I was married wearing this necklace in 1994. My husband and i bought the squash from Manny Goodman, at the Covered Wagon in Old Town Albuquerque, as dead pawn, in early 1994. I still have the bill of sale listing it as such in Manny’s handwriting (or it might have been his wife Anne’s handwriting, as she helped us pick it out), but the pawn tag itself is long gone. At the time, Manny was unsure of the mine, but thought it might be Blue Gem. If any of you knew him, he was quite a character. I’m not so sure he was a mine expert, however. We have a close family connection, so we trusted him when he said it was a nice piece, within what our budget would allow at the time (not much).
My primary questions are about age foremost, but also about whether the naja belongs with the squash or was a later marriage, opinion on the beads, and your opinions on the stones, whether they are two different mines (naja vs blossoms), what possible mines those might be, and lastly a possible value.
The camera on my crap phone actually surprised me today, even though it’s hard to capture the matrix in the stones, which truly looks like silver metal, and is not grainy, black or quartzy. This is what has puzzled me over the years. I was shocked to discover a few damaged beads when you zoom in, looks like the seams may have been over-ground, or incompletely soldered? IDK The first full picture stretched out on the porch rail is a good representation of color, and of the appearance of the matrix. Some of the stone closeups are a little deceiving. One I’m holding by my thumb s pretty accurate.
the stones in the naja however, have that textbook brassy blocky pyrite matrix that lead me to think morenci. Something about the naja - the twist wire? - makes me wonder if this isn’t original. I imagine it will cost me a few pennies to acquire a similar stone to replace the center drop. I’ve contemplated for years whether i should find a smith who could replace it, it was long gone before i acquired it, or if i should leave it as is.
I’ve always loved most that this piece is all about the stones themselves, and the absence of ornate silver work really allows them to shine. For what appears to be a well aged piece, it has a very modern, minimalist look.
(egads - zooming in, please forgive the crumbs and cat hair on that placemat!! running off to wash it now)
Thanks, wise folk!