Virginia Tso is a renowned Navajo jeweler from Pinedale, AZ. She has specialized in sterling silver handmade beads since the 1970s. For Virginia, bead-making is a family tradition for many generations: Virginia learned silversmithing from her paternal grandmother, Helen, who lived to the age of 108! Helen learned from her father, Sam Silversmith. He was given this name because he was so highly respected and esteemed by the community. Virginia and husband Morris took what they learned and added their own creativity, making beads in all styles, shapes and sizes... round beads, flat beads, melon beads, fluted beads, and saucer beads strung in many different lengths and endless combinations. The process involves melting down scrap silver, rolling it into sheets, cutting out the rough shapes, doming each bead, stamping or shaping, punching the hole, soldering each half together, filing and buffing to a shiny finish or oxidizing to a soft satin patina. This is the traditional way of making handmade beads. Virginia is one of the few Navajo silversmiths who still makes her sterling silver beads completely by hand.