Wednesday, February 12, 2020

ALEX SANCHEZ JEWELRY




Check out the amazing one of a kind jewelry by Native American silversmith 

Image 0 of Navajo Alex Sanchez Petroglyph Coral Silver PendantImage 0 of Navajo Alex Sanchez Turquoise Silver Petroglyph Earrings   
Image 0 of Navajo Alex Sanchez Maiden Pendant Turquoise Silver    Image 0 of Alex Sanchez Turquoise Heart Pendant, Navajo, Petroglyph                                     
Image 0 of Extra long Navajo Alex Sanchez Petroglyph Coral Silver Earrings

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Buy Authentic Native American Indian Jewelry from Reputable Dealers!

This article was copied from the U.S. Department of Justice website.  Just a reminder to buy your Native American Indian jewelry from reputable dealers or from the artists directly! Tumbleweeds Jewelry www.tumbleweedsjewelry.com sells only authentic Native American made jewelry!


JUSTICE NEWS
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 6, 2020
Three Defendants Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Fraudulently Sell Imported Jewelry From the Philippines As Native American-Made
Three members of an international conspiracy to import knock-off jewelry from the Philippines and misrepresent it as Native-American have pleaded guilty for their roles in the fraudulent scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael Bailey of the District of Arizona. 

On Jan. 6, all three defendants pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Z. Boyle of the District of Arizona.  Laura Marye Wesley, a.k.a. Laura Lott, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit misrepresentation of Indian-produced goods, wire fraud, mail fraud, and entry of goods by means of false statements and smuggling goods, for her role in the manufacture, importation, and sale of knock-off jewelry as Native American-made.  Wesley is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30, 2020.   

Christian Coxon, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to misrepresent Indian-produced goods and to commit wire fraud, for his role in ordering and misrepresenting imported, knock-off jewelry as Native American-made at his retail store Turquoise River Trading Company, located in San Antonio, Texas.  Coxon is scheduled to be sentenced on March 23, 2020.    

Waleed Sarrar, a.k.a. Willie Sarrar, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to misrepresent Indian-produced goods and to commit wire fraud, for his role in ordering and misrepresenting imported, knock-off jewelry as Native American-made at his retail store Scottsdale Jewels, located in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Sarrar is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30, 2020. 

According to information that the defendants admitted to as part of their pleas, from January 2016 through February 2019, they conspired with each other, and others, to design jewelry in the Native-American Indian-style and manufacture the jewelry in the Philippines with Filipino labor.  The defendants also conspired to import the jewelry from the Philippines to Arizona without indelible markings as required by law, and display, advertise, and sell the jewelry to customers based on false representations that the jewelry items were made by Indians in the United States.  To perpetrate the fraud scheme, the defendants and their conspirators communicated by phone, text, and email, including across state and country borders; used private commercial shipping services such as FedEx to import jewelry from the Philippines to the United States; paid for the jewelry inventory through credit cards, including via web-based credit card processors, and by check; and charged the credit cards of customers who purchased the imported Indian-style jewelry. 

As part of her plea, Wesley agreed that she owned and operated LMN Jewelers, a jewelry business that specialized in the sale of Native-American-style jewelry, and co-owned and co-operated Last Chance Jewelers, a similar jewelry business.  She also admitted to removing “Made in the Philippines” stickers from bags of imported jewelry, smuggling jewelry into the U.S. from the Philippines through the U.S. Postal Service to avoid inspection by federal authorities at the port of entry, wiring money to the Philippines to cover the costs of the jewelry-making business there, working with Filipino factory workers who were manufacturing the knock-offs, and delivering the knock-off Native-American-style jewelry to retail jewelry stores in Arizona, Colorado, California, Texas, Minnesota, Utah, and elsewhere.     

The defendants face a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000.  Their sentencing dates have not yet been set.      

The Indian Arts and Crafts Act (IACA) prohibits the offer or display for sale, or the sale of any good in a manner that falsely suggests that it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian and Indian tribe.  The law is designed to prevent products from being marketed as “Indian made,” when the products are not, in fact, made by Indians.  It covers all Indian and Indian-style traditional and contemporary arts and crafts produced after 1935, and broadly applies to the marketing of arts and crafts by any person in the United States.  The IACA provides critical economic benefits for Native American cultural development by recognizing that forgery and fraudulent arts and crafts diminish the livelihood of Native American artists and craftspeople by lowering both market prices and standards.   

