Durango Silver

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Early 1900s Spanish Style Green Damale Women’s Turquoise Ring

Early 1900s Spanish Style Green Damale Women’s Turquoise Ring

This little ring is a beauty and was made in the saddle style to hug your finger perfectly for a comfort fit. The ring focuses on an oval shaped high dome natural lime green Damale or Damele Turquoise cabochon from Nevada, USA. This natural American Turquoise stone is bezel set and surrounded with a flattened bead design. This is all set atop a graduated striped sterling silver shank. This lime green Turquoise ring was artisan handmade in Durango, Colorado USA and is hallmarked “Durango .925”.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mens Inlay Silver Ore Ring

Mens Inlay Silver Ore Ring

Square Heavy Men's Two Triangular Stone Classic Inlay Colorado High Grade Silver Ore Ring by Dillon Hartman. This ring is simple shiny sterling silver showcasing two high grade silver ore stones. The two stones have a heavy amount of silver in them. This ring is a classic and very masculine. Handmade in Durango, Colorado USA.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fashion Turquoise Jewelry

Fashion Turquoise Jewelry
Turquoise Jewelry is in fashion today the same as it has been since the Egyptian times. Turquoise Jewelry has been popular with people all around the world since 5000 B.C. Today famous movie stars and music stars are all wearing Turquoise Jewelry. Pictured is Paris Hilton.

Womens Charoite Sterling Silver Ring

Womens Charoite Sterling Silver Ring

Here is a beautiful Purple Charoite ring by Dillon Hartman. This ring has a really neat 3D custom made bezel.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lime Green Turquoise

Learn more about Lime Green Turquoise from John and Dillon Hartman. We have been in the Jewelry business for over 35 years and have seen all kinds of Turquoise. Some of our favorite Turquoise is Lime Green Turquoise. Lime Turquoise is very scarce and hard to find. We have always loved it and now it is becoming more and more popular. With all the fake Lime Green Turquoise out there it is good to know as much about it as possible so you don't get fooled. Read John and Dillon's articles and become educated and un-foolable. Learn about killer Lime Turquoise such as this specimen from the Carico Lake Mine in Nevada to the left.

About Lime Green Turquoise By John Hartman

Thursday, July 1, 2010



Click on this link and view a wonderful example of natural tight spiderweb Turquoise from Nevada. This ring features a natural cabochon from the Tortoise Turquoise mine in Nevada. The stone was hand dug by Dillon Hartman. John Hartman cabbed the stone and created this outrageous Victorian style two stone Turquoise ring with it. We like to jokingly call this Turquoise lander green. It looks really great with the black onyx companion stone.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lime Green Orvil Jack Turquoise 14k Gold Ring

Lime Green Orvil Jack Turquoise 14k Gold Ring

This ring was handmade in Durango, Colorado by Dillon Hartman and features a RARE piece of lime green Orvil Jack Turquoise from Nevada. Orvil Jack Turquoise is super rare and hard to come across. It sure does cut nice though. Orvil Jack Turquoise is hard and has wonderful color.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mediterranean Coral Bear Paw Bracelet

Check out this classic Mediterranean Coral Bearpaw Shadow Box bracelet handmade by Dillon Hartman of Durango Silver Co. It features top grade Natural Mediterranean Coral from Italy.

View my Mediterranean Coral Bear Paw Bracelet

The shadow box design in this bracelet really accents the gorgeous NATURAL Ox Blood Mediterranean Coral.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tortoise Designed Bisbee Turquoise Post Earrings

High Grade Bisbee Turquoise Tortoise Designed Large Post Earrings

These fun earrings were a collaboration between me (Dillon Hartman) and Crystal Hartman. They feature some top grade Deep Blue Bisbee Turquoise. The have some wonderful stampwork surrounding the two outrageuos stones. The stampwork was bases off of a sketch by Crystal Hartman. The final product was built by Dillon Hartman.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

1930’s Chased Style Rectangular Fox Turquoise Ring

1930’s Chased Style Rectangular Fox Turquoise Ring by Dillon Hartman of Durango, Colorado USA.

