Cast Sterling Silver
Paula says - "In my opinion, this ring shows all the design characteristics and workmanship of being Navajo made. But because there is no hallmark that we can attribute to a specific artist we can't legally sell it as Native American made - read more."
What does Sand Cast or Tufa Cast or mean?
Native American cast items are handmade items using one of several processes and materials.
Sand casting was developed by the Egyptians and introduced to the Dine (Navajo) in the 1880s. This method uses sand with a high clay content to form a mold from a template, an existing piece of jewelry or sculpture. Two halves of a box are filled with sand and the original piece is placed between them so the sand packs around the template to form an impression of the original piece.The boxes are carefully separated and the original piece is removed leaving behind an impression of the piece. A sprue (hole into which the molten metal is poured) and air vents are formed from the impression cavity to the edges of the mold and the two boxes are then bound together. Molten metal is poured into the sprue to fill the mold and allowed to cool. The box is separated and the newly cast piece is removed and finished by grindng, filing and polishing.
Tufa casting is used by many Navajo casters today to make an original piece of jewelry or sculpture. 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 out an original design of an item to be cast, taking care to make the edges angle outward so the metal doesnt stick into corners when the halves are later separated. A sprue is carved from one edge of the cavity to the edge of the form. Another flat stone is placed against the carved half of the mold. The halves are fastened together and molten metal is poured into the mold through the sprue. Once the metal cools, the form is separated and the casting is taken out and finished.
Depending on the preparation of the form and the porous nature of the stone, cast items might have characteristic small pits. That is the nature of sand and tufa casting and Indian Hand Made.
Turquoise is associated with the sky,
and bringing sky energy to earth. It is known as a master healer stone as it is
believed to help speed the healing process. It is also thought that turquoise
can help promote honest and clear communication from the heart.
NOTE: Items in our Vintage Shop are either USED or NEW. They might come from inheritances, estate sales, private collections, and store liquidations. Many items are brand new (NOS, New Old Stock) and in perfect condition while others may show tarnish, scratches and other signs of use. Major issues will be described in detail and shown in photos. Vintage Shop items are sold as described and are not returnable.
About Native American Rings
Southwest Native American rings can be made from many materials but usually are sterling silver alone or embellished with turquoise, coral, jet, mother of pearl, petrified wood, abalone, lapis lazuli, jasper, gaspeite, malachite, spiny oyster, tiger eye, white buffalo stone, onyx, opal, bear claws and much more.
The styles of Southwest Native American rings are many and varied including bands, single stone, shadowbox, cigar band, pictorial inlay, cobblestone, corn row and mosaic inlay, storyteller, sandcast and tufa cast, cluster, petit point, needlepoint, snake eye, overlay, feather, leaf, channel inlay and others.
NavajoNavajo rings are typically a sterling silver band, often heavy and/or elaborate. The band can be silver only or have stones that are set with various types of bezels. For more information on bezels, read my article Types of Bezels. If a Navajo ring is inlaid, the inlay pieces are usually separated by silver channels.
Zuni rings are usually either stone-on-stone inlays (no silver channels in between the pieces), snake rings, snake eye, petit point or needlepoint.
Hopi rings are most often sterling silver overlays with contrasting (oxidized) and textured backgrounds.
Read more in my blog post: Southwest Native American Rings
LLC - Definitions of Jewelry Age and Condition
|A dark or colored film of oxidation that forms naturally on metal exposure to air and other elements. It is often valued for its aesthetically pleasing appearance.|
|30 years or older.|
|New Old Stock. Retail store inventory from at least 10 years ago.|
|An item that has been used.|
The US Department of the Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and its recent Amendments require that items described as Native American or Indian be made by an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe. Furthermore, government regulations suggest that all attributions include the Native American Indian's name, tribe and federal tribal enrollment number. Because it is impossible to identify the artist for many vintage items, even if they are authentic Indian made items, we cannot and will not use the words Native American or Indian in association with such pieces.