Handcrafted by Yaqui silversmith Michael "Na Na Ping" Garcia, this exquisite shark tooth shape ring features #8 turquoise.
The #8 turquoise mine is located in Eureka County, Nevada. The mine has not produced turquoise for a number of years, although there is quite a bit still in circulation. Pieces handcrafted with this stone are rare and highly coveted.
Garcia is an experienced lapidary artist known for his museum-quality inlay jewlery pieces.
- Ring handcrafted by Michael "Na Na Ping" Garcia (Yaqui)
- Sterling silver
- #8 Turquoise
- Ring measures 1-3/4” long x 5/8" wide
- Size 6-1/4
- 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.
Michael "Na Na Ping" Garcia was born in 1952, and is a registered member of the Pascua Yaqui village of Guadalupe, just outside of Tempe, Arizona. He received a business degree from Arizona State University, inspired by his uncle, Charles Hernandez, lapidary work. Over the years of development, Garcia, has experimented with cutting edge inlay techniques using a wide range of semi-precious stones. His notoriety developed from his ability to combine many intricate cuts into a mosaic of color onto a wide and heavy sterling silver shank.
After meeting and marrying a Nambe Pueblo woman, his wife's grandfather gave Michael the name Na Na Ping, which is a Tewa word meaning Aspen Mountain.
Na Na Ping had taught jewelry design at the Poeh arts school in Pojaque Pueblo north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is the past president of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and has served as Vice President of the prestigious Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. He is the recipient of the SWAIA Arlene Feddes fellowship award that recognizes excellence in Native American art. He has won first prizes for jewelry in every major show throughout the Southwest, as well as internationally in Japan, Germany, and Australia.
Turquoise beads have been made in the Southwest for thousands of years. The Ancestral Pueblo people (formerly referred to as Anasazi), ancestors of today’s Pueblo tribes, mined turquoise in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Chaco Canyon, a major Ancestral Puebloan center, was at the center of turquoise trade routes stretching from the Pacific Northwest to Central America.
Turquoise was not set in silver until the late 19th century after Navajo and Zuni artisans learned metalsmithing. The blue and green gem quickly became a favorite with Native American silversmiths, and was extremely popular with tourists visiting the Southwest in the early 20th century.
Some Native Americans believe the gem was a gift from the spirits and call it the Sky Stone. Today, turquoise is one of the most iconic images of the Southwest and is still revered among Native American jewelry artists.
Today there is a vibrant community of Native American jewelers creating contemporary styles that challenge traditional forms, techniques, and materials. Some artists experimented by working in gold, or using gemstones like opals and diamonds that were not typically used in Native American jewelry. Others presented Native American symbols and icons in modern, stylized ways.
Though artists began experimenting in the 1950s and 1960s, it was not until the 1970s that these innovative styles were embraced by the market. Since then, contemporary styles have flourished, bringing Native American jewelry to an international audience. By pushing boundaries, contemporary artists have truly elevated the technical expertise and sophistication of Native American jewelry, bringing it to level of couture fashion and fine art.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, and to provide 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 40 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.