Dine Spirit™ Sterling Silver 2" Etched Feather Drop Earrings

Feathers have a special significance in the Native American culture as well as art! This lovely pair of earrings captivates the spirit and art of the people of the Southwest in its truest form with a feather shape that hangs from simple French hooks in each earring. Hand-crafted by Navajo artist Chris Charley.

About The Significance of Feather:
The ancient Native American tradition tells of the Diné people of the beginning time, when the Great Spirit sent his sacred knowledge and wisdom to man through his messengers - the glorious birds of his kingdom. Likewise, the prayers and messages of man were carried to the Great Spirit on the wings of these birds. So revered are the birds that their images have decorated the artwork, pottery, rugs and clothing of Native Americans for centuries. According to lore, the personal adornment of feathers connects the wearer to the heavens.

Prayer feathers, often bundled together, are used to send ones thoughts, feelings and sacred requests to the Great Spirit. The use of song with prayer feathers is believed to enhance the ability to speak with the ancient ones as well as the Great Spirit. The feathers used in jewelry often have two parts, representing the duality of life - daylight and darkness, life and death, peace and wartime, youth and adulthood, body and soul, etc. Feathers are a primary sign of good fortune, being a connection to the Great Spirit and his protection.

  • Metal: Polished and etched sterling silver
  • Measurements: 1-7/8"L x 1/2"W x 1/8"H
  • Backing: French hooks with rubber backs
  • Collection: Dine Spirit
  • Country of Origin: USA

Please Note: Comes with a romance card signed by the artist.

Please see the About The Artist tab for more information on Chris Charley.

SterlingSilver    Drops    

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver, also called fine silver, is a beautifully lustrous cool-toned precious metal favored in fine jewelry among other products. The most reflective of all metals (excluding mercury), sterling silver looks stunning by itself and brings out the best hues in an array of colorful gemstones.

Sterling silver can be polished to a higher sheen than platinum. In fact, Ag, the chemical symbol for silver, comes from a word that means “white and shining.” The surface of silver can boast that shiny, polished appearance, or can be brushed, satin, matte, sandblasted, antiqued or oxidized (chemically blackened).

In order to be called sterling silver, a metal must be made up of a minimum of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% alloy (meaning other metals), including but not limited to copper and nickel. The alloy is added to pure silver to make the metal more durable, tougher and harder. Sterling silver is designated a fineness of “925.” Pieces with sterling silver may be marked “sterling.”

Finishes on Sterling Silver
Finishing, or plating, is a common treatment with sterling silver. Popular types of plating are rhodium plating, gold plating and anti-tarnish plating. Plating is used to extend the life and sheen of the jewelry. After sizing or buffing a piece of jewelry with a machine, it must be re-plated to restore the finish.

  • Rhodium Plating: Rhodium plating is a complex and laborious process that enhances the luster and beauty and extends the life of silver. A member of the platinum metal group, rhodium is often used as a finishing touch on silver jewelry. It's a shiny silvery metal with a very white and reflective appearance, much like mercury. It's also very hard, so it withstands much wear and tear, resists natural tarnishing and wonderfully mimics the brilliant finish of freshly polished silver.

    Caring for Sterling Silver
    Sterling silver becomes tarnished as the result of a natural chemical process that occurs when sterling silver is exposed to chemicals in the air, rubber, wool and latex. Humidity also plays a role in accelerating tarnishing. It's easy to keep your sterling silver sparkling, though, by taking a few steps to prevent tarnish and other wear and tear.

  • Avoid exposing sterling silver to direct sunlight and harsh chemicals, including chlorine, ammonia, hair products, perfumes, cosmetics, perspiration and strong jewelry cleaning solutions.
  • Periodically wash sterling silver with mild dish soap and warm water. Rinse well and dry completely with a soft cloth before storing because moisture can cause tarnish.
  • Lightly polish sterling silver frequently with a soft silver-polishing cloth, avoiding abrasive cloths completely.
  • Tarnish is easy to remove when it first forms as a yellowish tint, but becomes more difficult to remove when it becomes brown and black. Remove tarnish with a silver polish cream, avoiding immersing pieces with gemstones in tarnish-removal solutions.
  • Minimize scratches on sterling silver by storing it in its own compartment in your jewelry box or in a cloth pouch. Sterling silver may also be stored in sealed polyethylene bags.

