Rainy Day Blues Trade Beads

Rainy Day Blues Trade Beads

Rainy Day Blues Trade Beads

Rainy Day Blues Trade Bead Necklace and Earring Set by Walker Goldsmiths is always  fun to wear.  These shades of blue Trade Beads are bright and sparkly. They are always attractive, kind of Bohemian yet historical and semi formal.  Their history is fascinating.  The center focus bead is an 1800’s Bavarian Cobalt hand faceted by Bavarian Cottage families.  More than 200 yrs ago or earlier a family of glass workers made or bought the rough glass tubes beads, cut them into beads then hand ground the facets and polished the individual beads for resale to traders.

The glass technicians lay face down on a bench and pressed the beads onto a stone grinding wheel, with water running over the stone to keep the dust down they rotated the beads individually to create the facets on the beads. These early glass faceted beads would have been used in the African Trade and North American Fur Trade market, and can still be found today for sale by Bead Traders.  The bright Cobalt Czechs are spacers to protect the antique beads.

The sky blue Padres have a different and unique history too.  Padre beads are wound, opaque, light blue glass beads originally from Venice.  Also reproduced in China and so many other places because their production technique is relatively simple.  The Fur Trapper site gives wonderful info for further study.      “Through Spanish and Russian traders, Padre beads spread rapidly into the Southwest and Northwest.  In 1778, English explorer Captain James Cook made several references to the effect it was difficult to obtain supplies and furs from the Pacific Coast Indians without this particular blue bead.  Padre beads were made in a variety of colors but blue and white were the most sought after by the Northwest Indians”.  The name “Padres” come from the use by Jesuit priests who rewarded natives for memorizing prayers and scriptures with these beads as payment.

Rainy Day Blues Trade Bead Necklace and Earring Set by Walker Goldsmiths.               

Priced at $ 275, free S&H in the US.


Czech Glass Cottage Industry 1845




Grandmother’s Diamond Solitaire Saved by Recycling

Leigh Ann's Solitaire

Leigh Ann’s Solitaire

Grandmother’s Diamond Solitaire Ring was the result of Walker Goldsmiths working with Leigh Ann who wanted to recreate a family heirloom.  Leigh Ann sent us her grandmother’s 14kt white gold filigree ring to see if we could fix it and replace the diamond.  Sadly we had to tell her that it was so far beyond repair that it was impossible to do as she was hoping.

We did have a suggestion that could possibly work; take the gold of the antique ring, carve a wax of a ring she would like and cast grandma’s gold into the new custom ring.  Recycling was the answer.  Leigh Ann like this idea.  We talked a bit and she found a ring on our website that appealed to her, so I went ahead carving a wax and Owen shopped for a .50 ct diamond to put into the ring.

After lost wax casting the ring in 14kt white gold, Owen handcarved filigree-like patterns on the gold.  He then provided a 6 prong Platinum crown for the .50 ct. diamond.  Platinum crowns just don’t wear out and they almost never have to be retipped.  They are at least a 100 times more durable than white gold. The end result was perfect.  Now Leigh Ann had a family heirloom with memories, yet a new, strong, Grandmother’s Diamond Solitaire Ring to last for decades and to continue to be an heirloom.

Thank you for hunting Walker Goldsmiths down, Leigh Ann.  It was a pleasure making this for you!

Trade Beads …Salish Sea with White Caps

Trade Beads ...Salish Sea with White Caps

Trade Beads …Salish Sea with White Caps


Trade Beads …Salish Sea with White Caps, Necklace and Earrings set was a joy to make here at Walker Goldsmiths.  Creating this trade bead necklace design had me remembering my childhood chasing around in little speedboats on the Salish Sea.

I grew up on the Tulalip Reservation in Port Susan north of Everett, WA, in the pacific northwest US, and we kids spent a lot of time on the water.  We also spent a lot of our summer time doing chores and odd jobs just to buy gas for our little motors so we could zip around with our friends coming and going to the best clam beds, collecting crabs from the crab traps we set, and fishing for anything that would bite our bait.  Snooping around all the ins and outs of the bay, hanging out around and under the docks and keeping an eye out for any lost flotsam and jetsam that comes and goes with the tides every day was always interesting.  With all this preoccupation with our destinations we had to always keep an eye out for the changes in the tides and especially what the winds and the water were up to.  Little ripples could change to mighty waves in the blink of an eye and a little “chop” could turn into “white caps” just as fast.  Some choppy sea could be very much fun to run our little boats with, but we had to be watchful.

