The land of the Southwest resonates with the spirit of the Native American people, their valor and culture and lots of sun! Plenty of it - enough to saturate each and every aspect of the lives of the people with brightness and splendor. Each piece brought to you by the Sunwest Silver is an example of that spirit and sunshine.Details
Check out the Ring Sizing Guide to find your ring size.
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.
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.
Onyx is a variety of chalcedony quartz that features a fine texture with a smooth black color. Some onyx can display white bands or ribbons against black or brown backgrounds. The bands that move through the stone run parallel and onyx is therefore sometimes known as zebra agate. Mined in Brazil, India, California and Uruguay, most onyx today is color-enhanced to increase its depth of color. It ranks a 6.5 on the Mohs Scale and is an ideal stone for carving. In fact, it is a favorite material of lapidary artists.
Onyx was very popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans. The name comes from the Greek word "onux" which means fingernail. Legend says that one day frisky Cupid cut the divine fingernails of Venus with an arrowhead while she was sleeping. He left the clippings scattered on the sand and the fates turned them into stone so that no part of her heavenly body would ever perish. In Greek times, almost all colors of chalcedony were called onyx. Later, the Romans narrowed the term to refer to only the black and dark brown colors, while the reddish brown and white onyx became known as sardonyx. Highly valued in Rome, sardonyx was especially used for seals because it was said to never stick to the wax. Roman General Publius Cornelius Scipio was famous for wearing sardonyx.
Worn during mourning in the Victorian age, onyx is now traditionally given as a 7th wedding anniversary gift. It is thought to increase happiness, self-control, courage, intuition and instincts. The stone is also believed to cool the yearnings of love and decrease sexual desire.
About the Collection
Known for their legacy of creating fine Navajo and Pueblo jewelry, Sunwest Silver isn't just a jewelry company, they're a family. The artisans of Sunwest have been dedicated to their work and company for decades and they're paying it forward by teaching the next generation their craft, trade and traditions. They take pride in hand-tooling their pieces in the United States, creating designs with some of the most colorful and rare turquoise from one of the largest private collections in the world and several, now depleted mines.
Perfect for the value-driven customer, the American Artistry collection blends Southwestern flare with a modern twist.
The Navajo people, or Diné, 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 hand-crafted in the homes of skilled artisans, with the artist's name engraved on every item.
The Museum collection features specially curated, often limited quantity pieces from Ernie Montoya's private collection. With the finest southwestern gemstones by the top designers, it offers the customer a truly unique experience.
For those who love family, fine jewelry & fun
About the Guest
As a Native American raised by silversmiths, Valerie Calabaza's passion for Southwestern & Native American jewelry grew with her into adulthood, leading her to begin designing and creating jewelry of her own.
Valerie is proud to share her culture, traditions and passion for Native American jewelry as a part of the Sunwest Silver, Museum & American Artistry collections.
Brenda Baca has worked in the jewelry industry for 10 years, developing a special appreciation for Native American jewelry. She works first-hand with silversmiths featured in the Diné Spirit line.