The little Navajo enclave of Toha’jil’ii (formerly Canoncito) is nearer to Albuquerque than to Gallup and produces a few excellent, but unheralded, jewelers.
Bobby Piaso, Jr., related to the better-known Joe Piaso, Sr., is one of them.
Bobby has made this marvelously creative pin/pendant, using a beautiful, but unusual, palette and shape.
A traditional notched and chiseled silver border frames the perfectly cut and inlaid stones.
Inlaid in a shadowbox setting, of darkened silver, the royal purple sugilite is a deep, rich contrast to the polished silver border, and to the orange spiny oyster shell inlaid within the stone.
This uncommon choice of materials – at least in color – moves this pin/pendant from the conventional to the exceptional.
The spiny oyster shell is a wonderfully pleasing, bold color, complementary to the purple stone.
It also contrasts with the sugilite in texture: The natural shell is cheerily striped, while the sugilite is denser, only showing its dark, subtle variations upon really close examination.
One of the fine pieces that occasionally emerge after languishing for decades in our inventory, this is well-made, gorgeous, and practical.
This handsome pin/pendant is not only inventive in design and striking in color, but its price is also the original – far below its current value.