These beautiful antique Russian Blue, individually hand faceted Trade Beads, circa 1700’s and possibly earlier, represent the Salish Sea.  I always put Czech Cobalt glass beads on with the Russians to protect them and facilitate a lovely grace and flow of the necklace.  The Venetian Chevron “Stripers” reminded me of the “white caps” rolling and bouncing along the tops of the waves. The little German pressed glass spacers and the faceted Copper beads I just had to put in to represent the sunshine glinting off the waves on a beautiful sunny July day. Ah, Summertime!

Trade Beads ...Salish Sea with White Caps Earrings

Trade Beads …Salish Sea with White Caps Earrings

Trade Beads …Salish Sea with White Caps, Necklace and Earrings set by Walker Goldsmiths is priced at $275.  S&H free in the USA.

A Mariner’s Ring for a Diver

Armando in "Full Gear"

Armando in Full Gear


Angie came to Walker Goldsmiths wanting to repair her Wedding Ring, but most importantly she wanted to surprise her fisherman husband with a remarkable compass design Mariner’s Ring as an Anniversary Gift.  We really love these kids so it was exceptional fun to do this.  It was all to be a surprise, kind of!  Armando had seen a previous post of a compass ring for a mariner and commented to his wife that he really liked it.  She had a marquise diamond in a ring that she wanted to recycle into a ring for her husband, so we were happy to help her out.

I carved the wax then Owen lost wax cast it in Sterling Silver and set the marquise diamond with the spike ends pointing north and south.  It turned out great.  Angie was able to surprise him and we were all excited!

Armando is a professional crab fisherman who also dives for geoducs (pronounced gooey ducks, don’t ask me why!) and sea urchins off the Northwest Coast and around the San Juan Islands here in Puget Sound, Washington state.  It’s called the Salish Sea these days because the native Salish tribes live and fish all around these shores.  Armando is a Lummi fisherman and a wonderful friend to our family.

Thank you, Angie, for letting Walker Goldsmiths be a part of the surprise Mariner’s Ring for a Diver.

Armando's Mariner Ring

Armando’s Mariner Ring

Aleut Sunset Trade Bead Necklace

Aleut Sunset Trade Bead Necklace

Aleut Sunset Trade Bead Necklace




















This Aleut Sunset Trade Bead Necklace by Walker Goldsmiths is a beautiful collection of trade beads reminiscent of a late summer sunset in the Aleutian Islands.  The Aleutians are amazing islands located off the southern coast of Alaska.

Walker Goldsmiths has a collection of fossil Walrus Ivory that I love to put into Trade Bead Necklaces.  They blend themselves so well with the trade beads in the colors and patina that these fossil pieces attain.  Also they blend with the history of the traded beads in the area of the North Pacific where these fossil bits are found.  The story goes that native Aleut kids don’t have summer jobs mowing lawns in the Aleutian Islands so they scramble around the beaches and eroded streams looking for these fossils to sell to traders.  I love it!  Many of these pieces of Fossil ivory are broken bits and parts of sled runners, snow knives, harpoon points and other tools, all having that man-shaped aura, also fabulous colors from being buried in the earth for thousands of years.  I don’t know what this original ivory piece was used for, but the piece came with the hole drilled in it and it has the appearance of primitive drilling techniques.  It could possibly be a fishing line weight; the material is definitely easier to drill through than stone.  I like to call it a toggle because that too is a possibility.  Toggles are easier to unhook to access stuff in packs than fussing with a knot.  I use easy to manipulate, yet strong and secure, black lip pearl shell buttons as toggles instead of metal clasps to fasten my necklaces because they are so much more convenient.

The specific beads used in this necklace to create this blend of colors are orangey Carnelians in chunks and round beads.  The opaque tabular turquoise beads are very rare glass Venetian Fancies from the 1800’s to remind me of the clouds often on the horizon at sunset. I choose various shades of Turquoise beads, chunks and heshi along with the wonderful sky blue Padres to simulate the turquoise-blue skies of the Summer Sunset.  A smattering of shell, bone, green chevrons and jasper are the flavors of the beach surrounding these islands.  I make Earrings to match this necklace if you’d like that.

