Philander Begay is one of the most accomplished young Navajo silversmith these days and you are probably looking for his authentic pieces online to add to your collection. You will find them from reliable retailers of handmade Native American jewelry, and you will quickly appreciate Philander’s original designs and flawless technique.
Investing in Navajo Jewelry
In the world of Native American jewelry artisans, Navajo silversmiths like Philander Begay and his mentors are undeniably the most renowned. They are known for their culturally distinctive pieces, which are coveted and proudly worn by collectors and the fashionable elite. The mentors of the first generation of Navajo silversmiths are believed to be the plateros (Mexican silversmiths) who took inspiration from Spanish settlers who occupied northern Mexico. After the American Revolutionary War, the Navajo used silver to craft beautiful jewelry using skills the plateros passed on to them. They initially used melted silver from American and Mexican coins and ingots. Early Navajo silver jewelry pieces were hammered by hand and finished with rudimentary engraving, filing, and chiseling tools.
During the latter part of the eighteen hundreds, the process of metal casting became more popular. By the early twentieth century, collectors from all over the world have invested in Navajo silver jewelry. A big blow to the industry came during the great depression when the demand for fine silver jewelry declined tremendously. Luckily, the trade was resuscitated when federal educational programs were developed to re-teach the craft in vocational schools on Navajo lands. The silver smithing techniques were further refined over the years and today, Navajo silversmith bracelets, rings, buckles, and necklaces—including those made by Philander Begay—are some of the most finely crafted pieces available.
What make Navajo jewelry highly prized is the fact each individual piece is infused with religiously and culturally unique patterns and symbols. Each piece is a distinctive work of art. Young Navajo jewelry artists like Philander Begay now mix tradition and their own modern creativity, using new materials and new techniques to create original and highly innovative silver jewelry pieces for the global market. Using new tools and methods, Navajo silversmiths are taking on more detailed and intricate pieces. The use of crystals and natural stones has also taken the pieces to another level, making them more appealing to other markets. Philander Begay is one of the gifted Navajo artists who use gemstones like turquoise to enhance his sterling silver designs. You can own one of his pieces by shopping from a reputable retailer of Native American jewelry.
About the Company:
Turquoise Direct is one of the most respected sellers of authentic handmade turquoise jewelry, designed by award winning Native American Artists like Philander Begay, Daryl Dean Begay, Sammie Begay, Alfred Joe, Jennifer Curtis, Tommy Jackson and many others whose pieces feature the finest natural American turquoise in beautiful contemporary and traditional silver and gold designs.