This handmade wire wrapped sterling silver pendant is made with a very large natural gemstone cabochon of blue turquoise from Easter Mine, Nevada near Toponah and Royston. Easter Mine was never a large producer of turquoise, and unlike the turquoise in surrounding mines it boasts more of a blue turquoise versus green turquoise.
Easter Mine produced from 1907 into the 1990s and rarely still, though not in large quantities. Easter mine turquoise also called Blue Gem and Blue Mountain is a hard turquoise. This cab is solid and natural with no stabilizers or backing. It has a lovely robin's egg blue with some dark mottled matrix in shades of brown and dark green.
I used heavy, solid sterling silver (not coated, filled or plated) wire to make a sturdy wire wrapped setting for this very large statement piece. I used a beautiful beaded wire on the sides and I added a woven wire or wire weave bail. All that was needed was an antique patina which was applied by hand, rubbed down and polished.
stone ---- 53 x 36mm
pendant ---- 3.06" / 78mm long; 1.48" / 38mm wide
bail ---- 8mm
This does not include a chain or cord.
You can purchase one here.
More About Turquoise:
Those who are new to cabochon jewelry probably think of turquoise first when they envision cabochon jewelry. It's no wonder why. It has been popular in jewelry since ancient times and one of the most renowned gems, right alongside lapis.
Turquoise is an opaque stone. The color runs from turquoise blue to robin's egg blue (Persian Blue) to blue green and green. It is one of the many copper bearing gems. The more copper, the more blue and the more iron; the more green and if there is some zinc thrown in it gives a yellow cast. Turquoise is soft (5-6 on the Mohs scale of hardness). It can be crumbly and difficult to work.
In finer grades, turquoise is very rare and valuable. It must be both hard and color stable. The very best natural turquoise is beyond the budget of the average person and is valued by the carat weight. The grade and treatment of turquoise will effect the price. Medium to low grade turquoise is often stabilized. As long as it is disclosed, there is nothing wrong with stabilization, although it does lower the value. Stabilization creates a harder more durable stone allowing more of the softer yet beautiful turquoise to be used in jewelry. Stabilization is very common and not the same as color treating which is done to the lowest grade turquoise. Another benefit of stabilization is that it keeps the turquoise from changing color due to the oil in your skin, which untreated turquoise can do.
The most highly valued turquoise is/was found in Iran (Persia). It is valued for the pure, solid robin's egg blue. It is very rare now. Some American natural turquoise is very valuable, if not AS valuable, with a premium placed on the color, hardness, location and matrix pattern or dark spiderwebbing in the stone. It is found in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Utah and Virginia. China (Hubei Province) has been offering turquoise recently. Prices of the better Chinese turquoise is also on the rise and the best of it truly does rival the American turquoise. It offers great affordability and a good investment. However, some unscrupulous dealers are passing it off as the more expensive American turquoise. One needs to know their turquoise to avoid a costly mistake.
This is a very brief general discussion of turquoise. If one wants to collect turquoise jewelry, one should study the many available resources.