This case was investigated by the Office of Law Enforcement for the Southwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Phoenix Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Board and Office of Law Enforcement and Security, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations, and the Texas Game Wardens.  Trial Attorney Mona Sahaf of the Criminal Division, Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Sexton and Mark Wenker are prosecuting the case.   

Component(s): 
Criminal - Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section
USAO - Arizona
Press Release Number: 
20-02
Updated January 8, 2020

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Friday, May 4, 2018

MaryTafoya - Santo Domingo Kewa Jewelry Artist




Mary Tafoya, in her own words:

Growing up in a traditional family in Santo Domingo Pueblo, the last thing on my mind was that, my art would allow me to travel to a great part of the United States, much less have my jewelry designs in demand at galleries and art shows!

I have employed skills acquired helping my parents stringing, designing traditional Santo Domingo jewelry. Remember the old style Thunderbird necklaces inlaid on battery casings or records, being sold along highways or on the plaza in Santa Fe? Those are the inspiration for my art.

My jewelry has evolved from traditional Santo Domingo turquoise "heishi" and "Depression Era" work to a modern, contemporary, mosaic, multi-colored inlay jewelry, that is versatile for formal and casual wear. Using natural stones, shells, and turquoise, my designs are free form inlay where no two pieces are alike as each stone, shell or turquoise is cut to fit a design right out of my memory. I try to find different types and colors of stones, unusual shapes of shell, cutting them at different angles to get the desired look. Using different colors of turquoise from different areas of the country or world is not out of the question and can give a necklace or pendant an unusual look. Lately, I have used silver filings to create a "glitter" effect to many pieces. Sometimes I do not know what a piece will look like until it is finished.

My pieces have fooled many of my customers and even seasoned art collectors by asking, "How did you paint these designs?" Until told that these are the natural colors of my material and how they are intricately inlaid, are they amazed in the detail of my work.

I currently live on the Santo Domingo Pueblo with my husband, Lorenzo (also a jeweler/metalsmith) and four children. Our studio, workshop is behind the house and we have had many of our customers tour the facility and we show them the materials, tools, and equipment we use in our work. We love showing people our studio as it gives them the perspective of the work and a deeper appreciation of it.
Start Shopping - See all Mary Tafoya's jewelry


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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Native American Spiny Oyster Shell Jewelry

 Native Americans have been using spiny oyster shells in their jewelry for hundreds of years. Spiny Oyster or Spondylus is a type of bivalve mollusk found in all subtropical and tropical seas, usually close to the coasts. They are not, in fact, oysters but rather they are in the same family as scallops. While they are not closely related to true oysters; they do share some habits such as cementing themselves to rocks rather than attaching themselves by a byssus.


Shown here are examples of actual purple and orange spiny oyster shells (not for sale). As you look at the raw shells, imagine the cutting & polishing skills required to turn these rough shells into such elegant finished jewelry!  We have lots of spiny oyster jewelry available for sale on our website.   




Archaeological evidence indicates that pre-historic peoples have been trading spiny oyster shells to make bangles and other ornaments for thousands of years. Spondylus harvested from the Gulf of California were traded to tribes throughout Mexico and the American Southwest.






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Saturday, December 30, 2017

MARY TAFOYA, CHRISTOPHER NIETO, AND TIMOTHY BAILON
THREE INNOVATIVE SANTO DOMINGO - KEWA - JEWELRY ARTISTS

There are many Santo Domingo tribal members making mosaic inlay and heishi jewelry these days, but here are three Kewa artists whose jewelry really stands out from the crowd. All three of these Santo Domingo jewelry makers have very distinct and unusual styles.

Christopher Thomas Nieto  is a young self-taught jeweler, whose work just keeps better and better! He has become famous for his intricate and innovative mosaic inlay and high quality heishi work. He inlays on round surfaces, he inlays the sides of his pieces, and he incorporates many different shapes into his jewelry!

Timothy Bailon is another Santo Domingo native whose style is very different from the traditional Kewa jewelry. His jewelry is in high demand. This photo shows some of the latest designs by Chris and Timothy.



Mary Tafoya is one of our favorite jewelry makers who creates unique contemporary works of art. Her colorful abstract jewelry has become a favorite of many Native American jewelry lovers. Her jewelry is colorful, somewhat "folksy", even whimsical, and her unique designs are extremely popular. She learned her jewelry making techniques from her parents. She has taken this ancient art of mosaic where no one else has, while staying very traditional in technique. She uses different types and colors of stones, unusual shapes of shell, cutting them at different angles to get the desired look. Feast your eyes on some of her original pieces!







Visit our website tumbleweedsjewelry.com for our latest selection of jewelry by these ground breaking artists.

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