Number 8 Turquoise Cluster Pin Pendant
Number 8 Turquoise Cluster Pin Pendant handmade by the amazing Geraldine Yazzie. This beautiful pin pendant features gem grade number 8 turquoise set in sterling silver. It can be worn as a pin or as a pendant from the shepherds hook. The piece is 3 1/2″ inches long by 1 1/2″ wide.
Geraldine Yazzie started creating beautiful silver jewelry in the early 1990’s. Learning from her mother, she supports her own family with her well-crafted belts and other forms. She resides on the Navajo reservation in the area of Smith Lake, New Mexico near Crownpoint, New Mexico.
Geraldine is a Navajo silversmith in her early 50’s who has been smithing silver for nearly thirty years.
She is known for her Traditional Revival style jewelry. Geraldine’s work is sometimes misrepresented as vintage, old pawn because her detailing is so like the work common to the middle of the twentieth century. She is also particularly adept in her manner of oxidizing her silver so that the patina seems to be due simply to age of the piece. In addition, she pays particular attention to using stamps of a bygone era and sometimes adds small nicks to her pieces to make them look as though they’ve been worn for decades.
Number 8 Turquoise
Located in the Lynn mining district (no. 19, pl. 1 ) in northern Eureka County, north of Carlin, Nevada, the Number 8 mine is on the west side of the Tuscarora Range in the NW 1/4 sec. 4, T. 35 N., R. 50 E., and was at one time a gold and copper mining operation. It was in a large mining district encompassing ten 20-acre claims and was active from the 1930’s through the early 1950’s. Host rocks for the Number 8 deposit consist of intensely altered quartz monzonite, shale, and thinly bedded black chert, which are complexly folded, faulted, and much altered. Turquoise is concentrated along quartz veins in the intrusive rock and along faults in the sedimentary rocks.
The number 8 mine was presumably discovered about 1925 by a barber from Carlin whose name has been forgotten, because he made no attempt to mine the property. The mine was rediscovered by Earl Buffington and Lawrence Springer in 1929. They filed formal claim to the property and proceeded to mine turquoise in serious fashion, producing about 1,800 pounds of good stone the first year. In 1930 Ted Johnson bought Buffington’s interest and during the next four years produced about 5,000 pounds of commercial stone. In 1935 Doc Wilson bought the number 8 mine from Johnson but did nothing with the property and the claim lapsed. Myron Clark relocated the claim and, after working it for awhile, sold it to Lee Hand. Hand operated the mine for a short time, but became dissatisfied with the quality of the stone, and sold it to the five Edgar brothers who now own it. The Edgars extended operations and produced a considerable amount of fair-to-good turquoise.
In 1950, as most of the visible turquoise had been taken from the workings, the Edgars hired a contractor with bulldozer equipment to remove overburden from another part of the claim. A deposit of copper had been found on the property, and the Edgars thought they might mine copper if they did not find more turquoise. The bulldozer, after digging a pit about eight feet deep and 80 feet long, uncovered a deposit of some of the finest spider-web turquoise ever found in Nevada. The deposit was mostly in nodules, some of gigantic size.
One of the largest pieces of turquoise and matrix in the modern world, perhaps the largest nodule ever uncovered, was discovered at the Number 8 mine on June 23, 1954, by T. G. Edgar, J. M. Edgar, and Marvin Symes. This specimen was 33 inches long, 18.5 inches wide, and seven inches thick. Cleaned and polished it weighed 150 pounds. The nodule was of excellent texture, good color and hardness, and ranked with any turquoise of good commercial grade. Another nodule, of excellent quality, weighed more than nine pounds. It was sold to C. G. Wallace, of Zuni, New Mexico, for $1,600. The discovery proved to be a rather large-pocket and produced more than 1,600 pounds of the very highest grade turquoise before being worked out. Spurred by this find, the Edgars further explored the property, without finding any more spider-web turquoise of notable quantity. Other turquoise was discovered, however, of good commercial grade, sufficient to keep the mine in operation.
Of the ten claims in this 20-acre area, the Number 8, first claimed by the Blue Star Company in Lander County, is considered the finest example of the gold-webbed turquoise.. The mine has produced one of the most prized spider web turquoise deposits in the world. In its prime, enormous nodules were found, including one that weighed 150 pounds. Number 8 turquoise is famous for its black, golden-red and brown spider web matrix background, which is set off by the soft blue to blue green turquoise. Only rarely does gem material appear: a very dark blue turquoise with black spider web matrix. The mine is now depleted and Number 8 turquoise is extremely rare and valuable.
History of Native American Jewelry
The History of Native American Jewelry is deeply rooted in the culture of the American Southwest. Certain historical processes have given American Indian jewelry a strong presence in today’s modern style. The use of Turquoise is by far the most influential aspect of ancient Indian jewelry used in modern western fashion. Archeological evidence supports the theory that stones, which include turquoise, shells, and carved fetishes, predate the Christian epoch. Turquoise that was found in Hohokam excavations in southern Arizona has dated back to 200 B.C. Even older in central Mexico, approximately 600-700 B.C., and in South America about 900 B.C.
Native American Jewelry has a unique past. Knowing that story is the key to understanding the Indian jewelry styles of today. Native Americans started making silver jewelry in the late 1800’s when the Spaniards came, making jewelry, ornaments for their horses and trinkets for barter. But the Indian jewelry made before this time provided the foundation for their own style. Although the tribes and their styles vary, some common themes persist. There is significant evidence of beaded Turquoise jewelry. Turquoise and shell, paired with feathers would be strung and hung from every place possible. Yarn, leather, and sinew were woven into patterns and incorporated into necklaces, bracelets and clothing with the stones and shell. Other unique, beautiful items from nature would be included as much as possible. In Arizona this jewelry dates back over 2300 years, during the Hohokam era. Metal was rare but not out of the picture entirely. Some archeologists suggest gold and silver was worked by certain tribes in North America during this ancient time but its use would have been limited. Gold and Silver was worked by the Native peoples of Mexico and Central America since the time of the Aztec, so its possible Native American tribes living in the southwest region could be aware of metal working in some way much earlier than the Spanish arrival. It is even difficult to put a date on just when the Native Americans started making silver jewelry after the Spanish arrival. Some authorities will say the 1870’s some the 1890’s.