What makes vintage jewelry special is that is has a story. Handed down from wrist to wrist, generation to generation or even silversmith to trader. This one is no exception. It was previously a pawn piece that was never picked up and then purchased by a trader which was then put away for almost 50 years until today. Set in heavy gauge sterling silver with 60 hand cut Lone Mountain turquoise stones. With a center cluster that measures 2 3/4 x 2 1/2, this is a large bracelet. The artist has curved the sides tothe bracelet to make it more comfortable. Meant to be worn loosely as it lays on the end of the wrist. Traditional in its style. A true collector's piece!
Stone: Lone Mountain Turquoise The Lone Mountain Turquoise Mine, near Tonopah, Nevada, was one of the leading producers of fine turquoise in Nevada. It was discovered by Lee Hand in 1920 and filed under the name of Blue Jay Mining Lode. At first it was called the Blue Jay Mine on Lone Mountain and later just Lone Mountain. It is presently closed. As with most mines, it was at first a tunnel and shaft project but when Menless Winfield bought the mine it was made an open pit operation. The turquoise from this mine is mostly good to high-grade and usually in the form of nuggets although there is a quantity of vein material. A very interesting occurrence of turquoise found here is a condition where the turquoise was deposited in cavities or molds left when parts of fossil plants were dissolved out of a harder rock. The turquoise is graded into golden matrix, black matrix and spider web. At present, most of it is cut and polished or the nuggets drilled and polished at the mine, making this is a very collectible turquoise, and rarely available in rough form.
PAWN JEWELRY HISTORY: By the 1890’s, traders took advantage of a new market with silversmiths and began selling them tools. Silver jewelry was used as barter on the Reservation where money was practically non-existent. Traders took silver and turquoise jewelry as collateral without giving a specific value to the piece. Any pawn unclaimed after an agreed period of time was considered "dead" and the trader could sell it.