Made in Mexico

Celebrating the passion and mastery of NAJO’s plateros in Taxco, the silver city where our story began.


Welcome to a Pueblo Mágico

There’s something inescapable about the spirit of Taxco, one of Mexico’s most beautiful, designated Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Towns). Nestled among picturesque rolling hills, its labyrinth of steep, narrow streets winds through white-washed houses, revealing plazas, churches and traditional shops along the way.

It’s the place where charming Volkswagen Beetle taxis (vochos) zip around, musicians serenade life, and the scent of street food fills the air. Around every Taxco corner, there’s a vibrant expression of life. And nothing is more stunning than the way it plays out in sterling silver jewellery.

Once upon a time in Taxco

When NAJO’s Founder and Creative Director Jo Tory first experienced Taxco in the 1980s, she was struck by its rich ambience, history and culture. “When I wandered through the gorgeous alleyways, I discovered the flourishing silver jewellery industry,” says Jo.

“My mother was a silversmith, and I grew up watching her design and make divine pieces. So, I was naturally drawn to the plateros (silversmiths). I was mesmerised by their extraordinary craftsmanship and watched them work for hours and hours as they handmade and polished every piece with enormous skill, using beautiful quality silver from local Taxco mines. The city was and still is a treasure trove of artistry and creativity. 

“The plateros I befriended back then used techniques passed down through generations. Silversmithing was ingrained in their culture and way of life. It was their passion. They were incredibly proud of their skills and the beauty they created. Their pieces were imbued with stories of life, culture, arts, fashion and history. Yet each creation left room for personal storytelling and self-expression. The whole experience was a revelation and an inspiration.”

From silver stirrings to the NAJO brand

Jo decided to stay in Taxco for a while and began sketching jewellery designs inspired by nature, storytelling and her love of clean, contemporary lines. “I took my designs to master plateros, and we started collaborating. I watched them work the silver into solid, well-crafted pieces that brought my aesthetic vision to life, and the NAJO brand was born.

“We still work with the same plateros and family workshops we did in the 1980s. The children that used to play at my feet while I worked with their fathers are now master silversmiths, and you’ll meet them here below. 

“In a world where the pace of life has become so hectic and goods consumed and disposed of so fast, there’s something indescribably beautiful about slowing down to honour and appreciate true and ethical craftsmanship. The genuine love and care our plateros imbue into every NAJO creation makes them feel-good pieces that endure. They’re slow jewellery pieces that tread lightly while making a personal style impact.”

Taxco’s rich silver history

Taxco’s silver trade isn’t just a business; it’s a narrative woven into the fabric of the city’s existence. Its captivating silver history dates back to the pre-Columbian era when indigenous inhabitants were known to have outstanding silver-working skills. 

In the early 16th century, Taxco gained prominence as a silver hub after Spanish conquistadors discovered vast silver deposits in the surrounding hills. This discovery led to a silver rush, drawing miners, settlers and artisans to the area. Taxco’s plateros began fusing indigenous techniques with Spanish influences, creating intricate silver jewellery and religious artefacts that garnered international attention.

In the 20th century, American designer William Spratling played a pivotal role in revitalising Taxco’s silver industry. After recognising the incredible skills of the local plateros, he collaborated with them to create modern yet authentic designs. His efforts transformed Taxco into a cultural epicentre, attracting artists and collectors from around the world. We’re proud to introduce you to our NAJO plateros, who are living testaments to Taxco’s enduring silver legacy.

Meet Ruben Cisneros

Keeping Spratling’s art of silversmithing alive

Ruben Cisneros is inspired by the story of legendary miner José de la Borda, who was so thankful to discover extensive silver veins on his land that he commissioned the construction of the Church of Santa Prisca on top of his mine. Today, Ruben’s sterling silver creations echo gratitude and reverence for the land that birthed him.

Ruben was born into a lineage of artisans. His silversmithing journey was ignited at the tender age of five within the confines of his father’s workshop. There, his hands first played with the tools of his trade, his young mind absorbing the wisdom passed down through generations. Under the tutelage of his father and the famed William Spratling, Ruben forged a deep connection between past and present, laying the foundation for a lifetime devoted to the art of jewellery making.

High in Taxco’s hills, Ruben’s workshop remains a sanctuary of creativity, where he shapes and polishes sterling silver into timeless and contemporary NAJO designs. The necklace you see Ruben crafting in our Made in Mexico video is the stunning Spratling Necklace, named in honour of William Spratling.

