Over the years, we have become accustomed to Jeanette Dale creating amazing jewelry. She puts her entire soul into crafting beautiful work, small and large.


I give her a hard time because she sometimes drives from her home south of Shiprock to Gallup, looking for a unique stone for a project. If she doesn't find it there, she will turn around and head for Albuquerque. If it's not there, she heads back past her home on the way to Farmington.

And if she doesn't find the stone she wants, the piece won't get made until she does. Like any other great silversmith, she is obsessive about the material she uses. The idea that she should spend an entire day and a couple of tanks of gas to find that particular piece doesn't seem unreasonable to her.

Sometimes, she is enthusiastic when I show her a stone  I'd like her to use. Sometimes, she will respond with, "It's alright. It will probably work."That's when you know to look for a different one!

But, occasionally, something shows up that lights her fire. That happened recently when Darlene Tsinnie, the widow of Orville Tsinnie, one of the nation's all-time great silversmiths, brought me a beautiful, high-domed piece of red coral. It was one of the prettiest pieces I had ever seen. It was a cabochon that Orville had put aside for a special project, but he never got to it.

Jeanette worked for Orville once, and she and Darlene have known each other for years. The next time she came to the gallery, I said, "Darlene was here the other day and sold me a piece of coral. Would you like to see it?"That was like asking a horse junkie if they would like a ride on Secretariat!

When she sees something extraordinary, Jeanette moves her head backward, opens her eyes wide, and reaches for it simultaneously.


"This would make a beautiful bracelet," she said.

And it did, indeed! The silverwork is beautiful, complementing and not taking away from the coral. The bracelet is solid without being overly heavy, and the geometry of the stone fits perfectly.

See all Jeanette's Jewelry in the Gallery

It went on to our website yesterday and won't be there long. This is an opportunity to own a great piece of jewelry art by one of the Navajo Nation's finest traditional silversmiths. We thought you would like to see it!