This striking cuff bracelet created by master silversmith Ernest Rangel (Navajo) showcases the beauty of natural red coral and the fine art of tufa casting. This weighty and solid sterling silver bracelet features coral gems bezel set in a single row alongside silver bead accents. A unique work of wearable art, this distinctive bracelet can be worn and enjoyed by both men and women.
- Cuff bracelet handcrafted by Ernest Rangel (Navajo)
- Sterling silver
- Tufa cast
- Bracelet measures 3/8” wide with a 5” inside circumference and 1-1/8” opening
- Fits an average wrist
- 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.
Ernest Rangel is an award-winning Navajo silversmith from Gallup, New Mexico, who is also a professional rodeo cowboy. He began make jewelry as a teenager, learning from his mother. He is known for his dramatic and sometimes rugged jewelry style, and sterling silver belt buckles and bracelets are considered his signature pieces. Often created through traditional tufa casting, Rangel’s work includes both traditional and contemporary designs. See Featured Artist Page
Native Americans of the Southwest were introduced to coral by the Spanish. For centuries, Native people had been fashioning beads from shells like spiny oyster, and the deep red Mediterranean coral quickly became a prized material. Santo Domingo Pueblo incorporated coral into heishi bead necklaces used for trade or adornment. Hopi, Zuni and Navajo artists used the gem for adornment and in necklaces worn in ceremonial dances. Coral was first set in silver in the late 19th century after the Navajo, Zuni and Pueblo people learned silversmithing. In the 1930s, traders encouraged its use by supplying it to Native artists, particularly the Zuni. Red is a sacred color for the Zuni, and they believe coral brings good luck and longevity to the wearer. Native Americans also consider the gem a sign of wealth and status because of its expense and rarity. Whether used alone or in combination with other valuable gems like turquoise, coral remains one of the iconic gemstones of Native American jewelry in the Southwest.
Tufa casting is a generations-old method of jewelry making developed by Navajo silversmiths. Tufa is a porous volcanic stone found in New Mexico and Arizona that is easy to cut and carve. In the casting process, a design is hand-carved into tufa stone, creating a negative space where molten silver or gold can be poured. After casting, the piece is refined and decorated by hand. Typically, tufa molds last for only one or two castings, making this a fragile process that is practiced by only the most skilled artists. Jewelry created through this process can be identified easily by the distinctive texture left on the metal by the tufa stone during casting.Read our Native American Jewelry Collector's Guide.
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, 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. Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer. 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.