Introducing Bruno Contreras

The Artisan Soul Shaping Taxco’s Silver Legacy

Bruno Contreras is a shining example of the passion that courses through Taxco’s veins. His family exemplifies the power of shared aspirations and the desire to nurture a legacy. Guided by his father’s vision to elevate the city’s artisanal reputation, Bruno is dedicated to becoming the region’s finest platero workshop. 

“There are no machines that equal the work that people do,” says Bruno. “I’m a platero, a silver man. I make silver, I work with silver, I sell silver. Everything goes around with silver.” 

The quintessential Najo ‘O’ Bangle, Alchemy Bangle, Riverbed Cuff and Lagoon Bangle are radiant examples of Bruno’s ethos: “The only shine that is perfect is by hand.”  The bangle you see being hand dimpled in Bruno’s workshop in our Made in Mexico video is the stunning dual-tone Tumbaga Amarres Bangle, available in 64mm and 68mm widths. The earrings you can see being cooled after sculpting under hot temperatures are the heavenly  Amarres Earrings.

Meet Javier Ortega Flores

The Happiest, Proudest Platero

Javier Ortega Flores is a master platero dedicated to breathing life into silver. Every NAJO piece he crafts embodies his deep-rooted pride and happiness. “Taxco has world fame for its silver, and I am part of that,” he says. “I create things in silver. It makes me proud, and I feel happy. I work every day as best I can to make things in silver so that this can continue and I get better. NAJO gets better, and we get better.”

Beyond the realm of silversmithing, Javier takes pride in being a part of a close-knit pueblo where production and consumption seamlessly intertwine. Just as his sister’s delectable chilaquiles embody the joy of shared moments, Javier’s creations mirror the interconnectedness of culture, craftsmanship, and the flavours of life. 

In Javier Ortega Flores, Taxco’s silver heritage finds not only a skilful artisan but also a true custodian of tradition and a harmonious contributor to the town’s thriving ecosystem. The symbiotic growth of NAJO and its artisans like Javier paints a vibrant tapestry of progress while preserving the essence of Taxco’s silver art. The bangle you watch Javier crafting in our Made in Mexico video is the bestselling Oh Honey Bangle.

Field Notes: About our Made in Mexico Video

Our incredible Made in Mexico video was written, produced and directed by Lucy Andia and Freddie Shelbourne from “When we arrived in Taxco, we were greeted by our guide Elizabeth and her son Gerardo,” says Lucy.

“As we were relatively new to Mexico and our Spanish wasn’t perfect, Gerardo proved to be incredibly helpful in guiding us through the various household workshops and immersing us in the Mexican way of life. While having a translator was invaluable, we quickly realised that the story was evident even without a complete understanding of the language. The genuine love and appreciation for silver craftsmanship in Taxco were so powerful that as soon as the camera started rolling, the story began to unfold naturally.

“At the end of filming, we were incredibly happy with what we had captured, but another treat was in store. Elizabeth wanted us to visit one last platero. We drove through winding streets so narrow and steep only the ‘vocho’ could get through until we reached a point where no car could pass. 

“Carrying our equipment on our shoulders, we climbed. At last, we reached a one-man workshop perched on the corner of an open terrace overlooking the expanse of Taxco. As the sun began to set over the city, we interviewed Ruben, whose connection to the history of silversmithing in Taxco was exactly what we were looking for. Silver has been part of Ruben’s life since he was five years old, learning his trade from his father, who was taught by none other than William Spratling.”


Once visited, Taxco’s city and people nestle in your heart and remain there forever. It happened to Freddie and Lucy just as it did to Jo Tory over 30 years ago. “We loved Taxco so much that we decided to stay an extra night after the video shoot,” Lucy said. “That evening, Freddie proposed with a silver ring, made in Mexico with love.”

We wish them a lifetime of happiness and adventures. 

Thank you to our longstanding family of plateros. You mean the world to us. 

Love NAJO x


Jo Tory

Born in Australia, Jo Tory is proud to be one of the country’s pioneering female jewellery founders. She has been our Creative Director since NAJO’s formation, steering the company to be one of Australia’s most successful fine jewellery brands today. Jo also sits on the Jewellers Association of Australia’s Board of Directors, where she actively promotes the highest standards and ethics within the Australian jewellery industry.