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PO Box 4225, Ketchum ID 83340
(208) 726-8709

Custom Bolos
by Idaho bolosmith John Caccia

The unveiling of the "World's Largest Bolo"

Presented on July 9, 2010 at the Ketchum Arts Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho.

More Traditional, Custom, Fine Art Bola Ties

The following are examples of custom bolos created by Idaho bolosmith, John Caccia. Twenty years of bolosmithing combines to produce a bolo that will accent your dressing style for a lifetime of wear. "Bolosmith" is a name I coined to describe a craftsman who not only works with silver, gold and gems
but also has leather braiding knowledge and skills. My custom bolos, braided-leather strings and tips are of the highest quality. A specifically designed,
handmade sterling "slide backing" is soldered onto the silver bolo back, which is guaranteed to be leather friendly and efficient.
Each bolo is hand finished, buff polished and shipped to you in a sturdy tubular case "ready for action."

Bolo history and braided leather color and thickness options
are listed near the bottom of this page.

After viewing these custom bolos and bolo art pieces below...
see my more affordable, cast reproduction bolos by clicking onto this page:

"Chief Tendoy Bolo"

This one might be the finest handcrafted bolo I have made to date...
This handsome bolo is just over 2" in heigth and made of sterling silver with 14k gold accents
(including my 14k gold-tipped silver bullet tips)
I make but one "Chief Bolo" per year. This year's bolo honored the famous Bannock-Shoshone leader Tendoy.
price: $1900
SOLD, can make another one similar.

the "Honky Tonk Angel" Bolo

This extra large bolo (measures5 inches across) is more intended to be bolo art although could be worn on special occasions...!
The Honky Tonk Angel Bolo is made of sterling silver, red brass and with Chrysoprase gems in the Buddha-shaped eyes.
As far as I know it is the only bola tie in the world that is actually wearing a bolo herself!
price: $4,000

"Polar Bear Bolo"

sterling Polar Bear Bolo with sterling Snow Bead accents and braided leather tips
custom made bolo $375

"Moon River Bolo"

This show-piece bolo art measures 5" in diameter and features 13 river amulets symbolizing the 13 lunar cycles in a year.
It has a River Canyon bolo, turtle buttons, totem beads, angels, braided leather slides, ear cuff and spacer bead accents.
It is made of sterling silver and copper with a few 14k gold accents.
price (including Clancey) $7,000

Chief Bruneau Bolo

This strikingly handsome bolo measures 4" in heigth and when not being worn can be displayed as bolo art.
It is made of sterling, overlayed with 14k gold accents and custom-shaped Bruneau Jasper found only in the Bruneau River Canyon of Idaho.
The bolo string is thick and richly colored, the tips are14k gold-tipped silver bullets.
price $6,000

"John Silver Bolo"

Great sterling silver bolo design for "pirates" and other hard living, fun-loving gentlemen.
Unique with it's double stranded design and variety of tips and accent beads.
price: $1,200
SOLD and can make another one similar.

"Cowbolo Hat Bolo"

Classic cowboy bolo, simply designed with sterling silver, turquoise (or other gem of your choice) and understated elegance.
price: $400
(can make another one similar...)

"Milky Way Galaxy Bolo"

"World's Largest Bolo" depicting the cosmic splender of our galactic swirl

The custom bola ties shown above are samples of my work/artistic quality and innovative approach to bolo making.
Prices for custom bolos start around $250 and is dependent upon the type of materials and time spent designing and fabricating.
To initiate a custom bolo order contact me as listed at the bottom of this page or E-Mail here.

