Sterling Silver and Searchlight Turquoise Earrings by Will Denetdale (#287)

1" x 3/4"


Through the years, the Searchlight turquoise mine has had more names than Carter’s has pills. The Crescent Peak mine, Wood mine, Simmons mine, Aztec claim, and the Right Blue claim, to name just a few. The now defunct Searchlight mine is situated in the Colorado River Basin in Clark County, Nevada, on U.S. 95 and State Route 164, midway between Las Vegas and Laughlin. These stones came from Searchlight in the 1970s, and Navajo silversmith Will Denetdale crafted the earrings in 2017. It took some time to accomplish, but Will’s striking earrings were worth the wait.

Will Denetdale

Will Denetdale - Silversmith: One of the most talented Navajo gold and silversmiths currently producing jewelry, Will Denetdale is making an indelible mark in the world of Native American art. His name is becoming famous in his trade; his art a standard by which other pieces may be judged. Will's success as an artist is proportionate to his devotion, and Will Denetdale lives to make jewelry.

A quiet man and a thirty-something bachelor, Will Denetdale rises each morning to the sun and his work. It is a life he has chosen for himself. Every day he thinks about his art, every day he is looking for new ideas for his pieces. At night he dreams about his work, the creation process stirring within him. He takes precious metals and stones and shapes them into objects of beauty, infinitely more precious because of his unique influence.

Born at Fort Defiance, Arizona, Will attended high school in Gallup, New Mexico, where he took silversmithing classes. After graduating he stayed in Gallup for awhile, working in the production of silver and turquoise jewelry, but his special talent craved personal expression.

Will now lives in Southern Arizona where he works in his home. When he is not traveling to gem shows or Indian markets, he spends about 8 hours a day working on his jewelry. He has created numerous award winning pieces.

Will likes to use unusual stones and chooses them with care. He has used Chrysoprase from Oregon, Sugilite from South Africa, Opals from Brazil or Australia, and Ammonite from Canada. His turquoise and coral are high quality stones: Bisbee, Morenci, Demali.

Finely detailed, Will's work shows an excellent finish. He has a balance and harmony that sets his work apart from other artists. Will studies art and often mixes contemporary motifs with traditional ones. He is constantly striving to improve his technique and takes immense pride in his work, ambitiously trying to make each new piece better than the last.

Will hopes his work of pride will become someone's pride and joy: well worn and well loved.