For over a quarter of a century, Navajo silver and goldsmith Jimmie King, Jr. excited the imagination of jewelry lovers. His unique heavy metal work style and delicate inlay earned him a reputation as a master jeweler.
His work is a combination of strength and delicacy. The most common reaction when people first pick up a piece of his work is to comment on the weight of the jewelry. It feels substantial. It is inlaid with precision and color awareness, marking it as King's alone. King was particular about his work, refusing to hurry a piece and willing to melt it down if unsatisfied with the result. Every piece is hand-built and finished.
He lived and worked just off the northern edge of the Navajo reservation near Farmington, New Mexico. His interests included reading, learning new things, and listening to opera as he created his jewelry.
King created the inlay cube, the solid link bracelet with an inlaid clasp, and the "Sky High" bracelet. He has won top awards at the Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial and featured in several books and magazines about Native American art. His jewelry is signed in cursive "JR" for his name's first and last initials. Six dots in a semi-circle above the letters stand for the six sacred directions: North, East, South, West, the Sky, and the Earth.
Years ago, in a ceremony, a medicine man told him that if he put these dots on his jewelry, everything would go well for Jimmie - it appears he was right.
Jimmie passed away on April 24, 2017, in Farmington.