Sterling silver and real Turquoise.
Necklace measures approximately 24-1/4" inside circumference allowing the side links to measure 1/2" long and 1-1/8" wide, while the center piece measures 2-1/2" long and 2-1/8" at widest point. The necklace weighs 102 grams. Post earrings measure approximately 3/4" long and 1/2" at widest point.
Looking at such beauty tells the capabilities of Native American art! This Native American jewelry set is Zuni hand crafted and strung by artist Effie Calavaza, out of genuine sterling silver and real Turquoise stones. The necklace is composed of one Naja (the crescent-shaped large center pendant) and double strands of 6-mm silver eccentric round beads that are placed at regular intervals among the round side of the center. The entire necklace consists of TWENTY charming snake designs. Each snake design has a total of FOUR stones, TWO of which are inlayed to create the snakes' eyes, while the other TWO are delicately set in hand cut bezel settings for a stunning look. The Naja is set with EIGHT snake designs, while each side of the necklace has SIX snakes that are attached to silver petals which are called squash blossoms. The entire traditional necklace is flexible "not stiff". Each earring has FOUR stones and creates a snake design that perfectly matches the necklace. A total of EIGHTY-EIGHT stones were used to create this marvelous set. The snake is found in many healing and fertility rituals. It is also connected with lightning, speed, and being able to move undetected. The necklace and earrings are stamped sterling, Zuni, and hallmarked by the artist.
Turquoise is the birthstone of December. It is believed that turquoise tends to bring good fortune, strength and helps overcome illness. Turquoise got its name from the Levantine traders called Turks who brought the stone to Europe from Persia via Turkey centuries ago. Native Americans have prized turquoise since the time of the Aztecs, who mined it in New Mexico. The natural variations that occur in turquoise are part of its appeal and beauty.
Well-known artist Effie Calavaza is from the Zuni Tribe, which is located in New Mexico. Effie was taught by her husband Juan Calavaza and began silver work in 1956. She combined her husband's work and her designs to create some of the most beautiful and most distinctive Native American art! Her sand casting and hand done work are among the best and most recognized jewelry in the southwest. Her jewelry is stamped with the family hallmark EFFIE C. ZUNI, which is used by Effie and her three daughters Georgiana Yatsattie, Gloria Jean Garcia, and Susie Calavaza. Effie's daughters assist her in the jewelry making (she shared her spouse's mark, JUAN C. ZUNI, until his death ca. 1970). To this day Effie's work is collected throughout the world and she continues making jewelry because she enjoys it!