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A particularly beautiful Navajo ingot Coin-Silver “Concho” style buckle by Perry Shorty, c. 1990’s

When renowned Navajo silversmith Perry Shorty (B. 1965) hits a solid home run as he did with this incredible

coin-silver revival-style buckle, the results are impressive indeed! All of Perry’s silverwork is beautifully and meticulously crafted, but he saves his very best and most interesting efforts for his old-style “Coin-Silver” pieces, such as this buckle. The process was long and laborious; it began by finding old American turn-of-the-century silver coins such as “Barber” style half dollars and quarters as pictured below and then melting them down and casting them into an ingot “slug” which was then patiently hammered out into the desired shape and size of the buckle after which it was painstakingly decorated with precise, perfectly-executed chisel and stamp work and, finally, everything buffed

and polished. The amount of concentrated effort and complete attention to detail all this takes is hard to imagine.

"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.”

-Perry Shorty

Perry Shorty demonstrating silversmithing, c. 1999.

Some of the types of historic American coins Perry Shorty uses to make his "coin-silver" jewelry pieces.

The buckle is a perfect and very easily wearable size, round in shape with beautifully-scalloped edges. It measures

a touch over 2 3/4” in diameter and is 1/4" in depth. It weighs a substantial, but extremely comfortable 73 grams or

2 1/2 ounces. It will accept a leather belt strap of up to 1 1/4" in width. The buckle is properly signed "P. Shorty" on

the back in Perry’s customary cursive signature and it is also marked “Coin Silver”. The buckle is in excellent original condition with some age-appropriate wear and the silver has developed the classic and beautiful patination that Perry’s “Coin-Silver” pieces always acquire in time, like the traditional, turn-of-the-century historic Navajo silver pieces that originally inspired them. You can draw straws or arm wrestle with your significant other about who gets to wear this piece and when. It looks and wears equally well on men or women.

It is remarkable to know that this buckle was made sometime in the 1990’s because to look at in carefully in terms

of the craftsmanship, methods, tools and materials used in its creation; it might just as easily have been made well over

a century ago, in the 1890’s. As the Barber-style half dollar pictured above— the exact type of coin Perry Shorty used to make this piece— indicates, it was certainly made from raw materials that old. Perry really channeled his Navajo ancestors with this piece; it's a complete triumph of old-fashioned artistry, craftsmanship and tradition in a modern time.

Price $3,750


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Note: The leather belt strap pictured here is for demonstration purposes only and is not included in the sale

of this buckle. If desired, we can recommend an excellent custom leather belt makers here in Santa Fe.