This necklace is a show-stopper, not only because of the size, but also because of the materials. It's composed of two variations of Turquoise that have both been certified as natural Sleeping Beauty by the Albuquerque Turquoise Museum, which is owned by the Zacharys, the "first family" of mining and expertise in this area when it comes to Turquoise.
My supply has been examined only because, for Sleeping Beauty to be called "natural", it must be the of the highest quality and come from the top of the mine, which is in Globe, Arizona. This is what makes it so rare and valuable. The deeper the mining goes, the softer the turquoise becomes.
Stabilized Sleeping Beauty Turquoise has been treated with resins due to its softness and isn't nearly as valuable because it is much more common. It is said that only about 10% of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise on the market today is of the quality you'll see here--completely natural. Unless it has been authenticated or sold by an expert, it's very difficult to know for sure what you are getting.
Unfortunately it's all too common for sellers to inadvertently sell second class quality Sleeping Beauty, passing it along to customers. This is because it's very difficult for a non-expert to perceive the difference even though it matters greatly when it comes to value. The fakes have become so good that, these days, even the experts have to study it more carefully than ever before to determine what it is. If you purchase directly from the Sleeping Beauty Mine, of course, you are guaranteed to receive the real thing, but you'll find that a tiny strand of 6mm natural turquoise will cost you $400 or so.
Here, I've combined two very rare types of turquoise--one is robin's egg blue, and the other is the even rarer breed that is slightly bluish green.
I've found an unusual spiny oyster and sterling silver cross pendant measuring about 3" long. Spiny oyster is found in the Sea of Cortez. I've also added Bali handmade sterling silver beads, which are made in a workshop that still uses techniques that are very similar to those that were used in ancient Greece and Egypt. In Bali, the old traditions have thus far been kept alive, as the art of granulation and silver smithing has been passed down family generations. I believe it's important to support these crafts, which are in danger of dying out in future generations due to Westernization. These beads are part of a cultural heritage, which is why I purchase them from a Bali supplier who works directly with artisans in Bali to promote the craft.
About the cross: Where I live, the cross is a popular symbol used in Southwestern jewelry. But the Native American cross has a different meaning from ours. In 1680, the Pueblo Indians around Santa Fe revolted against the Spanish who were trying to force them to abandon their ancient religious beliefs. During the successful revolt, they raided the seat of Spanish power, the governor's palace in downtown Santa Fe.
The cross in Native American culture is called the "Zia", which represents rays of the sun. It also can symbolize the four directions, and the four elements. As a result, the Christian cross and the Native American cross have both melded somewhat when it comes to Southwestern Style, and the mixing of cultures has produced many creative and complex expressions of both histories.
This unusual necklace measures about 22" long, meaning that it looks great draped over a black crew-neck sweater, or a collared shirt. There's a hand-made sterling chain from Thailand that allows it to be longer if you desire.
If you are looking for the ultimate in quality and care in craftsmanship, this could be thought of an heirloom necklace. Considering the quality of materials and the rarity, the price is quite reasonable.
More photos coming soon! The pendant is stamped "sterling" on the back.
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Item ID: 2164
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Art for Every Day
We're on vacation this month but we'll be taking orders to ship on Feb 1!
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