A third-generation jewelry artist, Jay Livingston learned fine jewelry techniques from his father, master silversmith, Jake Livingston.
From childhood, he absorbed the meticulous technique and perfect lapidary work that characterize his own award-winning jewelry, as well.
With a Navajo mother, and his famous father’s Zuni heritage, he incorporates both traditions in his work – as you can see in this gorgeous bracelet.
Uncommonly high-grade denim lapis is cut into rectangles, and set into a boxed, gleaming silver base.
The stones are sprinkled with glittering pyrite matrix: “fool’s gold”, that mimics the metallic warmth of real gold.
This is a feature of the finest examples of lapis, denim, or otherwise.
Another sign of the stones’ exceptional quality is their shape; only the hardest stones can be cut into sharp corners like these.
Two bands of icy-bright polished silver separate the center design from the sides, adding a glistening contrast to the muted surface of the lapis.
In the center, two flat denim lapis squares are inlaid with a diamond-shape of deep, midnight blue lapis.
Their dense color contrasts with the lighter denim blue, and its golden sparkles.
Tying the two together, the dark lapis diamond shapes are bordered with a frame of inlaid pink coral, for a subtle and beautiful contrast.
Bordered with rounded silver edges, brilliantly polished, the richness of the stones is displayed to the finest degree.
Magnificent stones match the precision of the workmanship, and the restrained drama of the design.
In Navajo tradition, there is beauty on the inside, too: delicately chiseled lines, like waterways, and four perfect little sun-like stamps.
Like his renowned father, Jay Livingston has become a leading artist.
Drawing on both his tribal traditions, he matches the meticulous accuracy of Zuni stone work with the Navajo flair for arresting design.
Attention-getting because of the innate beauty of the denim lapis and shimmering silver, this bracelet still whispers, rather than shouts, its beauty.
Navajo drama tempered by Zuni modesty? Fabulous, whatever the origins.