Oxidized Sterling Silver Handmade Lapis Lazuli Ring by Navajo Artist Leon Martinez. This ring measures 2″ x 3/4″ and is a size 7.
Royston is a district in Nevada consisting of three turquoise mines: Bunker Hill, Oscar Wehrend, and the main producer, The Royal Blue. Royston is known for its beautiful colors ranging from deep green to rich, light blues which are set off by a heavy brown matrix. The Royston mine is producing a little high grade turquoise today, operated by the Ottison family. They process most of their material into finished cabs and allow very little rough to come onto the market. This controlled output has raised the price of this material considerably in recent years.
Native American Artist: Leon Martinez
Navajo artist Leon Martinez began his jewelry career in the early 1970’s and is considered one of the most celebrated Native American jewelry artists, winning first place awards several times at the Navajo Nation Fair and Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial. Influenced by his jewelry-making parents, Leo and Edith Martinez, Leon began at the young age of nine assisting with buffering, soldering and setting stones. He also helped his parents make squash blossom necklaces, rings, and bracelets during the high demand for Indian Jewelry in the 1970s. Soon, making jewelry became a passion for Leon and his talent grew enormously.
A hard working self-starter, Leon uses nature as inspiration. From plants, to flowers, to rocks, to landscapes, he looks at everything in his environment for his design ideas.
Making jewelry gives me unlimited joy,” says Leon.
Leon’s jewelry is described as early 1900’s old style mixed with contemporary style.
Making jewelry has made me become patient, putting quality time into the smallest item. This helps me to perfect my work: soldering, setting stones by size, measuring for the perfect fitting, and selecting the highest quality stones for each piece of work.” says Leon. “I strive for perfection in each and every piece.”