Billy Betoney

Billy Betoney Navajo Jewelry

Born and raised on the Navajo Reservation near Teesto, Arizona, Billy Betoney tended livestock for his parents until he entered primary education in the local boarding school. He transferred to Oklahoma and enrolled in a five-year program, where his art interest grew while watching students create works of art using pencil. He began drawing with pencil, not knowing he could make money as an artist.

During the mid 1970’s, Billy’s wife, Betty, taught him the art of silversmithing as a way to ease the pain she felt after losing her mother. Being artistic in nature, he was a natural at the craft. Soon he was making rings, bracelets, and eventually large necklaces. Betty and Billy Betoney found jewelry-making to be satisfying, especially after selling their first piece in Second Mesa, Arizona.

With more experience, Billy no longer needed to draw his patterns ahead of time. The designs were visionary. He began to incorporate his mother’s rug designs into the jewelry he made. He cut 1/8-inch-high silver strips and formed them to the desired shapes, creating a unique, original form of design.

In the late 1980’s, Billy tried entering Santa Fe Indian Market on five separate occasions and was denied each time. Determined to show his work, a close relative allowed him to share a booth at Indian Market in 1989. That year he won "Most Creative Design - Any Class,” and continued to win numerous first- and second-place prizes in consecutive years.

Billy Betoney’s style is unmistakable, with his use of duster, petite point, diamond-shape, oval, and round stones combined with rug designs formed from silver strips. Billy continues to concentrate on new ideas and designs for his work. He says, “As time continues, I will use the skills God has given me. I don't plan on relaxing; if I do time will leave me behind.”

Sizing

Although the best way to test the size and fit of a piece of jewelry is to try it on in the store, we know that is not always an option. In an effort to help you choose the piece that is right for you, we have included measurements of each piece on the website. Here is how our measurements are defined:

Bracelets

Finding the right size bracelet for your wrist has always been a tricky endeavor, since, unlike rings, there isn't a standardized, universal sizing chart for wrist size. One reason for this is that we all have different shaped wrists, some of us have round wrists, while others have more oval. Bracelets, like wrists, also have different shapes.

So, while bracelet sizing will never be an exact science, we've done what we can to ensure the greatest chance of a comfortable fit. The best thing you can do if you don't know your wrist size is to take a soft measuring tape and loosely measure the circumference of your wrist at the point you plan on wearing it. Try not to have the measuring tape dig into your skin, as this will result in a smaller than ideal size. Once you have the circumference of your wrist, compare it to the chart below to find the correct bracelet size. If your wrist measures in-between two sizes, we recommend rounding up to the larger size. (ie: if your wrist measures 6.375"- you should shop for size "Medium" bracelets.)

 Wrist Circumference

Corresponding Bracelet Size

5.5"

XX-Small

5.75"

Extra-Small

6"

Small

6.25"

Small-Medium

6.5"

Medium

6.75" - 7"

Medium-Large

7.25"

Large

7.5"

Extra-Large

7.75"

XX-Large

8"

XXX-Large

 

You may want to drill down further on the bracelet sizing to make sure the cuff is a comfortable fit. You will notice on our website that we generally list four measurements for bracelets:

Keep in mind that certain bracelets can be adjusted slightly to fit your wrist, but those with inlay or stones all the way around will be damaged if bent. In any case, it is always best to check with with us to see if a particular bracelet is adjustable.

Lastly, have no fear! If you order a bracelet that doesn't fit, send it back for one that does! We want this to be a positive experience, you should never wear something that isn't 100% comfortable. More on our return policy here.

Buckles

Sizing belt buckles is pretty straightforward. The height and width are self-explanatory, and the belt width describes the maximum belt width the buckle will fit on.

Concha Belts

We try to include the height and width for the conchas, as well as the buckle (if different), and the width of the belt they are on. The length of the concha belts can be less important, because these belts are often made quite long to accommodate many waist sizes, and then can be shortened to fit the wearer. If you are concerned whether or not a belt will fit you, just ask. We are happy to size most of our concha belts before shipping.