has a reputation as a hard, finely webbed, strikingly brilliant blue stone of high quality. Bisbee matrix is brown to an unusual deep reddish brown which makes the stone easy to identify. The unusual matrix forms wisps or veils throughout the stone, which is often called “smokey Bisbee”. This turquoise is also unique in that it can be found as deep as 900 feet underground, while most turquoise is found at less than 100 feet.
Bisbee is one of the more famous and one of the oldest known American mines. Bisbee’s main operation was the Lavender Bisbee Copper mine. The Bisbee turquoise mine has been closed since the 1960’s. In 2004 the Phelps Dodge Mining Company no longer allowed anyone near the hazardous old mine and buried the turquoise pit. There will be no more Bisbee mined. Since the 60’s people have jumped the fence and worked the tailings to sell. Any Bisbee on the market today was officially mined prior to 1970. Visits can be made once a year to search for rock at some of the dumps.
The Blue Diamond mine, located in central Nevada, opened in the late 1950's and was mined up to 1980. The stones that this mine produces, which are usually large pieces in plate form, looks a great deal like Stormy Mountain turquoise because of its black smokey matrix. This stone features dark smoky matrix surrounded by a brilliant blue. The characteristic black chert is ever-present. Colors can vary to a mixture of blue and green.
The mine is buried under thousands of tons of rock. One miner continues to dig on a small scale. Largest production was in the 70's; Joe Morris used a bulldozer to uncover small and large plate formations. Some pieces were a foot long and two inches thick. Paul Sugar is now the new owner and is currently mining Blue Diamond.
The Blue Gem mine, which is no longer active, produced almost every shade of green and blue turquoise imaginable. The Blue Gem mine site is located near Battle Mountain. It produced a great variety of turquoise, from intense blue to deep green combinations with a hard, irregularly distributed matrix. The Battle Mountain or Blue Gem mine, which began production in 1934 yielded the most valuable Blue Gem turquoise because of its rich color and hardness. Of the several Nevada mines that are named Blue Gem, this is the largest and most famous. Blue Gem turquoise tends to form in very thin slab forms rather than nugget, although the largest nugget ever found weighed 178 pounds.
This mine was one of the deepest with lots of underground tunnels. Blue Gem closed in the 70's and there does not seem to be much available today.
Blue Ridge also known as Orvil Jack is located in Lander County, Nevada. Orvil & Bessie Jack claimed the mine in 1956. The first Blue Ridge that came out of the mine had spider web matrix, or it was in nugget form. In the 80's Orvil Jack discovered what was know as Orvil Jack turquoise. Which is generally green. Blue Ridge turquoise is typically found as translucent blue nuggets with dark matrix. Much of this stone is enhanced or stabilized.
We are currently unable to find information about the turquoise from China called Blue Ridge. Very little is available in the US anymore.
Carico Lake turquoise is known for its clear, iridescent, spring green color which is due to its zinc and copper content. Carico Lake stones can also display a dark blue-green color with a black spider web matrix. Recent finds are producing many new blue tones with even, black matrix. The colors and scarcity of Carico Lake turquoise make it a valuable addition to any collection. The Carico Lake mine also hosts another precious stone, faustite, which features a bright lime green color due to its higher zinc content.
Carico Lake is named for its home on a dried-up lakebed in high, cool Lander County, Nevada. Some turquoise businesses marketed this stone under various names including Stone Canyon and Aurora turquoise, although this is rarely seen today. Due to its remote location and harsh conditions in the winter, there is a limited amount of time allowed to mine this rare turquoise. These factors add to the investment value of Carico Lake turquoise.
Gus Stenich was one of the earliest owners of this mine. Due to losing much of his turquoise to foragers and thieves, Gus became suspicious of all activity that he saw around the mine. Just prior to his death, Gus made out a will hastily written on a bread wrapper. In this will, he left the entire mine to his best friend J.W. Edgar.
Today Ernie Montoya owns the mine and markets the stone in jewelry and cabochons.
The Castle Dome turquoise mine is located about 30 miles from the Sleeping Beauty mine, near Globe, Arizona. The Castle Dome mine has not been in operation since the early 1970s. The turquoise deposit had been depleted. Castle Dome was operated as an open pit mine. The site has since been reclaimed, meaning it has been filled in and replanted with native plants and grasses.
