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Vintage 1960’s squash blossom necklace- Navajo handcrafted-Lone Mountain turquoise
1963 Third prize winning award – Gallup, New Mexico – Inter-Tribal ceremonials
SQUASH BLOSSOM NECKLACE
While squash blossom imagery can be found in petroglyphs (rock art) that pre-date European contact in the Southwest, Dubin said the squash blossom necklace was created in the late 1870s or early 1880s after the native people of the area made contact with Spanish Mexicans.
The Navajo, it is believed, were the first tribe to adopt the design, but by the early 1900s, the art form had spread to neighboring tribes, including the Zuni and the Pueblo.
While the entire necklace has taken its name from one type of bead, the classic squash blossom necklace actually has three distinct parts: the plain round beads; the round beads Naja.
Naja is also representative of the womb, and when a squash blossom necklace features a single turquoise nugget suspended from the Naja, it is often interpreted to be symbolic of a child in the womb.
Naja Symbol Meaning
The naja is a crescent-shaped piece that is often worn alone as a pendant or as the center piece of a squash blossom necklace in Southwestern Indian jewelry. … The word “naja” is the Navajo word for “crescent”. “Naja” is the name the Navajo gave to a symbol believed to have originated in the Middle East in ancient times. Like some many symbols, it was created as a talisman for protection, with the Moors affixing it to their horses’ bridles to ward off the evil eye.
Is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925.
SILVER, for example 99.9% pure silver, is relatively soft, so silver is usually alloyed with copper to increase its hardness and strength. Sterling silver is prone to tarnishing, and elements other than copper can be used in alloys to reduce tarnishing, as well as casting porosity and fire scale. Such elements include germanium, zinc, platinum, silicon, and boron. Recent examples of alloys using these metals include argentium, sterlium, sterilite and silvadium.
Lone Mountain Turquoise
The Lone Mountain Turquoise Mine, near Tonopah, Nevada, was one of the leading producers of fine turquoise in Nevada. It was discovered by Lee Hand in 1920 and filed under the name of Blue Jay Mining Lode. At first it was called the Blue Jay Mine on Lone Mountain and later just Lone Mountain. It is presently closed.
As with most mines, it was at first a tunnel and shaft project but when Menless Winfield bought the mine it was made an open pit operation. The turquoise from this mine is mostly good to high-grade and usually in the form of nuggets although there is a quantity of vein material. A very interesting occurrence of turquoise found here is a condition where the turquoise was deposited in cavities or molds left when parts of fossil plants were dissolved out of a harder rock. The turquoise is graded into golden matrix, black matrix and spider web. At present, most of it is cut and polished or the nuggets drilled and polished at the mine, making this is a very collectible turquoise, and rarely available in rough form.