5 Strand Natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Bead Necklace
5 Strand Natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Bead Necklace handmade by Santo Domingo artist Wayne Aguilar. This beautiful necklace features 5 strands of natural bright blue sleeping beauty turquoise. The necklace measures 26″ inches long.
From ancient civilizations to modern times, turquoise history has played a major role in the popularity of this stone. Historians believe in Persia, one of the earliest known turquoise-producing regions, the stone has been mined for more than 2,000 years. Turquoise stones from this region are known for their pure, robin’s egg blue color. Early Persians believed turquoise represented the heavens because of its beautiful blue color and used it to cover the domes of palaces and places of worship. Two mines, Sarabit el-Khadim and Wadi Maghareh are believed to be the oldest known mines in the region. Archeologists believe Ancient Egyptians mined Sarabit el-Khadim for turquoise stones. There have been many turquoise uses throughout history. Spirituality and supernatural beliefs have always surrounded this stone.
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: Wayne Aguilar
A native of the Santo Domingo Pueblo, Wayne Aguilar grew up watching his parents, renowned silversmiths Earnestine and Tony Aguilar working with brass, silver, coral and turquoise. Aguilar attributes his talent for unique designs and quality craftsmanship to the influence of his parents and to his Native American heritage.
I am blessed and successful because of my parents’ guidance,” says Aguilar.
Aguilar purchases rough stones from traders and miners, which he polishes and shapes. Working with sterling silver, he then designs and incorporates each stone into beautiful pendants, necklaces and bracelets. His trademark is to add one stone or bead of contrasting color on each side of a necklace or pendant.
The art of tradition passed down through generations from father to son, mother to daughter, keep alive the Native American treasures we enjoy today. In keeping with this multi generational flow is the craftsmanship of Wayne Aguilar. Deeply rooted in his spiritual and artistic heritage Wayne first began honing his craft at the age of 10 under the guidance of his parents Tony Sr and Earnestine Aguilar. Well known for their fine jewelry making techniques Wayne’s parents never pushed their son, rather gently tutored and mentored him. Raised at the Santo Domingo Pueblo, Wayne learned the spiritual path of the Kiva Culture which strongly influences his jewelry.
“My creations come from a spiritual place. –Wayne Aguilar
He blesses each piece with reverence to his parents, his creator and the stones he utilizes. A legacy of turquoise and it’s power is incorporated into his impressive and imposing pieces. These works feel like ancient sacred amulets when worn, as if the strength and power of the artist is a specific gift to the wearer.