sold Navajo Naja Turquoise Sterling Silver N.ecklace Set - K Billah - Native American
Rare Navajo oxidized heavy-gauge sterling silver necklace and French hook dangle earrings set, featuring a large naja centerpiece and smaller naja side pieces, accented with turquoise and fine detailed designs. Handcrafted by Navajo silversmith, K Billah.
Total Necklace Length: 22"
Naja / Centerpiece: 2 1/4" x 2 1/4"
Sidepieces: 1 1/2" x 1 3/8"
Center Stone Size: 1/2" x 3/8"
Earrings Size: 1 3/4" x 1 3/8"
Weight: 116 g
Metal: Sterling Silver
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminium. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gemstone and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue. Turquoise was among the first gems to be mined, and many historic sites have been depleted, though some are still worked to this day. These are all small-scale operations, often seasonal owing to the limited scope and remoteness of the deposits. Most are worked by hand with little or no mechanization.
The Southwest United States is a significant source of turquoise. Cerrillos, New Mexico is thought to be the location of the oldest mines; prior to the 1920s, the state was the country's largest producer; it is more or less exhausted today. Only one mine in California, located at Apache Canyon, operates at a commercial capacity today.
The pastel shades of turquoise have endeared it to many great cultures of antiquity: it has adorned the rulers of Ancient Egypt, the Aztecs (and possibly other Pre-Columbian Mesoamericans), Persia, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and to some extent in ancient China since at least the Shang Dynasty.
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