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September 11, 2022 2 min read

The man is a legend in the world of Southwestern jewelry, that’s been solidified; his signature chandelier earrings changed the game, and they’ll be coveted and collected long after he’s gone. And while pretty much everything he creates is a homerun, that fortitude of legacy affords Oscar Betz the ability to experiment way outside the box, with unusual shapes and even more unusual stones, like his latest creation with ribbon jasper. I suppose you could say, he’s… earned his stripes.

As you well know, Cheryl is just shy of an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to southwestern jewelry, and even she struggled to identify Oscar’s use of ribbon jasper and azul agate in these most recent creations, which is a testament to how uncommon and unique these pieces are.

You might have deduced that the tiger-striped stones are the ribbon jasper, so named for the formation that results in alternating “ribbons” of contrasting compositions and hues. The color combinations in ribbon jasper can vary widely; even in this small sample, you can see a range from lavenders to rich reds, and the fact that they mimic animal print lends an exotic feel. (In fact, it felt appropriate in this collection because it subversively ties to the tiger-stripe brindle of Hereford cattle that show up throughout Walker.) Interestingly, if you ascribe to the idea that certain stones hold vibes, ribbon jasper is said to promote balance, stability, and increased energy, as well as have protective and deeply healing properties and support your emotional and mental equilibrium.

The other surprising stone in this set is that what at first glance you’d be sure was turquoise is actually a teal-hued form of azul agate. (Could’ve fooled us!) Upon closer inspection you can see that some of the stones have straight striations, which is not something you find in natural turquoise, so it’s a tiny detail that sets this stone apart.

And while we’re talking turquoise and over-the-top Oscar Betz, have y’all checked out his latest “super cuff”?! Y’all, the center stone alone is jaw-dropping – a statement sized turquoise cabochon with substantial beautiful chocolate matrix. And that’s just the center stone! It’s framed by two dozen teardrop turquoise stones and then flanked on either side by another enormous specimen stone of that same well-matrixed turquoise. Any one of these stones on their own would be a remarkable find, but all together?! Oscar never ceases to outdo himself.

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