Aleut Sunset Earrings

Aleut Sunset Earrings

The price for this Aleut Sunset Trade Bead Necklace, including Earrings is $275, free S&H in USA.

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement and Wedding Rings

Princess Cut Diamond Wedding Ring for a Princess

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement and Wedding Rings

Nicole wanted Walker Goldsmiths to make her a Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring so Walker Goldsmiths went shopping for her and Jake.  Owen found the perfect Princess cut diamond for Nicole.  She wanted it set up high in a crown so Owen found a sturdy 4 prong 14 kt white gold crown to protect all 4 corners on the Princess cut diamond and did as she asked.  She also decided that a delicate melee diamond band with bright cut borders all in 14 kt White Gold would be the perfect Engagement and Wedding Ring Set.  Nicole has beautiful smooth long fingers and this set looks spectacular on her. (She should actually be a hand model!)

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement and Wedding Rings

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement and Wedding Rings

Jake wanted a nice big-but-not-too-big chunky Sterling Wedding Band.  This we could definitely do.  Walker Goldsmiths were honored to accommodate these great kids with the Princess Cut Diamond Engagement and Wedding Rings  to celebrate and seal their marriage adventure.

Nicole and Jake 2018

Nicole and Jake 2018


Trade Bead Elegance

Trade Bead Elegance

Trade Bead Elegance

Trade Bead Elegance, ancient authentic Trade Beads collected and strung by Janet Walker.  This beautiful composition was wonderful fun to string up.

Hand faceted Red Venetian Glass Trade Bead

Red Venetian Glass Trade Bead

The center Venetian Red faceted bead is the fantastic centerpiece.  The interesting story about these ancient Red Venetian Glass beads, other than individually made and hand faceted by little cottage industries, is that they were originally made with glass colored with real gold chloride, of course, that made them very expensive.  The alchemists of the late 1600’s in Bohemia, especially one fellow named Kunckel, the son of a glass manufacturer, discovered the addition of gold chloride to clear glass made it turn this gorgeous red. The stories of intrigue and theft of secret recipes for glass during those centuries are really amazing!

Similar stories are rampant about the Hand faceted Cobalt Blues, later known as Russian Blues.  They weren’t made in Russia and are only called that because the Russian Fur Traders discovered the appeal they had for trade with the Inuit natives on the North Alaskan seacoast trading for Sea Otter pelts… more intrigue and theft with every other horrible coercive technique you can think of.  But the beads are so beautiful, and were traded by the natives among themselves and every other tribe on the Northwest Coast, then all across the continent with the North American Fur Trade.

The Chevrons have a wonderful history also. Chevrons are also known as “rosetta” beads, owing to the distinctive star-shaped design around the perforation hole. The first Chevron beads were made in Murano, Italy, in the late 15th century and were characterized by their unique rosetta or star design made by alternating layers of glass.  Chevron beads were made for trade throughout Africa as well as the Americas.

Trade Bead Elegance Earrings

Trade Bead Elegance        Earrings

Trade Bead Elegance is one of the most formal looking necklaces Walker Goldsmiths makes that are steeped in history and color.  I love making jewelry with these wonderful bits of history. Every bead seems to have a soul or at least have touched one once upon a time.


Trade Beads – Grizzly In the Cedars

Trade Beads - Grizzly In the Cedars

Trade Beads – Grizzly In the Cedars

Grizzly In the Cedars, Trade Beads with Handcarved Sterling Silver Grizzly Bear Pendant created by Walker Goldsmiths.  The authentic, antique Trade Beads in this necklace are Carnelian, Coral, Orange Padres, Jasper, Jet, Onyx, Jade, Horn, Amber, Watermelon Chevrons and Venetian Fancy’s, all strung up with a Black Lip Pearl Shell button for a clasp. I used green Jade and Chevrons, brown Horn and Venetian Fancies to give the feeling of the forest with Black Jet and Onyx to create shadows, but the wonderful variation of red cedar colors in the Carnelians, Amber, Corals, Jasper and Horn ruled the day. Any Grizzly in his right mind would live in this colorful cedar forest!

