It seems lately that many of the great jewelry artists are passing away. Tommy Singer, the great Navajo artist, is just the latest jewelry designer to pass away on May 31, 2014. Tommy first became famous in the 1960’s when he invented the chip inlay process. He would take small chips of turquoise or red coral and inlay them with epoxy into silver. It wasn’t long before Tommy’s jewelry was copied throughout the southwest. In fact this style of jewelry became so popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s that you would see it everywhere.
We here at the Stagecoach have had Tommy Singer jewelry from the very day we opened in 1973. In fact, we have probably sold his pieces longer than any other artist in our store. I wish I still had some of those old chip inlay pieces.
Tommy learned his trade from his father on the Navajo reservation and has passed it down to his children who will continue to produce “Tommy Singer Style” jewelry. This style has changed over the years and now when you think of “Tommy Singer Jewelry” it is the very distinctive silver overlay that he has been using. When you see one of Singer’s necklaces you can always tell it is his by the overlay beads intertwined with the stone beads. His silver bracelets, bolo’s and other jewelry have made him world famous. The Stagecoach still has some of Tommy Singer turquoise jewelry.