Decisions, Decisions

We offer custom Native American jewelry. What does that mean and how does it work? Here’s the story of a recent order for a custom bolo tie. You might have an idea that we can help design and create for you!

A gentleman in California contacted us because he was interested in owning a bolo tie by Navajo / Zuni artist Sam Gray. He had a specific idea of the size he wanted, and a general idea of the type of turquoise. As Sam works in our shop in Old Town Scottsdale, we collaborated almost entirely via email, with a few phone calls thrown in for good measure.

We find stones in our stock or even from a piece of jewelry in our store!

We find stones in our stock or even from a piece of jewelry in our store!

We shot pictures of the stones on an oval the size of the requested bolo.

We shot pictures of the stones on an oval the size of the requested bolo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, Sam selected a few stones that he thought would work well for the size bolo requested. We have a full lapidary set-up, so resizing or reshaping stones is no problem.  We emailed the choices to the customer in California.

 

A test-run of a 6 ply cord in black

A test-run of a 6 ply cord in black.

Here's the winning stone!  It needs a bit of shaping.

Here’s the winning stone! It needs a bit of shaping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the customer chose the stone he liked best, Sam shaped the stone slightly and then sketched a full-size design featuring the selected piece of turquoise.  Once the design was approved, Sam began working on building the bolo tie in sterling silver.

Actual size sketch of the design concept

Actual size sketch of the design concept.

The finished bolo ready for cords

The finished bolo ready for cords.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the bolo was being built, we discussed the size and color of cords as well as the style of tips and whether or not to add ferrules. The customer decided he liked the custom cords braided by Sam’s nephew, traditional dancer Allen King. We sent pictures of the cord colors and here’s where we ran into the hardest decision of all – what color of cord would look best? Both the Texas Tan and the Medium Brown colors looked great. Sam came up with the perfect solution – he simply made sure the cords would be interchangeable and created two sets of tips, one for each cord color. Now, the proud owner can enjoy wearing his new bolo tie with either cord! That’s what we call custom!

The winning design with a medium brown cord

The winning design with a Medium Brown cord.

The Texas Tan cord looked so good we couldn't resist!

The Texas Tan cord looked so good we couldn’t resist!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact us if you have an idea of a special piece you’d like designed and created right here in our shop – we’re happy to help!

 

You can always find beautiful Native American jewelry for sale on our website or on eBay, as well as in our retail store located in Old Town Scottsdale, AZ!

by oldtownjewels

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