260g Vintage Morenci Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace 27", Bench Made Silver Beads, Navajo Jewelry

$3,840.00 $4,800.00

This vintage Native American squash blossom necklace is standout, with stunning Morenci turquoise, mined in Greenlee County in southeastern Arizona. The Morenci used in this necklace displays vivid color and iron pyrite or "fool's gold" matrix, for which the mine is known. Also notice that smoky purple-red matrix that reminds one of another famous Arizona mine; the Morenci in this necklace is not your garden variety; it is special: "The Morenci turquoise mine produced a turquoise that is light to bright blue in hue. This stone has an unusual matrix of irregular quartz and pyrite that, when polished, often resembles silver. Also, a small amount of Morenci turquoise had some brownish matrix called 'Morenci red matrix'." So, if the stone in this necklace looks almost like Bisbee, we now know why. The Morenci mine is permanently closed and buried under tons of rock, and the land leeched with chemicals that have destroyed any trace of turquoise. The family of the last mine owner, William "Lucky" Brown, still owns a limited amount of raw stone, which does get released in small amounts. It is an understatement to say the turquoise is difficult to obtain. It would also be an understatement to say this necklace offers a large amount of Morenci. Indeed, the seven stones used around the naja are each generous in size, as are the ten used in the squash blossoms, five up each side. The only smaller stone is the one dangling in the center of the naja. Almost all of the stones display that vivid blue to blue green color with smoky webbing, some micro-webbing, and color variation within individual stones. I'm struck by the luminescence of the turquoise and by the fact that while the necklace is large, the silverwork is well-rendered. All those applied leaves are handmade, serving to frame the stones in a type of shadowbox. Notice, too, the stone in each squash blossom is topped with a crown stamped with tiny dots. That dotting effect is repeated on the interior border of the naja. This level of detail--the starburst and plain dots, bench made beads, fluting of the blossoms--makes me think that the artist who made the necklace set out to produce silverwork that would meet the standard of a turquoise described as an "American classic, highly regarded and sought after by collectors." The piece is unsigned, and we estimate it was made in the 1970s to 1980s, when this type of shadowbox construction was common.

The necklace features ten squash blossoms, and the double strand of beads converges into a single strand at the ends. It is just about 27" total end to end. The naja measures about 3-1/2" wide by 3" tall. Given that extra length of the naja, the hang length is about 14", depending on the girth of one's neck. Weighs a substantial 260g. This piece has a beautiful patina and is in excellent condition.

A statement squash blossom necklace with special, collectible turquoise.


Please convo with questions, or call (505) 369-6865. Will return your call as soon as possible.


For More Native Necklaces, Pendants, and Pins: http://etsy.me/2CijkUR
Native American Earrings: http://etsy.me/2BPa5dG
Native American Rings: http://etsy.me/2ERUBZh
Native Bracelets and Watches: https://etsy.me/2pFfdd1
Native Belts and Bolos: http://etsy.me/2EQCz9F
All items: https://www.etsy.com/shop/romaarellano

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