Nest Egg Auctions is a leader in the sale of fine jewelry at auction. From designer pieces to engagement rings, and everything in between, Nest Egg Auctions has handled and sold it. There are a few types, however, that Nest Egg Auctions has a particular specialty in. One of these types of jewelry is turquoise jewelry. Jewelry made with this beautiful semi-precious blue-green stone is found throughout the world, and it always draws excitement from our bidders. As a result, Nest Egg Auctions is able to sell turquoise jewelry for a premium at auction.
Turquoise is among the world’s most popular semi precious stones. It is formed by the interaction of copper, phosphorus, and aluminum. When these three react with water, the result is the gorgeous, deep haze of turquoise. This process occurs within the earth, but is common only in regions like deserts. Turquoise has been collected and used by people living in such regions for millennia, from the Ancient Egyptians and the Turkmen of Central Asia to many Native American tribes of the American Southwest. They traded turquoise far and wide, and celebrated the stone even in ancient times. Its name comes from the French word meaning “Turkish”, drawing on the stone’s Eastern connotations in Europe. (While it is found in Turkey, the traditional source for Europe was Persia / Iran).
Turquoise Jewelry of the American Southwest
The undisputed masters of turquoise are the various Native American groups of the American Southwest. Tribes like the Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, and Pueblo peoples have all traditionally used turquoise for jewelry, and continue to do so. Often, turquoise is paired with other stones and shells, or set into lustrous silver. The results are beautiful and mesmerizing pieces of jewelry that speak volumes about the cultures, histories, and arts of the Native American peoples of the Southwest. From fetish necklaces to squash blossom necklaces and cuffs, turquoise jewelry is now something of a symbol of the American Southwest.
A traditional form of turquoise jewelry made by the Zuni people are fetish necklaces. These necklaces are made up of small figures of animals, called “fetishes”. Zuni artisans carve these fetishes from semi precious stones (often turquoise) and shells. Sometimes, there is a center turquoise fetish, but this is not required. These fetishes are connected to the animals they depict, and were traditionally connected to hunts. Fine examples of fetish necklaces can sell into the hundreds, but some are worth much more. Nest Egg Auctions sold a fetish necklace by Porfirio and Anne Sheyka. This unusual example brought a premium price of over $2,800.
Squash Blossom Necklaces
Another popular form of turquoise jewelry is the squash blossom necklace. These necklaces are mainly produced by Navajo silversmiths, and are noted for their incredible use of turquoise and silver together. The central crescent (or naja) is surrounded by silver beads with small blossoms. Throughout, turquoise inlay brings a pop of color into the piece and makes the entire piece stand out. The squash blossom necklace is perhaps the most popular of all Native American inspired jewelry, and examples at our auction usually fetch into the hundreds of dollars.
Turquoise jewelry has a long history, and the allure of the stone has not abated in thousands of years. This beloved and beautiful stone will continue to attract new generations for ages to come. Thus, turquoise jewelry sells for great prices at auction, and we at Nest Egg Auctions are always happy to see it.