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Navajo handcrafted Necklace Set in silver and genuine Dry Creek turquoise. By artist Albert Jake
Albert Jake was born in 1959 in the Zuni Pueblo south of Gallup, New Mexico. He learned silversmithing from his parents. He specializes in traditional set stones and cluster jewelry with intricate stampwork. He has been smithing since 1987. He also creates sand-paintings and makes pottery. During the summers he works as a forest fire fighter. He lives with his wife and two daughters today in Rahmah, New Mexico, near the Zuni Pueblo.
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.
Dry Creek Turquoise
The Dry Creek Turquoise Mine is located on the Shoshone Indian Reservation near Battle Mountain, Nevada. The mine was first discovered in 1993, but the nature of the material led to much confusion, due both to its extreme hardness and odd color. After having the material assayed, it was proven to be turquoise. The miners at Dry Creek have also found a white stone at this deposit that is mistaken as “white turquoise”, but is actually Aluminite.
The turquoise from the Dry Creek mine, which has also been known as the Godber as well as the Burnham mine, is a creamy pastel-blue and blue-white turquoise. The gem grade material from this mine is very hard and available only in small quantities. Since turquoise gets its pigment from the heavy metals in the ground where it is formed, and this area has a distinct lack of heavy metals, the odd color is due to a slightly heavier balance of aluminum rather than copper in the stone’s chemistry makeup. The matrix in Dry Creek Turquoise is typically light golden or brown-gray to gray-black. This turquoise is beautiful alone in a piece of jewelry and is especially striking when juxtaposed with other colors of turquoise in a single creation.
To date, no other vein of this color turquoise has been discovered, and when this current vein runs out, that will be the last of it. Because this turquoise is as rare as the legendary sacred white buffalo, the Indians call it “White Buffalo” Turquoise.