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A superbly crafted contemporary Navajo cast-ingot “Coin-silver” “Bangle” style bracelet by Quaid Shorty

This exceptionally well-crafted bracelet by young Quaid Shorty is old-style all the way. Quaid Shorty (b.1999) is a rapidly rising up and coming superstar of contemporary Navajo silversmithing, the highly-talented son of renowned Navajo silversmith, Perry Shorty (b.1965). This beautifully designed and finely-made bracelet is a completely and painstakingly hand-crafted modern-day "Revival" of an 1880’s-1890’s Classic-Period Navajo silver "Bangle" style bracelet right down to using the exact century-old traditional Navajo silversmithing materials and methods.

The use of “Coin-silver” is a distinctly old-style Navajo silversmithing tradition which was basically revived by Quaid’s Father, Perry Shorty in the 1990’s. The earliest Navajo silver jewelry was made from old American and/or Mexican silver coins which were melted down and cast into into ingot-silver “slugs" from which the jewelry was then formed or in very rare cases, a jewelry piece was made directly from a hammered-out coin or coins. Quaid, like his father Perry, uses historic turn-of-the-century American “Barber” type coins; halves, quarters and dimes to make his “Coin-Silver” pieces.

He melts them down and in the time honored manner casts the molten silver into an ingot silver “slug”. When he is ready to start shaping the bracelet he heats the slug to red hot and begins the painstaking process of hammering, reheating, hammering again until he gets the desired size and shape of the bracelet’s shank.

When the bracelet shank is the right size and shape the meticulous detailed work of applying the decorative elements begins which in this case are many and quite complex involving numerous elaborate chisel, file and stampworked elements. The face of the bracelet is decorated in three main rectangular panels interspersed with various other designs. The top and bottom edges of the bracelet are also decorated with repeating stampwork designs. The end result of all this hard effort is harmonic, rich and immensely satisfying to contemplate.

“It sure feel good when you wear hand-made jewelry.”

-Ambrose Roanhorse, "Leading Silversmith of The Navajo Nation" and Founder of The Navajo Arts and Crafts Guild, 1936

Quotation from Billie Hougart, “The Little Book of Marks on Southwestern Silver”, TBR International, 2011

The bracelet measures 5/16" in continuous width all the way around and the silver shank is 1/4" in thickness all the

way around. The inner circumference end-to-end is 5 3/8" and the gap between the terminals is 7/8" for a total interior circumference of 6 1/4". The bracelet weighs a very substantial fir its slim width 61 grams or 2 1/8 ounces yet is extremely comfortable and easily wearable on the wrist. The bracelet is properly signed "Quaid" in Quaid Shorty’s customary cursive signature and is also marked “Coin-Silver” on the interior.

The bracelet is in brand new unworn condition and was acquired by us recently directly from Quaid Shorty. Although essentially brand spanking right off the bench new, the bracelet already has a distinctively older-looking finish and patina from its rustic, not too slick hand-wrought techniques and its use of coin silver. Just recently made in 2022, for all intents and purposes it looks precisely as if it might have been made in 1902. It’s got all that great old authentic look and feel precisely because it’s made from the exact same materials using the exact same techniques as the 1902 model. You could say it’s a bit like time travel.

This decidedly old-style bracelet is a beautiful, distinctive-looking and easy to wear piece from the inspired mind and skilled hands of one of the finest young Native American artists working today, this lovely classically hand-crafted bracelet would be a most worthy addition to any collection, anywhere and a true joy to wear!

Price $1,650


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At left and right above, the type of historic "Barber-style" coins from which this bracelet was made.