“Vernon Begaye is a Navajo jeweler whose individual vision sets him apart from tradition while retaining the cultural origins that inspired (him)….” So writes a major reference work on Native jewelry.
This spectacular pendant is an example of his singular vision and traditional skills.
Variations of colors, shapes, and textures, along with the highest quality, natural, stones, artfully combine in a singular piece with a modern sensibility.
Generally, Vernon prefers a rather baroque style, rather than minimalism, and this pendant demonstrates this with a robust and intricate design, impeccably fabricated by hand.
The largest stone is a natural, toasty brown agate, with cooler stones all around it – creating a balance that is important to Navajo culture.
An unusual, and lovely, naturally striped amethyst clings to the bottom right of the pendant, encased in a silver bezel that echoes the linear markings of the stone.
The amethyst is set slightly to the side of the silver backing, which is modestly darkened in front and heavily textured at the back.
At the bottom left, a gloriously rich blue, natural lapis adds a deeper hue, in a simple embrace of silver.
At the top right, a natural turquoise, in a bright hue, has dark brown matrix, relating to both the cool colored stones, and the brown agate.
Then there is the silver work: extravagantly varied, multi-layered, intricate, and imaginative, as well as flawlessly achieved.
Every time you look at this pendant, you will notice another little, marvelous, detail in silver.
Twisted wires, applied tiny beads, stamping so deep it goes through the hefty silver, a repousse crescent, notched circles and applied bands, and more.
Even the bail is special, with its elongated form, and cross-hatched circle on the front.
Vernon’s award-winning work is made with great expertise and is always distinctive. This fantastic pendant is a splendid, one-of-a-kind, conversation starter, and very handsome to wear with everything.