Sandcast Naja with Turquoise: Help needed for age & turquoise

please have a look at this beautiful Naja pendant (necklace is not removable). It is not stamped but it was tested for Sterling silver. I suppose it is made by a Navajo Silversmith???
The pendant is 2,75 inches long.
Strange that the pendant is not removable from the silver chain (Stamped Sterling) since the necklace seems to me not to be handmade. But I am not an expert at all…
It would be great if you could identify the age of this piece and the kind of turquoise used. It has a lot of silver matrix in it. THANKS

Maggie, this looks like it could possibly be Morenci turquoise from the Morenci Mine in southern Arizona. That mine has been depleted, and is no longer active.

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Thanks! After doing some more research I also think this is Morenci turquoise. I found the following info:
"From 1956 to 1984 the Turquoise rights were granted to William “Lucky” Brown who had an extensive mining career that included working the mine at Villa Grove in Colorado. The Morenci mine produced high quantities and was marketed through family operated trading posts in New Mexico and Arizona. Lucky retired in 1982 and his sons continued to mine the Turquoise until the lease ended."
The lease ended in 1984 - from my understanding from that year on Morenci turquoise was not longer mined!

Any idea about the age or value of this Naja?

I do have an idea, but are you able to tell me how large the pendant is? Also, are you able to take a picture of the clasp on the chain? If the chain is unable to be removed, this could help tell the age of the piece.

Pendant is 2,75 inches long and here are some more pictures:

Well to be honest, I am not sure of the age! If this was in my store I might have it priced at around $200. Morenci Turquoise has become very collectible and is very desireable. Personally, Morenci turquoise is my favorite. Jason could probably give you better insight to the age and value of this piece.

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This is a very cool piece. Like something you would see Aaron Anderson carve today. Like all good American turquoise, Morenci has become expensive. I would expect something like this to be around $8 a carat. The $200 value seems right to me. I imagine that the ring on the chain is not soldered, it would have gone on after the pendant was made. You should be able to open it with small pliers. I have never seen this pattern before, and many times with sandcast pieces you see them over and over. The work is creative, the stone is great and even the bezel has been styled. Makes me believe that you could have something special, made by someone that could possibly be collectible. The problem is figuring out who that is, you would just have to find something similar that is attributed to a certain artist. Then you have a name and see if the work is consistent, and that possibly changes the price some. I would call this circa 1960s.


I just absolutely love Morenci. Here is a squash I just acquired, with Morenci turquoise, it has a very 70’s look to it. The ring was the first piece of turquoise I ever purchased, I absolutely fell in love with its pyrite matrix.

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Great pieces. I especially like the ring. The bezel work and the matrix is just great. No wonder you fell in love with it!!!

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Just my two cents worth, but the chain doesn’t look like it’s original to the pendant. Either the pendant was sold without a chain, or someone liked this chain better. I have never seen that style of chain or one with a spring clasp on a NA piece. It looks like a purchased rather than hand made chain.

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I am absolutely in love with your piece, Maggie! Love both the design and the turquoise. Regards, Kerry

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