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A sensational vintage Navajo silver and “Blue Diamond” Nevada turquoise row style bracelet, c. 1950’s
This is an almost unbelievable piece, a literal explosion of fantastic rare turquoise in a beautifully-crafted
Navajo silver rope-style row bracelet. Everything about this piece is fabulous; the size, scale, craftsmanship and, of course, the nine incredible matched gem turquoise stones. There’s some very good reasons why this turquoise is called “Blue Diamond”. It is extremely rare and precious, among the hardest and most beautiful of all turquoise varieties.
Blue Diamond is what is known euphemistically in the turquoise trade as a "hat" mine, meaning it is so small you can cover it with your hat. The mine was in operation from the 1950’s until 1980 when it was buried under tons of rock. There will never be any more Blue Diamond turquoise mined. Last time we checked, high-grade finished Blue Diamond stones such as these on the rare occasions you could find some, were running about $35-40 per carat retail and
there are around 80-90 carats of stone in the bracelet so the math here is pretty compelling.
A Blue Diamond of a different sort, The Hope Diamond.
Photo source and © The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Blue Diamond Turquoise
The Blue Diamond mine, located in central Nevada, opened in the late 1950’s and was mined up to 1980. This mine is considered a “hat mine” of which there are very few. A hat mine is a small deposit of turquoise that, “you can cover with your hat.” The stones that the mine produces, which are usually large pieces of plate form, looks a great deal like Stormy Mountain turquoise because of its black smoky matrix. This stone features dark smoky matrix surrounded by a brilliant blue, The characteristic black chert is ever-present. This mine is now closed and buried under thousands of tons of rock.
- American turquoise authority, Gene Waddell, Waddell Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
These nine perfectly-matched graduated stones are all perfectly set in old-style "foldover" type silver bezels which are mounted in a row on a fantastic heavy twisted silver wire or “rope” style silver shank composed of two wide twisted silver wire "ropes". The skill and effort and strength required to craft this so well is difficult to imagine and the unknown silversmith who did this did it to perfection. The ropes are finely and evenly made and aesthetically beautiful and the interesting visual interplay between the variegated silver surface of the silver ropes and the smooth polished turquoise stones makes the stones stand out even more. In a lovely final touch, the stones are even further accentuated by pairs of applied silver "raindrops" interespersed between them.
The bracelet measures 1” in width at its widest center point and tapers down to 3/8” in width at the terminal ends.
The inner circumference end to end is 6 1/4” and the gap between the terminals is 1 1/8” for a total interior circumference of 7 3/8”. The bracelet weighs a significant 100 grams or 3 1/2 ounces but, though quite weighty, it sits very comfortably and easily on the wrist, another clear mark of a great maker. The bracelet is in generally excellent original condition, two of the turquoise stones have slight cracks in them, but are perfectly stable in their settings.
This bracelet is the absolute bomb.com You simply don’t and won’t see historic pieces like this very often anymore.
They just don’t get any better or any more beautiful in our view. To paraphrase the old saying, “Blue Diamonds are everybody’s best friend”!