This is a very attractive vintage Native American Heishi necklace made from perfectly graduated bright turquoise and clam shell heishi beads in Santo Domingo. The turquoise is of a nice quality and the variation in the color of the clam beads give interest and authenticity.
The necklace measures 16 inches and is graduated from 3 mm at the ends to 5 mm at the middle. It weighs 25g. The stringing is in good, secure condition and looks original. It closes with a simple hook clasp which acid tests for sterling silver.
It has been appraised by an expert in Native American jewelry who explained that shaping and drilling the clam shells is highly labor intensive and skilled. This would have been made between about 1950 - 1965.
Many Heishi beads are made from a solid tube like rod section of shell which was then shaped and smoothed from one narrow end to widening at midpoint, then narrowing again to the other end. Once done, the beads could be cut off individually and drilled. Highly skilled when the evenness of the beads is seen and an efficient way to make these beads! Santo Domingo Heishi are very fine and considered to be some of the best Heishi available.
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