This sterling silver cuff bracelet is by Navajo silversmith Gary Custer, who is known for his tufa cast work and especially the dragonfly cuff bracelet. Custer learned silversmithing from his mother and father. About his process: "Gary makes his designs by laying down a stone, a piece of turquoise perhaps, then he draws a rough draft of what his final piece will look like around the gem; following this he takes his design and starts to etch it into a piece of tufa or a brick of compressed sand to begin making his cast. In the end, once a piece is poured into the cast, the tufa must be broken to release the final piece. This means that every work he produces is unique and one of a kind. Even works made from a master mold require a temporary cast to be created; so although pieces may look similar, there is, in fact, no piece that is an identical duplicate. The use of casts is something he’d learned from his father while very young, and something Gary is famously known for today." This bracelet has a slightly flared sterling silver tufa shank--not too narrow yet not wide--which has that wonderful texture that is characteristic of the material into which the piece is cast. Atop the shank sits a dragonfly with an oval shaped spiderweb turquoise stone, from the Hubei mine in China. From a website about Chinese turquoise, which is considered the new high-grade alternative since American high-grade turquoise is so scarce: "There is evidence of turquoise use in China dating at least as far back as 1700 BC as evidenced by a bronze plaque with turquoise overlay from the Erlitou culture site in Menan Province displayed at the Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. Mostly the Chinese used turquoise for carvings and other art. Jade has been the preferred stone for jewelry in Chinese culture. The Tibetians, on the other hand, have preferred turquoise to any other gemstone and virtually every Tibetian possesses some turquoise. Believed to bring good luck, it is worn set in rings and bracelets, as beads in necklaces, and as adornment directly on hats and other clothing. Domestic animals such as horses wear necklaces of felt with turquoise sewn on. Today China has mines that produce a great deal of turquoise. Northwest of Shanghai is the Ma'ashan turquoise mine, and the Hubei Province produces turquoise in colors reminiscent of the now closed mines in Nevada. This turquoise ranges in color from sky blue to spring green as well. Turquoise from mines in China accounts for about 80% of the stone on the U.S. market today, due to the scarcity of American turquoise." Like much of Custer's jewelry, this piece honors the powerful medicine of Dragonfly, which signifies changes and transformation, and swiftness. Because the dragonfly breeds and lives near water, it's an especially important totem for indigenous peoples of the arid Southwest. And given the connection to water, it is a unique gift idea for anyone born under a water sign in the Zodiac.
The bracelet shank measures 5/8" wide at the widest point yet the dragonfly is 2-1/2" by 2". Measuring end to end with a soft tape measure on the inside, the bracelet is 5-1/4" long with a 1" gap, for a total interior length of 6-1/4"--although because it is more wide in shape than round, I think it could fit up to about a 6-3/8" wirst. The artist has signed his name in dremel and written the word "STERLING" on the interior . Weighs a whopping 73g--this is a lot of silver weight due to the size of the dragonfly. In excellent condition.
Having flown the Earth for 300 million years, the small yet fierce dragonfly is a symbol of our ability to overcome hardship and to persist.
Please convo with questions, or call (505) 369-6865. Will return your call as soon as possible.
For More Native American Bracelets and Watches: https://bit.ly/2NpeypL
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Native American Rings: http://bit.ly/2HQXwyY
Native Necklaces, Pendants, and Pins: http://bit.ly/2ESs4Tf
Native Belts and Bolos: http://bit.ly/2oz2XKp
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We get correspondance almost daily asking how much certain items are worth or what the price was of items that have sold, and we can no longer respond to these messages.