This fabulous multi-gemstone cuff with Sleeping Beauty turquoise, Gaspeite, and spiny oyster is handmade by Native American artist Elgin Tom. The cuff is 1 1/2″ inches wide. The inside circumference measures 5 1/4″ inches with a 1 1/2″ inch opening.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is revered and highly sought after due to its pure sky blue color, which shows very little to no veining or webbing. It is still being collected from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Globe, Arizona where a small operation of workers mines, processes and ships the stones. Sleeping beauty turquoise can be found in the southwestern part of the United States in Arizona. This highly sought-after stone has made a tremendous impact on the history of turquoise over the years. The stone got its name because the mountain where it is mined resembles a sleeping woman laying on her back with arms crossed.
Spiny oysters are members of a super-family that includes scallops. While they are not, in fact, true oysters, they do hold a lot of the oysters characteristics, such as their ability to adhere themselves to rocks in a cement-like fashion. Spiny oysters also have the same physical attributes as oysters, with two-part shells that are hinged together with a ball and socket design; their singular characteristic is their sharp, pointy outer shells, covered in spikes. To the common man, these incredible creatures are known as thorny oysters, or more commonly, spiny oysters. They are found primarily in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez, off the coast of Baja California.While there are some more rare colors to be found, the mainstays are reds, oranges and purples; these are the natural colors of the shells and are not enhanced by jewelers in any way. Spiny oysters develop these vibrant colors because of their differing diets; seaweed and various forms of plankton produce strikingly different colors when eaten!
Gaspeite is considered to be one of the newer gemstones on the market. It was named after the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec, Canada; the location of where it was first described and discovered in 1977. The discovery of gaspeite is credited to renowned American mineralogists, D.W. Kohls and J.L. Rodda.
Native American Artist: Elgin Tom with Bilagaanas
The collective of artists at Bilagaanas operate around the vision of creating preeminent quality Native American jewelry.
FEATURED ARTIST: Elgin Tom
Elgin Tom was born in Gallup, NM into a family of silversmiths. He learned the art of silverwork by helping his father and grandfather from a young age. Influenced by his grandfather, Elgin hand-makes his own unique intricate stamps to create his jewelry. Elgin, a father of four, is maintaining his family heritage of silversmithing by teaching his children.
Elgin’s original maize jewelry collection was inspired by his interest in the Northern Native Indian art of painting totem poles. The maize design shows a series of coils that represent the symbols of family and clan.