SouthwestGem

Contemporary Southwest Designer Jewelry & Gemstones

New Mexico, United States · 109 Sales

SouthwestGem

Contemporary Southwest Designer Jewelry & Gemstones

New Mexico, United States 109 Sales On Etsy since 2011

0 out of 5 stars
(86)

Announcement   Philip Chambless produces many of his cabochons and jewelry pieces from gemstones he mined himself in the American Southwest, as well as exotic materials from around the world. The stones are cut in his studio located in the Zuni Mountains of New Mexico, an area rich in history and tradition.

Announcement

Philip Chambless produces many of his cabochons and jewelry pieces from gemstones he mined himself in the American Southwest, as well as exotic materials from around the world. The stones are cut in his studio located in the Zuni Mountains of New Mexico, an area rich in history and tradition.

Philip Chambless

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Philip Chambless

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Reviews

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Kelley

Kelley on Nov 9, 2014

5 out of 5 stars

Gorgeous ring! Thanks again, Philip!

Akiko Kikuchi

Akiko Kikuchi on Jul 16, 2014

5 out of 5 stars

Arrived promptly, again wonderful stone AND craftsmanship :) Thank you!

Cheyenne

Cheyenne on Jul 13, 2014

5 out of 5 stars

I am so happy with this purchase! Good quality stones and fast shipping. Thank you very much!

Cheyenne

Cheyenne on Jul 13, 2014

5 out of 5 stars

I am so happy with this purchase! Good quality stones and fast shipping. Thank you very much!

View all 86 reviews

About

Jewelry and gemstones of the Great American Southwest.

I have always been fascinated with the human process involved in transforming raw stone into utilitarian and ornamental objects. As a small child growing up in the Deep South, I would pick up about every pointed rock that I found and say to my father, “Daddy, Daddy, is this an arrowhead?”. His answer was always “No”. “But how can I tell?”, I would ask. “You’ll know when you find one” was his final answer. Well, I didn’t feel that was a very adequate answer, but found out that in reality, it was quite true. One day, in an old abandoned cotton field behind my house, I saw “IT“…. a small orange projectile point sitting atop its low pedestal of red Georgia clay. It seemed to glow with a certain inner spirit that other rocks simply didn’t possess. As I picked it up, I could feel the life force of the person who had taken the rough stone and by virtue of his skill, had transformed it into an object pictured only in his mind. Although the craftsman had been dead for centuries, his spirit seemed to still radiate from this product of his handiwork.

Eventually a time came when I needed to commit to a major in college. Obviously with a love to both create and study man-made objects, I took on the study of Studio Art and History. After graduating in 1971, I was blessed to land a job at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona. Here I fell in love with all aspects of both Natural and Ethnological History of the Great American Southwest. In 1974, I moved to the Zuni Mountains of West Central, New Mexico and built a log cabin utilizing only an ax, hammer and handsaw. Soon I landed a job at the nearby Ice Caves Trading Post and had an opportunity to further develop an appreciation of the local Zuni and Navajo arts. Since I didn’t have electricity at my cabin, working with electrical equipment in one of the several old hunting cabins there allowed me to improve both the silversmithing and lapidary skills I had begun to develop earlier in Tucson.

Over the years I have continued my research of ancient and contemporary jewelry design, lapidary materials and trade routes. At different times I lived in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Crete, Greece, always attempting to improve my skills and develop a greater understanding of jewelry construction, design and the various materials employed in its construction. In the mid-1990’s, I began mining some of my own gemstones for use in my own personal jewelry line as well as supplying select Native American artisans. I now operate turquoise mines in Cerrillos and Hachita, New Mexico as well as Royston, Nevada. Gem variscite and turquoise also comes from my claims in the Candelaria Hills and Monte Cristo Range of Esmeralda County, Nevada as well as other claims in Lander County, Nevada.

Over forty years after acquiring my first piece of turquoise at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum I continue to learn and develop within my chosen field and hope to do so for many more years to come….

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  • Philip Chambless

    Owner, Designer, Customer Service

Shop policies

Last updated on April 29, 2011
Welcome to my Etsy store. My name is Philip Chambless and I have been involved in the arts since the late 1960's. In the early 1970's I moved to the American Southwest and was naturally drawn to the jewelry business. My studio/office is a log cabin I built myself the old way in the Zuni Mountains of New Mexico in 1974.
Although I've used many different materials in the developement of my artform, turquoise and variscite have long been my main focus. I now find myself gravitating back to the agates and jaspers which were my original foundation. I hope you will join me as I experiment with new materials and designs while continuing to produce the designs I've developed over the last 40 years.
The nature of the materials I use make each piece individual and unique. Often it better to custom make a piece to fit the person because of both sizing and materials. So communicate with me and we will see what is possible... pc

Accepted payment methods

Payment
Without a doubt my first choice for payment is PayPal, US currency only. I will also accept money orders, but it must be recieved before I can ship the item. I'm afraid I can't afford to do layaway and if you're a New Mexico resident, I have to add state sales tax.
If there are any questions, please don't be afraid to ask before shipping, it'll probably save us both valuable time and effort. I try to be correct in my descriptions of size, length, materials, etc... but when in doubt, lets make sure we are both on the same page. I want us both be happy with our transaction.
If you must cancel an order, just try to do it as soon as possible.
Shipping
I live in a remote area of Western New Mexico and only make it to a Post Office once every week or two. For that reason I will be using the USPS pick up service quite a bit. This means that many items will be shipped priority mail with delivery confirmation. If there is some flexability in timing, I'll always send packages as economical as possible. I'm very aware that if my shipping costs are reasonable, I'm more likely to keep you as a return customer.
Refunds and Exchanges
I'll always try to keep you as a satisfied customer. I do ask that if there is a problem, please return the item within a week and we will either exchange it or give a refund. It's very important that the returned item must be unaltered in any way. Sometimes people try to return an item after it's been damaged or resized and I'm afarid that will void the return/refund policy. If something doesn't fit or doesn't work for some reason, contact me and we'll try to make it work for both of us.....
Additional policies and FAQs
The key is communication. When in doubt ask me. If you are looking for something special, I may have it or be able to make a custom piece for you.