The southwest is filled with a soul soothing beauty that never ceases to amaze. The rocky, desert mountains are painted with the most stunning shades of red and yellow, the skies are open and bright during the day and filled with fiery pinks and oranges at dusk. You can see for miles across the desert and feel warm breezes on your skin. Once you experience it, you’ll want to take it with you everywhere you go.
Rustic, gold-tone jewelry does an excellent job of capturing the beauty of the southwest. It’s both rugged and enchanting, but unfortunately, it can be difficult to find. Unlike sterling silver, from gold to gold fill, there simply aren’t as many options to be found.
Traditionally, when you think of southwestern jewelry, sterling silver has been the go-to. Most Fred Harvey era jewelry is made with sterling silver and American turquoise. Likewise, nearly all old pawn jewelry that you’ll find, from Navajo to Zuni to Hopi are primarily made with sterling silver or fine silver. Occasionally you’ll find a piece of Native American jewelry made with 14k gold, or even 18k gold. But this is the exception rather than the rule. Legends like Charles Loloma and (my darling uncle) Jesse Monongya have created stunning masterpieces with high karat gold and semi precious stones like coral, lapis lazuli, opal and more. But again, these are the exception.
While I love sterling silver, and would probably have to say that it’s my personal favorite, many women simply look better in gold tones. And the richness of Kingman turquoise set in gold toned ancient bronze is so delicious and unusual.
The higher copper content of ancient bronze gives it a lovely and subtle rose gold tone. I love the way that the varying blues and greens of Kingman turquoise, in particular, are set off by the unusual pairing with ancient bronze. Combine that with our signature freshwater pearls or faceted pyrite or other semi-precious stones and it’s a look you just can’t find anywhere else.
Because all of our lapidary, or stone cutting, is done in-house by John, we are able to then choose whether each stone will be wrapped in sterling silver or ancient bronze. Every Heritage piece is designed for the specific stone. Every aspect of the creation, from choosing and cutting the rough turquoise (or sometimes petrified wood or Arizona black jade) to creating the setting in wax and then casting it in sterling silver or ancient bronze, to setting the stone and stringing the necklace, is done by us, for you.
Mixed metals are another great way to create a stand out style. Mixing and matching sterling silver and ancient bronze frees you to wear different pieces together. I think mixing metals is glamorous and shows confidence in your style.
Rosa Kilgore is modern jewelry for your southwest soul, and for some of you, that means gold and turquoise jewelry. We all have our favorites and nobody likes to feel confined. You deserve the freedom to wear what you want. That’s why we make jewelry using Ancient Bronze. I want you to have an option for rustic, gold-tone jewelry that stands out - jewelry that blends with the earth and connects you to the wild beauty of the southwest.