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VINTAGE MORENCI TURQUOISE SQUASH BLOSSOM- 1960’S-1970’S
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 with the “petals,” so to speak; and the horseshoe-like pendant at the bottom called the 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 has a minimum 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 and fire scale. Such elements include germanium, zinc, silicon and boron.
Oxidized silver ( black coloring in the silver ) is a process that many jewelers use to give sterling silver a black patina. It gives the jewelry an antique or tarnished look. The process consists of taking clean sterling silver and using a chemical (liver of sulphur) to treat it to speed up the tarnishing effect.
Morenci turquoise is another American classic, highly regarded and sought after by collectors. Though the Morenci turquoise mine produces a wide range of colors from blue to green, the most desirable is a deep blue color with a heavy iron pyrite matrix and occasionally some spider webbing.
The Morenci turquoise mine is located in Southeastern Arizona. It is the by-product of a large open-pit copper mining operation and dates back to 1864. William “Lucky” Brown was offered the mining rights in the 1950s and the Brown family has worked the mine since. Though no turquoise is actively being produced at the Morenci mine, small amounts do still come to market each year from the stock that was mined previously.