Marie Yazzie: Turquoise Stamped Link Bracelet


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Daisy Link Bracelet with Turquoise

Daisy Link Bracelet handmade by the world renown Marie Yazzie. This fabulous bracelet features hand stamped sterling silver half navajo pearl beads with a piece of sleeping beauty turquoise in the center. The bracelet measures 8″ inches long.

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise

The Sleeping Beauty Mine, located in Globe, Arizona, is no longer an active mine. For many years it produced a wide range of turquoise that is now even more highly prized for it’s solid soft blue color, with little or no matrix. The color of the turquoise ranges from a deep royal blue to a light sky blue. The mine originally was worked for copper and gold but during the last five decades or so it has produced gemstone quality turquoise in quantities to satisfy the commercial market. In general, the miners lease portions of the “dumps” and sort turquoise from there.

There is a small town in south central Italy, near Naples, famous for its cameos. Their needs for huge quantities of this material over the years have always kept the supply down and demand high. The clear blue is reminiscent of old Persian turquoise, and is without doubt the most preferred and prized by Europeans, both for cameos as well as in bead or jewelry form.

There is a sister mine nearby, called the Bluebird, that produces some of the world’s most beautiful azurite. This material is a copper oxide and also contains malachite, crysacolla as well as a mineralized copper or cuprite. This is a rare and undervalued gem stone that has all but disappeared from the marketplace.

Native American Artist: Marie Yazzie

Marie makes stamped and unstamped silver necklaces of varying length. Her beads are created by hand through a time-consuming, exacting process.

To begin, she stamps designs on blank silver disks by hammering metal punches (or dies) onto the surfaces. Most designs require a number of different small, detailed stamps to create the overall image. The stamped disks are then domed by punching them with a cone punch into a concave wooden block. Marie’s process is quite different from the embossing technique, where an entire pre-formed design is stamped with one punch at the same time the disk is domed.

Each bead is hand filed after doming, to smooth edges and fit evenly with the other beads. If the necklace is to have beads of graduated size, the beads are domed in a set of graduated concave forms or in a dapping block, a multiple cavity steel block. Using hand tools, a hole is punched in the center of each bead. To create the bead, two halves are soldered together using narrow strips of silver solder and flux. Soldered edges are then filed smooth and the beads are polished.