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Extraordinary Native American Turquoise Cuff
~ This is a massive Navaho sterling cuff bracelet with 27 enormous, pure turquoise nuggets! The color of these stones is extraordinary. They are mostly green, with hues of blue, and threads of the matrix rock and other golden colored minerals contained in them
~ Judging from their extraordinary color, these turquoise stones are most certainly mined from the famous Kingman Mine, near Manassa, Colorado. The grade of stones taken from the mine is very fine, and the gemstones have a wide range of colors. Here is what the book, Turquoise, The Gem of The Centuries, by Oscar Branson, states (p. 45): " 'Manassa Green' is an attractive deep green, tinted with blue, and mottled with a golden brown matrix, properly called 'Manassa Turquoise' ".
~ The gemstones have been deeply bezel set into sterling collars; I've never seen bezel settings with such thick bands of sterling, and I can only surmise that the artist wanted to insure the security of the stones. The size of the gemstones is fairly uniform, with most measuring approximately 5/8" across, with a few smaller stones mixed in, and are all different shapes.
~ The unusual, curved oval face of the cuff measures a whopping 4" high, and can be worn by either a man or a woman; its size suggests that this cuff may have been worn as a ceremonial piece.
~ The stones are set against a burnished sterling background, so the darker backdrop forms a dramatic stage for the bright gemstones. Sterling beads of various sizes have been scattered throughout the design, and often signify raindrops.
~ The entire design has been surrounded by a rope-twisted strand of sterling. Just outside of this is the wider edge of the cuff, which is softly rounded, with incised clouds or half-moon shapes which continue all the way around the perimeter.
~ Five bands of sterling form the arms on either side of the centerpiece, which join together into a solid band that runs to the back.
~ The inside circumference measures 6 1/8" and the opening measures 1" which can be slightly adjusted.
~ It is signed by the artist "DC" and is marked "sterling".
~ It weighs 6.5 ounces. That's 6.5 ounces of solid sterling silver and 27 gem quality turquoise stones! Fantastic!
~ The Navajo believe turquoise is a piece of the sky that has fallen to earth, and it is used as an offering to appease the wind. Native Americans called turquoise "Cal-cue-uh-tall", meaning "the highest and most valued thing in the world". Turquoise is considered by some to be a symbol of good fortune and success, believed to bring prosperity to its wearer. For more history of this fascinating gemstone, please visit my Gem History page (use your browser's "back" key to return here).
~ Green turquoise jewelry is all the rage this year - everyone in Santa Fe is wearing it, because it's so beautiful.
c. 1980, best guess, in mint condition
Price = $1,285.00
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