This striking sterling silver and turquoise cluster ring was made by Navajo silversmith M. Platero. The traditional cluster features a central oval stone surrounded by ten teardrop stones, each ensconced in a handmade silver bezel. The result is a classic piece of Southwestern jewelry that combines the bold beauty of turquoise with the sheer elegance of hand-worked sterling silver.
- Ring handcrafted by M. Platero (Navajo)
- Sterling silver
- Size 5 ¾
- 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.
This Navajo cluster ring was handcrafted in sterling silver by skilled Native American artist M. Platero. For centuries these artists have fashioned gemstones, stone and shell into lasting jewelry pieces. Since learning silversmithing in the 19th century, Native American artists have been unmatched in their ability to arrange gemstones in sterling silver. From cluster work to channel inlay, these artists have pioneered distinctive styles that showcase their lapidary and silversmithing excellence.
The Southwest is known for the beauty and drama of its landscapes, from red rock canyons and rolling deserts, to expansive blue skies and shimmering sunsets. The Native Americans who have lived here for thousands of years have a deep connection to and respect for this natural world, and their reverence for nature deeply influences their art. Some of the most common nature-inspired designs and symbols are water, rain, clouds, corn, mountains and animals. For Native Americans, nature is a gift from the Creator and in their unique, handcrafted works of art they celebrate this incredible gift.
Jewelry has been made and worn in the Southwest since prehistoric times. For thousands of years Native Southwestern people have made mosaic inlay and beads of turquoise, shell, bone or stone. Metal arrived with the Spanish. Native Americans acquired metal ornaments through trade, but it was not until the middle of the 19th century that Navajo and Zuni artisans learned the craft from Mexican blacksmiths and silversmiths. Their early silver jewelry creations were plain, with simple engraved, stamped or punched designs. Turquoise was first used in silver around 1880. By the turn of the century, silversmithing was widespread across the Southwest and Native artists were making more sophisticated pieces like concho belts and squash blossom and naja necklaces. The Navajo soon became known for their use of silver, emphasizing silver-heavy designs with only a few gemstones, while the Zuni focused on stone work, featuring finely cut clusters of gems in complex patterns. The Hopi and Pueblo tribes also developed distinctive jewelry styles in the early 1900s. Today, Native American artists draw upon both traditional and contemporary influences, and their shell, gemstone and silver jewelry is prized and collected by people around the world. 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 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. Inspiration:Many Native American jewelry artists working today are inspired by the interplay between traditional and contemporary styles. In their work they feel it is important to honor their history, heritage and culture, including the art forms and techniques passed down through generations of Pueblo families. By mixing and matching techniques, materials and themes that are contemporary and traditional, they create inspiring work that has made the modern Native American art world extremely vibrant.