See my more affordable, cast reproduction bolos by clicking onto this page: BOLO TIES

Ordering Preferences
When ordering be sure to specify string color and thickness from the charts below

Leather Color Chart

black, coffee, honey, buckskin, saddle brown, chocolate, cordovan, purple, rose, natural, rust

Bolo String Thickness

5mm -- 6mm -- 7mm
All bolo prices of course include the string, tips, etc...
(Top-quality hand braided leather strings can be purchased individually for $1 per inch.
($42 for a 42" long bolo string)


According to: Cowboys and Indians magazine:
"In 1949, Victor E. Cedarstaff designed and created the first bola* type of necktie -- a triangular slide that he patented as a "yoke." Cedarstaff initially called his design a "piggin necklet," naming it from the piggin-string that the cowboys use for tying the legs of a critter. Later, he was visiting with a friends who had just returned from Argentina. The friend had brought back a device called a "bola" that was used by the gauchos (South American cowboys) to catch livestock and wild horses. The bola had three balls attached to the end of three thongs of braided leather or rawhide, which in turn were joined together at their common ends. The similarity of Victor's tie design to the bola prompted him to rename his piggin necklet as the "bola yoke tie," now commonly referred to as the bola tie.

The great attraction of this type of necklace is its leather material which lends a rugged, masculine image to the wearer. Traditionally, the western bola utilizes a sliding silver ornament that can be accented with stones, inlaid, or stamped with elaborate designs. The bola tie continues to evolve from traditional western use to a mainstream fashion statement for men and women."


Because of its fashionable popularity, bola ties can be found in practically every western wear and jewelry store in North America. The large majority of these ties are cheaply made and soon either wear out or begin to look shabby and leather worn. The lack of quality materials and the time saving convenience of working with poorly designed, mass-produced bola supplies have been, until recently, the bola wearer's only choice.

In 1988, bola aficionado John Caccia entered into the profession of "bolosmithing" (a description he coined for himself to mean a craftsperson that has a working knowledge of leather as well as gems and precious metals) and started Idaho Bolo, etc. Since then, "JC" has designed and created hundreds of bola ties and taken the art of bolosmithing to new standards of design and function.

* Although it is probably most historically accurate to use the name "bola tie," many people refer to it as "bola," "bolo," western slide tie," "string tie," etc. All appellations are acceptable as long as they are spoken with a friendly smile.


The best way to store your bola tie is by hanging it over a peg or by laying it out straight and flat on a clean surface. Leather has a "memory" and will look best if stored in a nicely aligned position rather than curled up.

A couple of times a year I recommend taking a clean, dry, cotton fabric or polishing cloth and rubbing the oils, dust and tarnish off the face of your silver/gold bola. (The back side will most likely tarnish the most as it is in constant contact with leather oil/dye and is difficult to rub clean between the slide backing). Many people prefer a slightly tarnished look, but if you want your bolo to shine like new, then you should use the chemically treated jeweler's cloth, which I enclosed with each bolo order.

The great thing about bolos is that you can wear them any way you think looks best. They look equally handsome when worn snug or loose with collared dress shirts, turtle necks or even with pull-over type sweaters. My only fashion recommendation is that they be worn around a collar and not against bare skin, like with a tee-shirts.

You may find it necessary to occasionally tighten or loosen the tension of the backing "slide wings". I use a wooden popcycle stick to pry or press with when adjusting the slide tension. Do not use metal as it will likely scratch or scar the silver. My backings are designed not to cut or fray the leather strings, nevertheless, a gentle touch while adjusting your bola tie up and down the string, will ensure its long life.

I make bolos in hopes that they will be worn and enjoyed for generations. If any part of a bolo breaks down or becomes damaged, return it to me for repair. Furthermore, please contact me if you have any ideas, suggestions or thoughts on how my bola ties could be made better. Thank you.

John Caccia (bolosmith)

To initiate or inquire about a custom bolo, please contact me as listed below or via: E-Mail

Information presented by:
Mountain Angels Trading Co
"Creating the finest, most interesting silver jewelry and braided leather goods
this side of the Salmon River since 1989."

Mountain Angels Trading Co.
P.O. Box 4225, Ketchum, ID 83340
(208) 726-8709

e-mail inquirys to: jc@mountainangels.com

Visa & MC welcome

| River Jewelry | Western Bola Ties | Custom Bolos | Yoga Jewelry | Patron Saint Medals | Angel Pendants | Boater Amulets | Cycling & Runners |
| Silver Beads | Rings | Silver Chains | Wild West | Braided Leather Bracelets & Keyrings | Surfer Jewelry | Garden, Bees & Peace | Snow Crystal |

| Home | More About the Company | E-Mail | Ordering/Contact | MATC Policies |