    Earring Back Types

    The backing is an important part of an earring, providing a secure closure and comfortable fit. Keep in mind, some earring styles work better with certain back types. Experiment with the different types to find the best fit for you!

    Butterfly Back: A double looped piece resembling a butterfly that fits over a post. Variations on this design are called push back clasps. The basic post and butterfly back are usually used for stud earrings and lighter weight drop earrings.

    Hinged Snap Backs: This clasp features a hinged post that snaps into a groove on the back of the earring. It is commonly found on hoops. Sometimes the hinged post is curved to provide more room to fit around the ear, sometimes called a saddleback.

    Hook Backs: This earring backing is simply a long, bent post that fits through the piercing. Hooks have several variations, most notably the shepherd's hook and the French hook. While thin wire hooks reduce the weight of long earrings, making them more comfortable, they aren't as secure as other clasp styles.

    Lever Back: A hinged lever snaps shut against the curved post to form a closed loop around the ear lobe. This clasp is very secure and good for large or medium sized styles that drop just below the ear.

    Omega: Also called French clips, this clasp has a straight post and a looped lever. The hinged lever closes around the post and is held against the ear with pressure. The omega clasp is the most secure clasp, especially for the larger, heavier earrings.

    Screw back: This backing is a slight variation of the standard post and butterfly nut back. Instead of pushing on the back, the nut twists onto the threaded post. A screw back post design is often preferred for expensive diamond stud earrings that require increased security.

  • About the Collection
    Discover the artistry of the Navajo people with Diné Spirit - a jewelry collection that embodies the true Native American spirit. Handmade in the Southwest and crafted in sterling silver with American turquoise and other fine genuine gemstones, each piece is an individual work of art.

    The Navajo people, or Diné as they call themselves, have a rich history in creating beautifully ornate and artistic jewelry. Combining modern techniques with traditional Navajo silversmithing methods, the collection transcends beauty. Common to the Navajo, each piece is meticulously created one-at-a-time in the homes of skilled artisans, with the artist's name engraved on every item.

    Diné Spirit is adorned with a variety of Southwestern details, including complex engravings, scrollwork, floral shapes, oxidation and more. Genuine gemstones native to the Southwest take center stage in each design, bringing color and personality to the pieces.

    Veronica YellowhorseAbout the Guest
    Brenda Baca has been in the jewelry biz for over a decade, honing a special eye for quality, Native American pieces. Having worked first hand with the silversmiths and artisans of Diné Spirit, and being an designer herself, she truly appreciates and understands the skill and talent required to craft this stunning collection.

    About The Artist:
    To say that Chris Charley likes to stay busy would be quite an understatement. When not at his bench producing a vast array of traditional and contemporary silver jewelry for his ever-growing market, this Navajo artist might be found at work on his sand painting or pottery skills. On the occasions when he does take a break from his many artistic pursuits, Chris can likely be found on the basketball court, working as passionately to create a decent jump shot as he does a beautiful ring or bracelet.

    Born in 1972 in Crown Point, New Mexico, Chris became fascinated with silversmithing while watching his uncle, Raymond King. At age eighteen, Chris began his own career as a silversmith, teaching himself the tools and techniques he observed his uncle use to craft his own award winning jewelry. A master of so many silver working and design styles now, Chris still considers the more basic, traditional Navajo method of stamp work to be his favorite and finest skill. The stamped silver pieces he produces are crisp, refined and expressive. It is with these traditional designs and techniques that Chris feels most connected to his tribe cultural history - the “old ways”.