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BETZ IS BACK

BETZ IS BACK

In the world of Southwestern jewelry, few names are more well-known and few styles are more recognizable than that of Oscar Betz. 

“Even if you don’t realize it, you’ve seen an Oscar Betz earring,” Cheryl said. “He has a very distinct signature style of chandelier earring; I can spot one from a mile away. I still remember my first pair. I saw them at our very first trip to market in NYC in the early ‘90s, and it was one of those ‘pay the light bill or buy the earrings’ decisions – you can guess which one won.”

Now one of the most respected and renowned Mezo American jewelry artists there is, Oscar Betz first emerged onto the scene in the late 1970s. He was considered one of the first to create pieces using multiple types of stones in a single piece, and he is largely credited as the inventor of the first Southwest hinged earring. Betz quickly became one of the most sought-after silversmiths of the ‘80s and ‘90s; his work was featured in galleries and movies, and worn by A-list celebrities (leading lady Liz Taylor owned many pairs), and even commissioned by Ralph Lauren.

Over the decades, Betz has been often imitated but never duplicated. He exclusively uses hand-cut stones over imported polished cabochons, still hand sets every stone, and no one else has been able to recreate his lightweight chandelier style. (Believe me, even we tried.) His level of craftsmanship was untouchable and he made an indelible impact on the Southwestern jewelry scene.

And then he virtually vanished. For years, he stopped producing jewelry, and for all intents and purposes, Betz was pretty much off the grid. Until a few months ago.

“Audrey came to us, eyes wide and jaw dropped, holding her cell phone toward us on speaker phone,” Cheryl recalled. “She was playing us – Hedy and Mother and me – a voicemail from Oscar Betz asking if Double D Ranch would be interested in carrying his earrings. We all just stared at each other for a moment. It was surreal; we were in the midst of celebrating our 30th anniversary, and this call comes in that feels so ‘full circle’.”

The conversation continued. Then, in December, Cheryl celebrated her birthday by taking a lowkey getaway with her boys to Santa Fe, which is where Betz currently resides.

“Quite a twist of fate, but I, along with Mitchell and my son, Jack, spent the day with Oscar, getting to learn about him and tour his workshop, and visit with him and his wife,” Cheryl said. “Fascinating people, both of them; it was a memorable day, and again, surreal. But it fortified our decision to work together, which everyone is very excited about, on both sides.”

In addition to Betz reviving his trade and his signature style of chandelier earring, he is collaborating with DDR on exclusive and extremely limited designs that will coordinate with their respective collection, each pair numbered and signed by the artist.

So, prepare your pocketbooks, ladies. It’s official: Betz is back.

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Comments

Debbie Coronado - February 10, 2021

Awesome story. I love Oscar Betz’s work. The way he sets his stones in every cup like setting is simply beautiful.

Pauline Spurgiesz - February 9, 2021

My first truly treasured earrings were made by Oscar I purchased them here in Tucson. Since then I have added a few more. But my most magical and inspiring events was meeting Oscar at Indian Market in Santa Fe. Tears to my eyes. The confident and beautiful feeling you have wearing his designs is breathtaking. I am always the Most beautiful woman in the room if I am wearing Oscar Betz. Blessings. Pauline in Tucson

Perri Williamson - February 9, 2021

YES!!! to Betz. 😍😍😍😍

Paula C Reumont - February 9, 2021

Oh thank you for this story Cheryl! It gave me that final push to get my first pair of Oscar earrings. I was dragging my feet but now ready to join the Oscar Betz group. Now; which pair should be my first?💚

Paula Weightman - February 9, 2021

LOVE

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