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A beautiful contemporary Navajo Coin-silver
and red coral cuff bracelet by Quaid Shorty
Another very lovely piece by this up and coming star of contemporary Navajo silversmithing, Quaid Shorty (b.1999),
this beautifully designed and finely-made bracelet has a fresh sleekly Modernist appearance. Let’s start with the central panel of very finely-chiseled lines or rays radiating outwards from the beautiful rectangular-shaped red coral center stone. Moving outwards from the center are two chiseled plain silver panels divided down the center and bordered on the top and bottom by narrow panels of very precisely applied stamp work designs. The overall effect is
of a series of nicely contained outlined linear panels which convey a dynamic and somewhat modern look and feel.
This combined with the completely traditional silversmithing methods and the use of the brighter slightly more “whitish” colored Coin Silver give the bracelet an extremely distinctive appearance. The use of “Coin-silver” is a distinctly old style Navajo silversmithing tradition 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
into ingot-silver slugs from which the jewelry was then formed or in rare cases, a jewelry piece was made directly
from a hammered-out coin or coins.
The amount of concentrated skill and effort required to work at this sophisticated level of design and craftsmanship
is extraordinary but when one learns from the very best as in Quaid’s immensely skilled Father Perry, one has the opportunity to learn extremely well. The bracelet measures just slightly under an inch, 15/16” in continuous width
all the way around. The inner circumference end-to-end is 5 3/4” and the gap between the terminals is 7/8” for a total interior circumference of 6 5/8”. The bracelet weighs a substantial but very comfortable and easy to wear 70 grams
or 2 1/2” ounces. The bracelet is properly signed “Quaid” and is also marked “Coin-Silver” on the interior. The bracelet is in new unworn original condition having been recently purchased directly from Quaid Shorty.
This is an extremely attractive and striking piece of contemporary 21st Century jewelry made in a completely traditional 19th Century manner, a unique and compelling combination.