The owner of Castle Dome turquoise purchased the stockpile of rough stone from his uncle. Most stones retrieved from the mine were small, found in very thin "corn flake" formations. There were a lot of fingernail-sized nuggets found in the mine as well. In the 1960's copper miners of the Castle Dome mine would gather unusual blue stones and put them in their lunch buckets. They would then go to a convenience store in Globe, Arizona. Here, an ex-forest ranger would buy these stones and pay them cash. It is from this old stockpile that Silver Sun got our Castle Dome turquoise.
Castle Dome is known for its incredible bright blue color. Castle Dome is distinguished from Sleeping Beauty by its more vibrant blue and the presence of more matrix. The matrix in Castle Dome turquoise is light brown to gold in color. This stone is unique because of the honey brown crust that is present before it is cut. Most of the remaining Castle Dome turquoise has been stabilized and cut into beads. The natural stone is extremely rare and hard. Castle Dome beads are a beautiful statement whether worn as a single strand or multiple strands.Our last purchase was only 60% of a pound, found in the safe of Hubbell Trading Post.
Miners looking for gold also found the Cripple Creek turquoise deposits. The area yields some greenish turquoise and some light to dark blue turquoise with brown matrix. There are two separate mines that are currently active in this area. Although different families operated them, both mines market their turquoise under the Cripple Creek name and supply a variety of colors and matrices. Silver Sun has only a mid grade quality.
The Fox Turquoise mine, located near Lander County and discovered in the early 1900's, was once Nevada's largest producer of turquoise with some half million pounds. At that time, Mr. Dowell Ward, the mine operator, amassed one of the largest collections of turquoise rock. This mine has been closed for quite some time.
In prehistoric times, indigenous peoples mined turquoise and found large nuggets. The different sites of Fox deposits were developed using the names of Fox, White Horse, Green Tree, and Smith to differentiate among the colors of turquoise produced in the area, and to create a larger perceived share of the turquoise market. Collectively, the area produces a huge quantity of good-quality green or blue-green stone with a distinctive matrix. Blue Fox turquoise is more accurately known as "White Horse Fox," as that is the area of Lander County where the blue variation has been found. The Fox mine has also been known as the Cortez mine.
In the rugged foothills of southern New Mexico in the lower Hatchet Mountain range, you will find a very rough and beautiful place full of endless hills of Century plants. Here you will find the now obsolete High Lonesome Turquoise Mine. High Lonesome, the name painted on a watering tank, is quite appropriate to the land surrounding it - very high and mostly lonesome.
Years ago we had a dozen trays and today we have 1 1/2 left. This mine was less than 10 miles from the Hachita and resembles that Turquoise.
For over 30 years in six week stretches, from sun up to sun down, owner Ray and his crew looked for the beautiful, very hard, green to powder blue turquoise.
Royston is a turquoise mine located within the Royston District near Tonepah, Nevada. The Royston District consists of several mines including Royston, Royal Blue, Oscar Wehrend and Bunker Hill. The mines in this district were discovered as early as 1902; in fact, Royston is the oldest patented mine in Nevada. While Royston is considered an active mine. Royston was originally a tunnel mine, but is now an open pit. Royston is a good producer of high quality stones. According to one of the current miners, Royston turquoise is known as "grass roots," which means the best deposits are found within ten feet of the surface.
Royston turquoise is known for its beautiful deep green to rich light blue colors. These unique color ranges are what make this stone so special. Royston stones are often two-tone, displaying both dark and light green and sometimes blue. Royston has a heavy matrix ranging from dark brown to gold in color. This matrix makes for beautiful combinations with the color variations of the stone. Royston turquoise is considered very collectible and a good investment. Ottesons and several other miners still find a varied amounts of Royston.
The Ma'anshan mine, located near Nanjing & Shanghai, is a lovely turquoise from China. This is Chinese turquoise most like American turquoise from Nevada (Royston) and Arizona (Kingman & Morenci).
Ten years ago I walked into a booth at the Tucson Rock Gem & Mineral show and saw what looked like nice "blue" Morenci in the rough. It turned out to be Ma'an'shan and I bought as many pounds as I could. This rock was mined in the early 70's. This turquoise has a beautiful range in color in both blue and green.
