The Link Bracelet

Frve or more graduated and matched stones are necessary for ¡1 bracelet of this typfl.

An attractive Zuni style link bracelet set witii Blue Gem turquoise

Five 28 gauge silver hase plates for the stones

13 gauge round with fits the inside of 9 gauge tubing best.

Tubmg, 9 yauge; hinge wire, 13 gauge; and a piece of bezel

The plates (usually 24 gauge), [jewels and decorations are assembled as shown.

A number of pieces of silver tubing, of 9 gauge, are cut to form the hinge pieces. These pieces must be very carefully matched and soldered on to the sides of the piate as pictured. Care must be taken to achieve the proper alignment of each piece while soldering.

Spacers to be used between the stones and fasteners

A strip of bend wire for decoration

A strip of bend wire for decoration

The Irnal soldering of the balls to the ends of the hinge wire is accom plislied ljy only the most skillful silversmiths.

The stones are set afler all the soldering is done.

The stones are set afler all the soldering is done.

The completed link bracelet

The box, constructed of 24 gauge silver, is a closed, decorated box with a hinge tube at one end and a "T" shaped opening at the other to receive the spring cfltch.

The spring catch is made of 25 or 26 gauge nickel silver to insure its flexibility after soldering, A hinge tube is soldered on one end and a small silver ball is soldered on a small tongue on the other. The per fuel bending ol this piece insures the workability of the catch. The best way to construct this type of catch is to yet a commercial one and copy (t, using "trtiil-and-error" experimentation to adapt it to individual needs.

The completed link bracelet lj

This 9 stone link bracelet would take many hours to complete.

This 9 stone link bracelet would take many hours to complete.

The intricate and delicate workmanship re quired to assemble the link bracelet makes it one of the most time-consuming and difficult projects undertaken by the Indian silversmith. Great skill is needed to solder the tube hinge pieces and especially to solder the silver balls onto the hinge pins.

An early link Eiracelet (circa 1920) that de pends on a leather strap and a buckle as a fastening device.

An early link Eiracelet (circa 1920) that de pends on a leather strap and a buckle as a fastening device.


The domed channel bracelet is usually a narrow bracelet inlaid with turquoise and other stones.which are cut to a high dome and give the appearance of half-beads set in the channel of the bracelet.

This is an old domed channel bracelet bought in northern Arizona in 1955.

A narrow domed channel bracelet is mado hy cutting a strip of 16 or 18 gauge silver Y,' inch wide and to the proper length for the desired size. Two strips of half round wire of 6 gauge are soldered along the edges, and two heavy pieces of silver are soldered on the ends. The bracelet is then bent around the mandrel to the proper shape.

Considerable skill »nd care in grinding it needed to completr this bracelet.

Several heavy silver inserts areT^demd in at infrequent intervals.

After the silver has been pickled and cleaned, the stones are cut to fit the channel. They must be beveled or slightly wedge-shaped in order to fit against each other as close as possible. Several are cemented in at a time and the epoxy cleaned away so the next stone can fit snug in the channel.

Stones that have been cut to fit the bracelet channel

After the stones are cemented in place, the bracelet should be exposed to light bulb heat and the stones cut to shape on a lapidary carborundum wheel, then sanded on a "heatless" rubber wheel. Be careful not to cut the silver away* The completed bracelet is then polished.

Cushion style intay is an inlay done like that on pages 30 8t 31. The stones are smoothed to a flat surface, a little higher than the level of the silver, and then the edges of each stone are rounded to form a cushion-like surface. Frequently several stones are put into a single box or channel and each multi-stone "cushion" carved.

The cushion channel bracelet is made in a similar way to the other channel bracelets but fewer silver dividers are used in the channels to separate the stones. Each stone is cut and fitted into its place. After several stones are cut, fitted and dried, they are cemented in place. Once the epoxy has set, the excess can be cleaned away with a small drill, using a "Foredom" grinding unit, and the next stones fitted closely in place. After all the stones are cemented in the bracelet and the epoxy is sufficiently cured, the surface is ground smooth, slightly higher than the surface of the silver channel.

A thin carborundum "separating disk" is used in the "Foredom" unit to sculpture, or carve, a shallow cushion shape around the edge of each stone. Coarse and then fine heatless rubber banded carborundum wheels should be used to smooth the cushion like edges and tops of the stones. The entire bracelet should then be polished, first with tripoli and then with "Zam". ^^ S

A bolo tie of cushion cut channel inlay with matching tips am unit, or fie

A dust mask should always be worn when grinding stones, especially when using heatless rubber wheels without water.

used to grind

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