Look at the beautiful "water web" patterning in this gorgeous cabochon of Natural Fox Turquoise from Nevada. When I bought this nugget, I thought it was great... but I didn't know it would come out this good. Of coarse, that is half of what I like about buying rough gemstone and cutting it myself, the mystery of it. This stone is mounted into one of my latest designs in our Early 2oth century line. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tortoise Turquoise Dangle Earrings

Purchase these great earrings handmade in Durango, Colorado USA by Dillon Hartman by clicking the link below:

These earrings were handmade with Natural Tortoise Turquoise from Nevada. The Turquoise was hand dug by Dillon Hartman, then cut by Dillon and set into silver by Dillon.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Brief Mexican Silver and Silversmiths Information

While the craft of making silver jewelry is a relatively recent development among Indians of the American Southwest, this is far from the case in Mexico. There, the Spanish taught the Indians to work silver centuries ago. The result over time has been the emergence of a unique Mexican style of silver jewelry combing the Spanish love for bold, dramatic effects with the native talent for colorful, expressive decoration.
Mexican jewelry often brings to mind a picture of heavy silver pieces with pseudo-Aztec motifs, set with green or black stones and ornamented with silver domes or balls to give them a „primitive look. The style originated around 1920 when Mexicans began making silver jewelry for the ever-increasing numbers of tourists. The tourists eagerly bought up the jewelry and the designs were copied by hundreds of silversmiths who could make jewelry but were not capable of designing it.
The contemporary silver jewelry industry in Mexico began in the mid-1920s and coincided with a great revival of interest in archaeological research. Museums were adding excellent examples of pre-Hispanic art and publishers were bringing out important new books on archaeological subjects. Taken by the beauty of ancient Indian designs which made traditional styles pale by comparison, the better jewelry designers began to incorporate them in their work. Interestingly, two Americans were at the forefront of this new direction in Mexican jewelry making.
Fred Davis left medical school in Chicago in 1910, moved to Mexico, and took a job buying curios and folk art from artisans in all parts of Mexico. He developed a fascination with the popular arts of Mexico which eventually gravitated into silver jewelry. Davis worked with silversmiths in Mexico City, encouraging them to make silver jewelry for his shop which he described as "unmistakably Mexican."
He took naturally to designing silverwork, jewelry, flatware, serving pieces and boxes and ultimately to producing it himself. In his years as manager of antiques and fine crafts at the famed Sanborn's department store in Mexico City, Davis influenced countless Mexican silversmiths through his ideas on style and design.
William Spratling, trained in the United States as an architect, came to the beautiful mountain community of Taxco, Mexico in 1929. Within two years, he turned his talents to designing and making jewelry and established a workshop. By 1940, he had over 100 silversmiths in his workshop producing Spratling designed silver jewelry that tourists bought up almost as quickly as it was produced. The list of men and women who learned their craft in his workshop reads like a Who's Who of the Mexican silver jewelry industry.
Many of Spratling's smiths and others who learned from them went on to found their own shops and produce works still eagerly sought by collectors.
Here are just a few of the famed Mexican designers whose work you will find in our shop: Hector Aguilar, Antonio PiƱeda, Victoria, Beto, Margot of Taxco, Los Castillo, Los Ballesteros, Maricela, Alfredo Villasana and of course, William Spratling and Frederick Davis.

Hopefully this will be a good start to answering any questions you may have about Mexican Silver or Silversmiths.