Silver Sun has a large selection that looks like Morenci. Twenty plus pounds still remain uncut.
The Number 8 turquoise mine in Carlin, Nevada was first mined in 1929. In its prime, Number 8 produced some of the largest nuggets of turquoise ever found. A spider web matrix of colors ranging from golden brown to black set off the unique bright powder blue background.
Of the ten claims in a 20-acre area, the Number 8 claimed by the Blue Star Company in Lander County is considered the finest example of the gold-webbed turquoise. The mine was depleted in 1961. Approximately 5,000 pounds were mined between 1929-1933. In 1950 a nodule weighing 150 pounds was found. It was at the Covered Wagon in Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is now at the Museum of Natural History. The host rock is naturally altered quartz monzonite shale and thinly beaded black chert.
This very popular distinctive rock is our best seller in the Santa Fe Gallery.
Persian turquoise came from a number of mines in modern day Iran. The stones from all mines show a great color variation. Many mines were worked around Nishapur, 225 miles east of the southern end of the Caspian Sea, close to old caravan routes.
Firm evidence exists that these mines were heavily worked beginning in the 10th century, but there is also evidence that some of the mines near the surface may have been exploited as early as 2100 B.C.
The stones that are valued the most in Persia are the stones that completely lack matrix of any kind and that have a bright blue color. The oldest known piece of jewelry, a turquoise bracelet made with Persian turquoise, was found on the mummified wrist of ancient Egyptian Queen Nor.
The Persian turquoise sold by Silver Sun comes from a mine on the corner of Armenia, Azerbijan and Iran. It has since flooded.
The Pilot Mountain mine is located in western Nevada, east of the small town of Mina. As with most turquoise mines, this mine opened as a copper claim. Pilot Mountain turquoise was first mined around 1930 as a tunnel mine. Then it became an open pit mine when heavy equipment was available around 1970. While Pilot Mountain is considered an active mine, it is a very small operation. The miners we worked with went in twice per year, bringing out only about 150 to 200 lbs. of rough stone each time. One of the interesting parts of mining is "not knowing what you are going to hit next."
Pilot Mountain turquoise forms in thin seams, with some nugget formations. According to a former owner, the turquoise that formed in thin seams was high grade with deeper blue-green colors. Most Pilot Mountain turquoise is called "grass roots," meaning the best deposits are found within ten feet of the surface.
The Kingman mine in northwestern Arizona is the largest turquoise mine. Kingman blue has become a color standard in the industry. The mine became famous in the 1960's for its rounded bright blue nuggets with black matrix. Few turquoise mines produced nuggets. High grade natural Kingman is highly collectible because of it's intense blue with a black and silver matrix.
This superb grade was found in an area called Ithaca Peak, which yielded the highest grade and hardest Kingman turquoise. This vein has been exhausted since 1972. The Kingman mine re-opened in September 2004 after being closed since the 1970's. The new owners of the copper mine have contracted to dump anything with turquoise veining or nuggets into trucks for Marty Colbaugh Processing. All of today's rock comes from Turquoise Mountain.
The new highest grade is identical to what came out from Ithaca Peak 30 years ago. About 95% of Kingman is stabilized which makes it very affordable. Less than 5% of the Kingman turquoise stays in its natural state. The Kingman mine currently yields about 1600 pounds of rough stone per month with 2400 pounds being the highest yield yet. Silver Sun has a great supply of both the best high grade natural Kingman and Kingman stabilized to use for our jewelry. A pound of Kingman Stabilized that sold for $80.00 last year now demands $400.00.
In the 1960's, there were two peaks about _ miles apart located near the Kingman mountain, which yielded fine turquoise: Ithaca Peak (see Kingman) and Turquoise Mountain Peak. Then in the 1970's this mine closed.
Turquoise Mountain turquoise from the 1970's is light-to-high blue with both webbed and non-webbed matrix. "Birdseye" describes stones from this mine that show areas of light blue circled with darker blue matrix, resembling the eye of a bird. Even though this peak is part of the Kingman Mine, it is considered a "classic" mine in its own right because the turquoise is so different in appearance. This stone exhibits a beautiful range of color from pale blue to lime green in one piece that makes it a sought-after turquoise.
