One of the many relatively unsung jewelers who regularly produce beautiful work that is meticulously made, Gilbert Begay is known for his silverwork, and inlay technique.
In this handsome ring, the splendid stone demanded to be spotlighted on its own, and the silver surrounding it is restrained, but precise; a perfect accompaniment.
Plump and high, the natural turquoise is a gorgeous bright blue, with a subtle water web matrix, as well as touches of pyrite, fool’s gold.
Is the turquoise Morenci, which often shows a pyrite matrix? Or is it Kingman, known for water web patterns in some of the finest examples?
We don’t have documentation, so we just call it natural, and gorgeous.
It has a hand-chiseled bezel, with the substantial, individual uprights looking like a picket fence.
Set into a shadowbox, a rope-like border abuts the plain silver frame. The crunchy texture and smooth shimmer are nicely balanced.
The shank also exhibits the artist’s excellent silver work: a wonderfully substantial band of silver, filled with a row of totally regular stamps cut into points on one side, providing a textured effect. There is a deeply chiseled line above and below the parade of stamps.
Beauty in front, beauty in back; the Navajo aesthetic of beauty in all directions.
This is a marvelous piece of jewelry in both looks and workmanship – bold, but refined, with a breathtakingly blue, natural turquoise stone.