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Native American Jewelry and Artifact Information
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Sand Cast Jewelry

Hand made Native American Indian Jewelry; Navajo Sterling Silver naja pendantSand cast items are Indian Hand Made items using a procedure developed by the Navajo silversmiths in the mid 1800s. It is a labor-intensive process that involves many steps.

The sterling silver naja pendant shown at right, by Navajo artists Albert and Mary Bitsui, is an example of sandcast jewelry.

Using Tuff Stone, a porous rock from volcanic ash, Tufa Stone, a porous limestone that forms near hot springs, or Sandstone, a harder stone, the artist carves the design of the item being cast. Another flat stone is placed against the carved half of the mold. The halves are fastened together and a sprue hole is carved into one end. Molten silver is poured into the mold using the sprue hole. Once the silver cools, the item is taken out and finished.

Hand made Native American Indian Jewelry; Navajo Sterling Silver Navajo braceletSandcast sterling silver bracelets, like the one by Francis Begay shown at left, are poured flat and then shaped.

Due to the porous nature of Tuff or Sand Stone, sandcast items will have character marks and imperfections such as small pits. That is the nature of Sand Casting and Indian Hand Made.

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