Today, the Kingman Mine is operating again, specifically within the Turquoise Mountain peak. The Turquoise Mountain turquoise that is being excavated from this site looks significantly different from the 1970's stones, being lighter blue to green in color, with primarily non-webbed matrix. Turquoise Mountain remains highly collectible and is easily distinguished from other stones coming from the Kingman mine.
The Sleeping Beauty mine is seven miles outside Globe, AZ. Sleeping Beauty turquoise is noted for its solid, light blue color with no matrix. The host rock is granite. Sleeping Beauty turquoise is the favorite of Zuni Pueblo lapidaries and silversmiths for the purity in color. This mine was one of the largest in North America.
Now, one of the most prolific mines in the US has been closed! The Sleeping Beauty mine produced well, about 1600 pounds a month, according to information obtained from the miner/owner in 2010. The tons of tailings piles, which produced most of the turquoise, have even been exhausted. The beautiful, solid color of Sleeping Beauty is especially beloved by many Europeans. A great amount of this turquoise was exported to Italy & France alone.
In its hey-day, the Sleeping Beauty mine yielded only 4% of natural, unaltered turquoise. A high percentage was enhanced, a process that only added value to the lesser grade Sleeping Beauty turquoise. After the mine closed prices began to rise. Wise people bought all they could. In one year prices have tripled. Calls come from China and Japan daily. Sadly we have no rough. There is a stampede for all Sleeping Beauty. Look for the scramble to intensify.
The Morenci turquoise mine produced a turquoise that is light to bright blue in hue. This stone has an unusual matrix of irregular quartz and pyrite that, when polished, often resembles silver. Also, a small amount of Morenci turquoise had some brownish matrix called "Morenci red matrix". One of the first American turquoises to come to the market, Morenci is highly valued and difficult to obtain.
The Morenci mine is in southeastern Arizona and is now closed and buried under tons of rock. The land was leeched with chemicals that would destroy any trace of turquoise, which means that there is never a chance to re-open this mine. The former miners of Morenci still have quite a stash of rough stone, enough to release a small amount every year to keep it available.
Crow Springs, also known as AnnJax or Bluebird, is located near Tonopah, Nevada and 27 miles, as the crow flies, from the Royston turquoise mine. For 12 years, this rare stone was not been available. 3 years ago, Dennis and Lucy Cordova took it over and began mining it again. The Smith family previously owned the mine. This family had been mining turquoise in Nevada since the 1870's. In 1909, William Petry discovered a deposit one mile southwest of the Crow Springs claim. In 1939, Ann Cooper Hewitt, heiress to the Cooper Hewitt fortune, made from inventing the mercury-vapor lamp and the first fluorescent lighting, filed claim to the mine and built a home there, which she called AnnJax. She did little work on the property and subsequently abandoned it.
Crow Springs is known for its characteristic light green color contrasted with a bright red matrix which is made up of the host rock, rhyolite. Crow Springs turquoise occurs in seams cutting the host rock at all angles. Seams, or veins, range from paper-thin to nearly half an inch thick. The mine consists of several open pits. The largest pit measures about 50 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 15 feet deep. Materials that would yield gems of large size are scarce though the best stones have good color and are very hard.
The mine includes a tunnel that digs 175 feet into the mountain; inside of which, Dennis Cordova discovered a bountiful deposit of commercial grade gold and silver. The current owners of the Crow Springs mine, Dennis and Lucy Cordova are also co-owners of the Pilot Mountain mine. They have been mining for 3 years and cutting the precious stone for over 35 years.
This is Kingman Gold- preferred Marketing Name of the Colbaughs. It is 90% Kingman and 10% bronze - The bronze is infused into the stabilized Kingman turquoise. It is then pressed by a hydraulic press (500 ton capability). Buffing and polishing will not wear off the bronze. There is no dye in the turquoise and in No way is this a reconstituted block
This is the first time Silver Sun has offered Turquoise altered in this manner. We have always offered stabilized, but we do not use reconstructed or synthetic block. Our specialty is still High Grade Natural.
Most customers label correctly, and there is No problem.