Handmade Navajo Pearls

by Virginia Tso

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A look inside
The bead making process
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Virginia's Story

For Virginia, bead making is a family tradition that goes back many years and has been passed down from generation to generation. Virginia Tso and her late Morris began making handmade sterling silver beads more than 30 years ago.  Virginia learned silversmithing from her paternal grandmother, Helen Silversmith who lived to be 108 years old.  Her grandmother learned from her father, Sam Silversmith.  He was given this name because he was so highly respected by the community for his jewelry making.  Virginia and Morris took what they learned and added their own creative touch, making beads in all styles, shapes and sizes...round beads, flat beads, melon beads, fluted beads, and saucer beads strung in many different lengths and endless combinations.  Each necklace is accompanied by earrings.  The process involves melting down scrap silver, rolling it into sheets, cutting out the rough shapes, doming each bead, stamping or shaping, punching the hole, soldering each half together, filing and buffing to a shiny finish or oxidizing  to a soft satin patina, and finally stringing them on a chain.  This is the traditional way of making handmade beads.  Virginia is one of the few Navajo silversmiths who still makes her sterling silver beads completely by hand.

The Handmade Shorties

16-20" Necklace & earring sets

Shortie 2

Shortie 2

16" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fluted graduated, largest center bead 20mm,17mm $630

Shortie 4

Shortie 4

16" sterling silver necklace & earring set, mixed bead, center fluted 16mm,14,13 $630

Shortie 9

Shortie 9

18" sterling silver necklace & earring set, smooth beads, largest bead 13mm $690

Shortie 16

Shortie 16

19" sterling silver necklace & earring set, small mixed beads $600

Shortie 21

Shortie 21

16" sterling silver necklace & earring set, small mixed beads $600

Shortie 14

Shortie 14

18" sterling silver necklace & earring set, mixed beads, largest fluted bead 16mm, $750

Shortie 25

Shortie 25

18" sterling silver necklace & earring set, smooth beads, 17mm graduated $930

Shortie 24

Shortie 24

18" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fluted 17mm graduated $930

Shortie 22

Shortie 22

18" sterling silver necklace & earring set, stamped 17mm graduated $930

Shortie 23

Shortie 23

18" sterling silver necklace & earring set, mixed bead, fluted melon $930

Shortie 27

Shortie 27

18" sterling silver necklace & earring set, mixed bead 19mm grad $930

Shortie 26

Shortie 26

18" sterling silver necklace & earring set, mixed bead, 17mm center $930

Shortie 32

Shortie 32

16" sterling silver necklace & earring set, flat fluted center $900

Shortie 30

Shortie 30

16" sterling silver necklace & earring set, mixed melon $900

Shortie 31

Shortie 31

16" sterling silver necklace & earring set, mixed saucer $900

Shortie 33

Shortie 33

16" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fluted 17mm, melon $900

Shortie 28

Shortie 28

16" sterling silver necklace & earring set, smooth 17mm mixed $900

Shortie 29

Shortie 29

16" sterling silver necklace & earring, mixed stamped 17mm $900

Shortie 17

Shortie 17

17" sterling silver necklace & earring set, smooth bead 19mm $900

Shortie 18

Shortie 18

19" sterling silver necklace & earring set, graduated 24mm $1800

Shortie 19

Shortie 19

16" sterling silver necklace & earring set, mixed smooth bead 19mm $900

Shortie 12

Shortie 12

18" sterling silver necklace & earrings, mixed beads 13-17mm $750

The Handmade Classics

20-30" Necklace & earring sets 

Classic 37

Classic 37

20" sterling silver Naja necklace & earring set, 2" drop $1150

Classic 2

Classic 2

21" sterling silver necklace & earring set, mixed saucer fluted, largest bead 19mm, $900

Classic 3

Classic 3

20" sterling silver necklace & earring set, medium fancy, largest bead 17mm,15,12, $840

Classic 4

Classic 4

21" sterling silver necklace & earring set, mixed bead, largest center 19mm, $900

Classic 5

Classic 5

20" sterling silver necklace & earring set, large bead graduated, $1500

Classic 6

Classic 6

22" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fluted melon, largest smooth bead 19mm, $900

Classic 7

Classic 7

22" sterling silver necklace & earring set, smooth beads, largest 24mm $990

Classic 10

Classic 10

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fancy graduated w/ saucers, $900

Classic 38

Classic 38

22" sterling silver Naja necklace & earring set, 2"drop $1260

Classic 14

Classic 14

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, small fluted one size 13mm $870

Classic 15

Classic 15

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, smooth & saucer, largest bead 19mm $900

Classic 16

Classic 16

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fancy, largest bead 18mm, $870

Classic 18

Classic 18

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fancy mixed, large bead 19mm $900

Classic 23

Classic 23

26" sterling silver Naja necklace & earring set, smooth round 14mm, $1400

Classic 21

Classic 21

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, smooth melons, largest center 24mm $875

Classic 40

Classic 40

20" sterling silver necklace & earring set, small smooth 12mm $690

Classic 25

Classic 25

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, graduated, fluted, large bead 19mm $990

Classic 26

Classic 26

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, grad smooth, 4 stamped, large 19mm $990

Classic 27

Classic 27

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, graduated fluted large bead 20mm $990

Classic 28

Classic 28

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, graduated fluted, large bead 20mm $990

Classic 29

Classic 29

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fancy assorted beads, large bead 13mm $870

Classic 31

Classic 31

20" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fancy smooth melon, large bead 13mm $840

Classic 32

Classic 32

20" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fancy fluted melon, large bead 13mm $840

Classic 33

Classic 33

20" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fluted, smooth, large bead 20mm $840

Classic 39

Classic 39

26" sterling silver Naja necklace & earring set, 2" drop $1350

Classic 34

Classic 34

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, mixed large bead 24mm $1050

Classic 35

Classic 35

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, fancy mixed large bead 20mm $900

The Handmade Tso Longs
30-60" necklace & earring set

The Handmade Multi strands

Multi 1

Multi 1

18" sterling silver necklace & earring set, 2 strand shown twisted, 9mm beads, $1050

Multi 3

Multi 3

3 in 1 sterling silver necklace & earring set, 3 strand 27, 30, 33", small beads $2250

Multi 4

Multi 4

3 in 1 sterling silver necklace & earring set, 3 strand 22, 24, 27", largest fluted bead 20mm, $2700

The Handmade Biggies

Biggie 2

Biggie 2

22" sterling silver necklace & earring set, graduated, 4 biggie beads 28mm, $2100

Biggie 3

Biggie 3

23" sterling silver necklace & earring set, 4 biggie beads 34mm, $2700

Biggie 5

Biggie 5

20" sterling silver necklace & earring set, graduated, largest bead 43mm $2900

Biggie 7

Biggie 7

24" sterling silver necklace & earring set, graduated, large beads 3-43mm $3800

Biggie 11

Biggie 11

23.5" sterling silver necklace & earring set, biggest bead 43mm $3300

Biggie 12

Biggie 12

22.5" sterling silver necklace & earring set, 5 big 43mm beads, $3900

Earrings, bracelets, rings

Navajo pearl loop earrings

Navajo pearl loop earrings

Sterling silver handmade bead loop earrings $195 each

Navajo pearl dangle earrings

Navajo pearl dangle earrings

Sterling silver handmade bead earrings on wires. Prices as marked.

Navajo pearl assorted earrings

Navajo pearl assorted earrings

Sterling silver handmade bead earrings. Prices as marked.