Owen Walker Handcarved this Northwest Coast Style Sterling Silver Bear Pendant. Sometimes in this style of art it’s hard to tell the difference between a bear or a wolf, but the hand/paw is the definitive design aspect that helps you know when you’re looking at a bear.  A wolf has that wonderful tail that makes it different than the bear.  Grizzly In the Cedars, Trade Beads with Handcarved Sterling Silver Grizzly Bear Pendant created by Walker Goldsmiths. Pendant measures 1″ x 2″.  This necklace length is 24″ and can be custom made to the length you want…  $ 525.


Potlatch Ready, Let’s Go! Trade Beads with Handcarved Sterling Earrings

Potlatch Ready, Let's Go! Trade Beads and Handcarved Salmon Earrings

Potlatch Ready, Let’s Go!                                                  Trade Beads and Handcarved Salmon Earrings

“Potlatch Ready, Let’s Go!” Trade Beads with Handcarved Sterling Earrings was an inspired piece for me to create here at Walker Goldsmiths.  The traditional Hudson’s Bay White Hearts with their cheerful red glass layer over white glass, together with the Venetian Fancy Spotted Cranberries are party perfect. I teamed them up with Black Onyx and a Venetian Black hand faceted center bead.  The bone white spacers are there not only as color relief but to protect the beads from each other.  Owen carved the Sterling Salish Salmon that go so well with the red beads, kind of a hint of Salmon Eggs.

These could also be titled “Rendezvous Ready” because these Hudson’s Bay White Hearts were the beads traded by the Fur Traders to the native fur trappers. Check out this article about these beads.  All of the red beads in this piece are Cornaline d’Allepo, a name given to red glass beads by glass bead makers who were making these colored beads to compete with the Carnelian bead makers, thus Carnelian/Cornaline from/d’ the area of Allepo, Syria.  I love the names that travel with the Trade Beads as they often tell the wonderful stories of origin.

Owen was getting ready to make a trip to Alert Bay, BC, Canada for a Potlatch with the Kwakwakawak people and I was staying home to hold down the fort, but my heart was going along with him and caused me to create this necklace, Potlatch Ready, Let’s Go! Trade Beads with Handcarved Sterling Earrings.









Red Gold Celtic Loveknot Diamond Engagement Ring

Red Gold Loveknot Diamond Engagement Ring

Red Gold Loveknot Diamond Engagement Ring

This Red Gold Celtic Loveknot Diamond Engagement Ring was a joy for Walker Goldsmiths to create.   We were contacted by the bride-to-be’s mother and her fiance’ to make this family heirloom for the bride.  It was to be somewhat of a surprise.  The diamond for this ring is a gift/heirloom from mom. The fiance’ and bride had discussed what color gold and possibly a few other ideas.  Cameron’s  fiance’ contacted me directly with pictures of rings they liked and Walker Goldsmiths set him straight about which designs were really doable for a diamond of this large size.

Mom sent us the diamond and some other gold to be recycled and I set to work carving the wax, sending pictures to fiance’, Spencer, all along the way.  Cameron has a long line of Celtic heritage so the Triskelion/Celtic Loveknot was of genuine interest.  Owen lost wax cast the ring in 14kt Red Gold ready to set the 6 prong Platinum crown with the 1.2 kt diamond in the ring.

This Loveknot symbology has immense appeal for a variety of reasons, not only their new love and plans for a life of love and eternal family together, but the Triskelion/Loveknot manages to transition across boundaries of race, religion, culture and geography with ease.  In Christian tradition, the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is often represented by the sacred number 3; the three leaves or legs of the Triskelion Loveknot.  The design is a good representation of the coming together of two people who have and want a God centered life together.

Walker Goldsmiths hurried along to accommodate the plans for an Engagement party and Photography date.  We were very blessed to be a part of this exciting family event and creating this 14 kt Red Gold Celtic Loveknot Diamond Engagement Ring  was exceptional fun.  Thank you!

Side View of Red Gold Loveknot Engagement Ring

Side View of Red Gold Loveknot Engagement Ring.