I have always liked coral, in combination with turquoise and by itself, in Native American Jewelry. And American Indians have felt the same way since they began trading for coral with Europeans 600 years ago.
In the 1800s Hopi dancers were documented to have worn jewelry containing coral. As the market became more apparent, semi-precious stone dealers began to import coral for use in the growing Southwest Indian jewelry market.
By the early 1900s, coral was becoming more prominent, particularly in Santo Domingo heishi and bead jewelry. As time went on, cabochons of coral became more common in Southwestern Indian silver jewelry.
Robert Vandever, who comes from a large family of outstanding Navajo silversmiths that includes Will, Alvin and Walter, created this incredible, simply designed silver bracelet with outstanding red Mediterranean coral. The bracelet was probably made in the 1960s or ‘70s.
It is a classic Navajo cluster design set on a base of square silver wire and hand twisted silver wire. Carefully crafted silver twisted decoration that links the coral pieces to each other.
This is a beautiful bracelet!