Acclaimed Navajo silversmith Mary Tom carefully handcrafted this stunning statement necklace featuring handcrafted sterling silver beads accented with nine beveled square beads which are graduated in size giving the piece a stunning silhouette. This necklace showcases Mary's skill as an artist as each element reflects a special technique each requiring great precision and skill to successfully craft. Add style and elegance to your collection with this one-of a kind piece that elegantly blends modern style with the historical tradition of silversmithing.
Jewelry has been made and worn in the Southwest since prehistoric times. For thousands of years Native Southwestern people made mosaic inlay and beads of turquoise, shell, bone, or stone. Metal arrived with the Spanish and Native Americans acquired metal ornaments through trade, but it was not until the middle of the 19th century that Navajo and Zuni artisans learned the craft from Mexican blacksmiths and silversmiths. Their early silver jewelry creations were plain, with simple engraved, stamped, or punched designs. Turquoise was first used in silver around 1880. By the turn of the 20th century, silversmithing was widespread across the Southwest, and Native artists were making more sophisticated pieces like concho belts, and squash blossom and naja necklaces. The Navajo soon became known for their use of silver, emphasizing silver-heavy designs with only a few gemstones, while the Zuni focused on stone work, featuring finely cut clusters of gems in complex patterns. The Hopi and Pueblo tribes also developed distinctive jewelry styles in the early 1900s. Today, silver jewelry is an iconic image of the Southwest.
- Necklace handcrafted by Mary Tom (Navajo)
- Sterling silver
- Hook and eye closure
- Necklace measures 21” long x 1/2” to 1" wide graduated beads
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
About the Artist
Mary Tom is a Navajo silversmith from Winslow, Arizona. She began as an apprentice in the early 1980's, and over the last 30 years her work has evolved to establish her as one of the leading bead-making silversmiths.
Today, she makes a wide array of jewelry, using a number of different methods. Her pieces are finely crafted using quality materials, and popular with collectors.
Creating hand-rolled silver beads, sometimes called “Navajo Pearls,” is a celebrated tradition among Navajo silversmiths and an icon of Navajo jewelry. The artist begins with two flat discs of silver then shapes them into domes using a dapping punch. The halves are soldered together and filed to form a beautiful silver bead.
Usually formed from heavy gauge sterling silver, the beads may be smooth, stamped, fluted, slightly flattened or round and polished. Making hand-rolled beads is an extremely labor-intensive process but it creates one of the most beautiful and recognized necklace styles in the world.Read our Native American Jewelry Collector's Guide.
Our Guarantee of Authenticity
At the Indian Pueblo Store we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, providing a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft. At a time when many commercially-made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.