Vernon’s award-winning work is always distinctive.
According to a respected reference work, “Vernon Begaye is a Navajo jeweler whose individual vision sets him apart from tradition while retaining the cultural origins that inspired his talent.”
This dramatic ring looks nothing like traditional Native jewelry, but the hand-fabricated technique and use of silver, turquoise, and coral, are a direct line to the past.
The addition of other “new” stones, and the contemporary design, are anything but the usual.
A splendid, natural turquoise is flanked by a natural red coral on one side, and a fascinating purple charoite on the other.
The charoite has a twilight-lavender background, with dark matrix that resembles clouds against the waning sky.
Rich, dark blue natural lapis abuts the coral, on its other side.
Each hand-cut stone is a different size and shape, but are linked by the broadly chiseled silver bezels that hold each one securely.
Instead of the conventional three stones, largest in the center, two matching on either side, the artist has four stones, of differing colors, materials, and sizes lined up.
The effect is full of intense color, and a syncopated,energy.
The silver shank is equally unconventional: instead of a simple circular band, the highly polished silver is squared off on the exterior, and round inside.
Straight-edged to support the stones, the circular interior snuggles comfortably with the human finger.
With the varied colors, shapes, textures, and levels, this ring is unlike others; just like most of Vernon’s nonconforming and wonderful work.
It fits comfortably, and ingeniously melds a robust, modern look, and a nod to tradition, with the highest quality stones.
A creative and striking statement.