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A spectacular Navajo ingot “Coin-Silver” cuff bracelet set
with two large turquoise cabochon stones by Perry Shorty, 2012
When Perry Shorty hits a grand-slam home run completely out of the ballpark as he did with this incredible coin-silver revival-style bracelet, the results are sensational 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 bracelet. The process was long and laborious; it began by finding old American turn-of-the-century nearly-pure silver coins such as “Barber”-style half dollars and quarters 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 bracelet after which it was painstakingly decorated with precise, perfectly-executed chisel and stamp work, then the bracelet shaped, the bezels soldered on, the stones set and, finally, everything buffed and polished.
Some of the types of historic American silver coins which Perry Shorty melted down to make this ingot coin-silver bracelet.
The amount of concentrated effort and complete attention to detail this takes is nearly impossible to imagine. The two beautiful large turquoise cabochon stones Perry used in this bracelet are most likely Royston, Nevada and have a lovely clear blue color with a medium-brown colored matrix. The stones measure approximately 7/8” in length by 1/2” in width.
The bracelet measures 1 3/16” in width at the widest center point and tapers slightly down to 1” in width at the terminals. The inner circumference end-to-end is 5 7/8”, the gap between the terminals is 1 1/8” for a total interior circumference of 7”. The inside measurement is 2 7/16” across from side to side at the widest point. The bracelet weighs a solid 107 grams or 3 3/4 ounces. The bracelet is properly signed “P. Shorty” on the interior in Perry’s customary cursive signature and it is also marked “Coin Silver”. The bracelet is in excellent original condition. There is a barely visible crimp on one side of one of the silver bezels where Perry made the bezel conform to a slight irregularity in the side of one of the turquoise stones. The bracelet is already beginning to develop the classic and beautiful patination that Perry’s “Coin-Silver” pieces always acquire in time, like the traditional, turn-of-the-century pieces that originally inspired them.
This bracelet was made in 2012, but in terms of its craftsmanship, methods and materials it might just as easily have been made over a century ago, in 1912. Perry really channeled his Navajo ancestors with this piece--it is a complete triumph of old-fashioned artistry and craftsmanship in a modern time.