Ernest Begay

Ernest Begay

Navajo artist Ernest R. Begay Sr. was born and raised in Kayenta - Chilchinbeto, AZ. In 1975-76, Ernest took a silversmithing class at Monument Valley High School. “We used copper in the class, but that’s where I got my start. I took the class because it looked like something fun and easy to do. I used to watch my brother-in-law, and his father make jewelry, they used to give me scrap silver to work with,” recalls Ernest.

Ernest’s career in jewelry making didn’t really take off until he entered some rather distinguished pieces into the Navajo Nation Fair and the Gallup Intertribal Indian Ceremonial. Here, he received many awards and ribbons, which helped him begin his career as jewelry artist.

Over the years, Ernest has slowly built a reputation for coral and turquoise cluster work on heavy gauge silver with deep custom-designed stamp work. Ernest gets much inspiration from traditional and old jewelry styles. “Concho belts, squash blossoms, bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, and belt buckles, I do them all in my own signature old style series. This old style jewelry always caught my eye. I used to go to the Trading Posts just to look at some of the old pawn on display. The ones that caught my attention were always the pieces that used the thick silver, and the stamp work on them,” says Ernest. Ernest now lives in New Mexico with his wife, Readda, and twins Ernest Jr. and Faith Begay.

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.