Vernon Begaye is considered to be one of the leading contemporary jewelers.
Aside from his father, Jimmy Begaye, and siblings – among whom is the celebrated Marco Begaye – he had a close working association with Raymond and Lee Yazzie, who are considered masters, as well.
Linked with his innate talent, mentors of this caliber almost guaranteed exceptional work.
Vernon has his own, award-winning style, and it is exhibited in this exceptional bolo.
A sturdy gauge of tufa-cast silver has plain, polished silver edges on either side and an additional, polished, heavy texture on one half.
The tufa-textured side is slightly darkened, and separated from the polished, bubbly side by a raised, polished zig-zag line that ends in one of the artist’s signature features – a raised, cross-hatched flat bead.
Three natural, royal blue lapis cabochons anchor the darkened side, and project slightly over the edge.
A large, splendid, natural spider web, Lone Mountain turquoise sits high above the surface on the other side, held in a chiseled bezel.
The bubbly texture, like raindrops, the choice of blue stones, and the zig-zag line, like a flowing stream, all suggest a theme of water, a symbol of great good luck.
Then there are the tips: tapered in reverse from the usual, they go from narrow to wider. In addition, they exhibit a sandy, tufa-like texture – even though polished – which is inventive, and very handsome.
Even the cord is especially well-made; hand-braided in a proportionally think size, with a flat strap around the neck, for keeping a collar flat, and a fit comfortable.
This superb bolo will look remarkably striking with a suit or sport coat, as well as with jeans. Striking, but in an understated way.