Dillon Hartman

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An American Jeweler's Story - A Life in Turquoise, Silver and Gold

In Brief, the Story of John and Estell Hartman - Occupational Silversmiths

We, John and Estell Hartman, self taught ourselves how to make Silver Jewelry starting 1973, We bought the book, “Indian Silver-Smithing by Ben Hunt” on how to make Navajo Style Jewelry and went for it. We worked a day jobs and came home at night to learn the trade. I, John, was mechanically minded and was presently working as a machinist for my father. My wife, Estell, enjoyed learning the trade as well and we worked well together, teamwork has been a real asset to our success.

We spent 6 months putting every minute we could learning the trade. I went to the local Rock Shop, who was very kind in teaching me how to cut stones. We watched several other Silversmiths and learned all we could from them as well.

At that point, we could make just about any small jewelry item we set out to make, and fairly quickly. All seemed great until we went out to show and sell my Jewelry, it was very discouraging, to say the least. We didn’t realize that the gallery/store owners already had their products and sources; we felt intimidated and discouraged as the merchants knocked our work down and often rudely told us they were not interested.

We had to be strong! We started going to tourist towns and high traffic locations where people were known to spend money. We studied on how to find a market for our Jewelry and we found places to sell it. It took a little time, but the harder we tried the better it got. We soon learned the designs people liked, that we could make, and we followed that path. It is important being an artist to realize that you must conform to the wants and desires of society to succeed.

We liked Turquoise and had built up quite a bit of Jewelry back stock. We decided to hit the road with it and we headed to Colorado, it was there that our Jewelry was appreciated and our career took off. We moved to Albuquerque which we knew was in the heart of the American Turquoise Marketplace. It was easy to network ourselves there as it was a Mecca for Jewelers.

Once in Albuquerque, it was easy to find as much work and people to buy our Jewelry as we needed. This was in 1973 and we were aware that a big Turquoise Jewelry boom was going on, so we decided to go for it. We found a lady in Old Town that bought enough Jewelry which allowed us to pay our bills and buy the supplies needed to keep us making as much Jewelry as we could. We set high goals and worked very hard every day. We would start work at 6:00 AM and work nearly strait through to 8-11:00 PM 6 days a week. On Sundays, we would cut our stones to be used the following week, then we got the rest of the day off. At the end of this winter, we had made a tremendous amount of Jewelry.

In May, we set out to do a tour of all the western tourism areas to sell our wears to Jewelry Stores, Galleries and where ever we could. In the summer season of 1974, almost everything we had made over the past winter. This one strategic move that we took by buckling down and hustling set us up for the rest of our lives.

You can imagine after making all of that Jewelry, we had become quite good at it. We moved back to Albuquerque and landed a major account to make high quality Jewelry for a great company. Our business took off!

We moved to Durango Colorado, bought real estate and continued making Jewelry, selling it in Albuquerque and many other places as we had built quite a following. In 1976, we found the perfect property to build our own Trading Post just west of Durango on the Hwy leading to Mesa Verde National Park. We opened our Trading Post in 1976 and began selling our Jewelry to the public for retail. From that point on our life story has been a continuing success with many eventful business experiences.

Looking back, the main keys to our success were;

· Finding something we that we would enjoy doing for a living.

· Learning how to make Jewelry from a hand on approach, being aggressive, assertive and believing that we could do it.

· Finding our marketplace by not giving up and working diligently in researching how we could sell our products and then following through.

· Seeing a major market trend and acting on it.

· Opening our own retail outlet for our Jewelry.

Please visit http://www.DurangoSilver.com to see where we are at today!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January Lapidary Journal Article on High Grade Silver Ore by John Hartman

Check out this month's version of the Lapidary Journal:

Click Here to See a Sample of The Magazine

There is a large article by John Hartman of Durango Silver Company about High Grade Silver Ore and how to cut a High Grade Silver Ore Cabochon. The article is really neat with photos of the cutting process, tips and tricks and a history of High Grade Gold and Silver Ore in Jewelry by John. This article has some great pictures of some wonderful ore, silver ore jewelry and more. It is really neat.

Please go check it out and see what we are up to these days!

Happy New Year!