Yet another treasure uncovered by the Drifter. These Bicenti pieces are at the current apex of Native American jewelry. He, Gilbert Tom, Andy Cadman, Sunshine Reaves, Marcella James, Vernon Hoskie, Matthew Charley, Eloise Kee, Robert Shakey, the Skeet brothers, Leon Martinez and his sons, Charley John and quite a few other Navajo craftsmen and women that appear on these pages have chosen to continue making Navajo jewelry in a manner befitting the old artisans—most of whom have by now passed. They have shunned the propensity to make light gauge, trinket-quality tourist pieces and have instead focused on works that appeal to discerning buyers and serious collectors. Thanks to the internet, the collectors hail from all parts of the globe. In trying to acquire such quality, traders such as the Drifter now compete with big-time buyers from Europe, Asia, India, Australia and other places where Native American jewelry may be more sought-after there than here in the U.S. The buyers come for quality pieces—not trinkets.
Of course the result is the escalation of prices due not only to the cost of silver and stones, but the age-old supply and demand factor. We are simply running out of Native American craftspeople willing to enter into the craft, and that endeavor to make quality pieces that take a lot of time and money to produce. So enjoy pieces like that pictured above while they are still being produced.
This Bicenti cuff weighs a hefty 6.29 ounces; fits a medium-to-large wrist circumference of 6 and 7/8ths-inches, and is a consistent 2 and 3/8ths inches wide. And, it sports lots of time-consuming repouse', hand-stamping, and a dreamy chunk of expensive Pilot Mountain mine turquoise.