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A fine vintage Navajo tufa-cast silver
bracelet set with a spectacular #8 Mine
Nevada spiderweb turquoise stone
There’s turquoise and then there’s TURQUOISE! This is the second type and a fairly comprehensive and definitive demonstration why the striking black spiderweb turquoise from Nevada’s renowned #8 mine is so very highly prized as one of the world’s greatest turquoise varieties; a characteristic clear electrifying bright blue-white color with slight green overtones beautifully shot through with gorgeous deep greyish-black tendrils of delicate spiderweb matrix. An often-used old trader’s term for the kind of immediate visual impact of this stone is “Zat” and this one has it in abundance. We would conservatively estimate the weight of this gorgeous large stone at around 40-45 carats. High-grade #8 black web turquoise finished stones are currently selling today in the $25-35 per carat range retail so we are talking about a fairly valuable stone here.
At left, a nice nugget of natural #8 Mine Nevada black spiderweb turquoise.
The trapezoidally-shaped #8 stone is the proud centerpiece of this most beautifully crafted tufa-cast Navajo silver bracelet. Tufa-casting is one of the most painstaking and excruciatingly difficult of all traditional Navajo silversmithing techniques and one of the hardest to master. This particular silversmith turned in a virtuoso performance here, achieving the ideal combination of strength along with a certain delicacy and grace. The silver shank of the bracelet features a traditional, symmetrical four-part ketoh-like winged design in the front and tapers down towards the terminals. The silver shank has been further accentuated with some restrained and well-executed decorative filework and stampwork designs. The turquoise stone is center set in a plain old-style “foldover” type silver bezel. The bezel is outlined by a very nicely-filed silver twisted wire surround and two pairs of large applied round silver “raindrops”.
The bracelet measures 1 1/4” in width at its widest center point tapering down to 1/2” in width at the terminals. The inner circumference end-to-end is 5 1/4” and the gap between the terminals is 1 1/8” for a total interior circumference of 6 3/8”. The bracelet weighs a substantial-feeling yet extremely comfortable 61 grams or 2 1/8 ounces and it is in completely excellent original vintage condition. The turquoise stone itself measures 1” in height and is 3/4” in width at its widest point. This bracelet is a classic and masterfully-crafted historic piece showcasing a classic and completely sensational turquoise stone.