Navajo Natural Gem Grade Morenci Water-web Turquoise Pendant - Allison Lee (#184)

Southwest,Baskets,Navajo,Native,American,Art,Jewelry,Pottery,Weaving,Rug,Blanket,Manta,Necklace,Turquoise,Twin Rocks,Zuni,Santo Domingo,Fetish,Hopi
Southwest,Baskets,Navajo,Native,American,Art,Jewelry,Pottery,Weaving,Rug,Blanket,Manta,Necklace,Turquoise,Twin Rocks,Zuni,Santo Domingo,Fetish,Hopi
Southwest,Baskets,Navajo,Native,American,Art,Jewelry,Pottery,Weaving,Rug,Blanket,Manta,Necklace,Turquoise,Twin Rocks,Zuni,Santo Domingo,Fetish,Hopi
Southwest,Baskets,Navajo,Native,American,Art,Jewelry,Pottery,Weaving,Rug,Blanket,Manta,Necklace,Turquoise,Twin Rocks,Zuni,Santo Domingo,Fetish,Hopi

Navajo Natural Gem Grade Morenci Water-web Turquoise Pendant - Allison Lee (#184)

 $1,475.00

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Navajo Jewelry
1 3/4" x 2 3/4"

Because Allison Snowhawk Lee is such a fine craftsman, he is often given access to the most precious stones.  Super high-grade natural water-web Morenci turquoise is an example of such specimens, and when presented in a hand-fabricated setting by this master silversmith it becomes even dearer.  Compare this stone and its setting to anything you have ever seen and you will have a benchmark for quality.  Enough said.

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Morenci Turquoise

Morenci Turquoise; Arizona Mine, Morenci, Clifton-Morenci District, Shannon Mountains, Greenlee County, Arizona, USA.  An open pit copper mine located in the N1⁄2 Section 16, T4S, R29E (Clifton 15 minute topographic map), owned by Phelps Dodge Corp.  Map Reference: 33°5'26"N, 109°21'58"W.

Morenci turquoise was mined in southeastern Arizona until approximately 1990.  It is located very near the New Mexico border, and ranges in color from classic high electric blue to light azure.  Prehistoric Indians who valued the stone for its deep blue color were the first to discover the deposit.  These people adorned themselves with rough-hewn beads and carved talisman made from the mineral

Morenci is often associated with an unusual black matrix of irregular iron pyrite, which looks metallic when polished.  Although they are rare, stones with unusual birds-eye patterns, red matrix and an occasional layer of silver have also been found.  The Morenci name is derived from the large open pit copper mine owned and operated by the Phelps Dodge Corporation.  Early examples of this striking turquoise were of the "lunch box" variety, meaning workers and miners carried them out of the mine.

Morenci is well known; it was one of the first types of American turquoise to find its way to the market and is always difficult to obtain because the mine was depleted so long ago. It is believed that the best Morenci ever produced was discovered in the late 1960's to early 70's.  During this time period, the mine produced a high, electric blue variety with iron pyrite inclusions.  Since Morenci is no longer being mined, and because of its striking color and unusual matrix combinations, high grade natural Morenci is a valuable, highly collectible mineral.

USGS; Arizona.--In Arizona turquoise ranks first in terms of value of production and is also the best known of its gem materials.  Nearly all-important deposits of turquoise are located near copper occurrences or in copper deposits in arid desert regions of the world. Thus, the world famous turquoise deposits associated with certain of the large Arizona copper deposits are to be expected.

Turquoise is, or has been, mined from a number of these copper mines as a byproduct, usually by outside contractors.  The financial and operating terms of the collecting contracts vary from mine to mine.  Some of the operations are little more than the efforts of individual commercial collectors; some are essentially full-scale mining operations that are simultaneous with, but separate from, the regular mining operations; and still others operate on an on-call basis as turquoise is uncovered by the regular copper mining operation. Regardless of the size or sophistication of the initial mining or recovery operation, the actual turquoise is recovered by careful extraction using hand method.


About the artist:

Navajo Silversmith Allison Snowhawk Lee

Allison Lee - Navajo Silversmith:
Speaking of the silver and gold jewelry he hand crafts, Allison Lee's captivating voice is sincere when he says, "One time my uncle told me that everything we build comes from the earth, like the silver that comes from the earth, or the turquoise that comes from the earth. That is a lot of energy. You put it together and you put your heart and mind into a piece. Then sometimes a certain piece of jewelry- I believe- it is made for a certain person. I usually have a ring, or something, that stays with me for about two or three years, until the right person comes along. And then that person buys that piece. I believe that every piece of jewelry that I make is made for somebody out there- it's made for somebody special. Whoever might be having problems, or something like that. In essence, that energy helps that person get help, by wearing pieces that we make. That is the way I look at it.

See full biography | See all items by Allison Snowhawk Lee

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Navajo Jewelry See all items in this category

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Silversmith Work

When and how the Navajo acquired the art of working metals is unknown but there are reasons for supposing that it was introduced among them, or at least more developed and improved upon by them, since the time they have occupied their present country?

More about this legend

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This site was last updated on November 19, 2017.

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