This is a spectacular old Native American necklace marked simply STERLING.
It features three huge genuine high-grade turquoise cabochons that as best as we can identify (after looking at hundreds of photos of turquoise), appear to be from the Blue Diamond mine, located in central Nevada. The mine was opened in the late 1950s and was mined up to 1980. This mine is considered a “hat mine” of which there are very few. A hat mine is a small deposit of turquoise that, “you can cover with your hat.” The stones that the mine produces, which are usually large pieces of plate form, look a great deal like Stormy Mountain turquoise because of its black smoky matrix. This stone features dark smoky matrix surrounded by a brilliant blue. These stones have hints of green among the blue. The Blue Diamond mine is now closed and buried under thousands of tons of rock.
Each stone is set in a handcrafted stamped sterling silver frame that follows the shape of the stone. The center pendant measures 1 7/8 by 2 1/2 inches.
The necklace measures 19 inches long and can be clasped anywhere along the chain from 15 to 19 inches. The necklace weighs 141 grams.
We've had a lot of turquoise pieces over the years but aren't experts. To the best of our knowledge, this is natural, very fine turquoise that you don't often see. This necklace came from a high-end collection of Native jewelry that included several pieces by Zuni artists Ronni and Ramil Glodove so this estate necklace was in very good company.
Excellent vintage condition.
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Old Massive Navajo Turquoise Sterling Silver Necklace