Recipient of many awards, with devoted collectors all over the world, Arland Ben is also a professional horseman, who has even done stunt work on films. A master jeweler, he is best known for his intricate petroglyph designs in silver and gold, often set with fine natural stones. We were surprised – very happily – when he brought in this spectacular butterfly pendant, which is very different but gorgeous, as well. This piece demonstrates that simple but flawless surroundings enhance luxurious materials.
Dramatically graphic in design, its bold and beautifully executed design showcases the solid branch of precious, natural red coral and the equally valuable and sought-after natural Number 8 turquoise. The form of the piece is a symmetrical combination of curves and angles that complement the organic shapes of the stones. (I know, coral is not a stone, but for present purposes…)
Angular spirals represent rain clouds, which help the butterfly’s role in propagating crops. Crisply delineated, they are backed by a darkened and textured base, so the contrast is striking. Notice how the spirals follow the sharp angles and edges of the wings. On the inside edges, however, the wings are slightly curved, to harmonize with the rounded coral.
Two silver rounds represent the eyes of the creature, whose twisted silver antennae form shallow curves that echo the curves of the wings. The head is a dome of natural Number 8 turquoise – one of the rarest and most coveted of all turquoise. Dark matrix repeats the dark lines in the silver.
Every element of the design ties together, making a singularly harmonious, tasteful, show-stopping whole. Even the circular ring that attaches to the polished bail carries on the round form of the stone, and the antennae. Stepping away from his favorite petroglyph designs, this stellar jeweler shows his artistry has more many expressions, all fabulous.