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A very finely hand-wrought Navajo Coin ingot-silver platform-style ring by Perry Shorty, c. 2020
This beautiful ring by the great Perry Shorty (b.1965) has got it all going on; a beautifully formed diamond-shaped platform design and extraordinary stamp, chisel and file work all perfectly hand made in precious cast coin ingot silver. The overall effect here is of strength and substance combined with a measure of grace and elegance as if
the ring had been meticulously and carefully carved from a solid block of silver.
Perry Shorty is world-renowned today as one of the greatest all-time greats of Navajo silversmithing and he saves his finest efforts for his revival-style “Coin-silver” pieces such as this ring. The process is arduous and painstaking involving intense heat and physical effort; to melt down the old silver coins, cast the ingot silver slug, hammer it out into the form of the ring and apply the intricate design work and accents. Take particular notice of the two pairs of large round applied silver “raindrops”; one each on either side of the slightly-domed or repouseed diamond-shaped central platform and the unique and remarkably well-done beautiful stampwork down the sides of the ring’s scallop-edged split-silver shank, just fabulous!
At center, Perry Shorty demonstrating Navajo silversmithing at the Hopi Cultural Center, c. 1999. At left and right, some of the types of historic American silver coins this ring was made from.
“I try to keep things simple. The old smiths didn’t have a lot of tools
and materials to work with, and I like doing it their way.”
The ring measures a size 8 on a professional graduated ring sizer. The ring’s face measures approximately 1 1/8" in height and is 7/8" in width at its widest point. The ring weighs a comfortable and very wearable 12 grams or 3/8 ounce and it is in excellent-plus original condition. The ring is properly signed “P. Shorty” in Perry Shorty’s customary cursive signature and it is also marked “Coin-Silver” on the interior.
This piece would be equally attractive on either a man or a woman so you and your beloved will just have to draw straws, arm-wrestle or figure out some other type of equitable sharing arrangement because you will both want
to wear the ring regularly as it is a really remarkable everyday “go to” type of piece.