Ode à ma Mère

Fantastic, BWeaves! Makes me feel guilty for letting my New Mexico pieces languish in their treasure chest ...
Thank you, BWeaves, for sharing such lovely stories and beautiful pictures. I'm new to PG, and only recently allowed myself to start wearing my late mother's akoyas, even though she passed over ten years ago. There is a real intimacy in wearing jewelry that belonged to a loved one, isn't there?
BW--now you are in my "wheelhouse". This "rabbit hole" began last year when I decided to knot and string some exquisite Sleeping Beauty turquoise that I had, rather than traditionally bead it. All my stringing tutorials lead me into revisiting my pearls and my love for them. Your ring looks Navajo and your fetish necklace is likely Zuni. The hand rolled beads are becoming increasingly rare as, to your point, they are very labor intensive. Interesting as it is simply rolled in a stone with water and the technique is centuries old. I also love the nugget and olive shell bead necklace. So classic. It looks as if the turquoise has held it's color well and as American turquoise is increasingly rare, it is likely valuable. I love the pop of turquoise! It goes with everything. It is also uniquely American!
Your ring looks Navajo and your fetish necklace is likely Zuni. The hand rolled beads are becoming increasingly rare as, to your point, they are very labor intensive. Interesting as it is simply rolled in a stone with water and the technique is centuries old.

Yes, you are right about the provenance of the pieces. I had forgotten that the rolled necklace was done with water. It helps wash away the dust as the turquoise is ground down, and keeps the turquoise cool so it doesn't heat up from the friction.

I always feel a little weird wearing the fetish necklaces. People who known what they are, rave about them. People who don't know what they are, think I'm wearing a plastic children's necklace.

I also have some silver earrings and a pin showing a Navaho weaver at her loom. Mom wore them knowing that I would insist she give them to me, haha. They were quite popular in 1991 or 2, but I haven't seen them made since then. I'll have to take a photo.

UPDATE: Photos.


At a weaving conference, someone had brought weavings from Navaho elders. These are usually ladies over 80 years old, who still live and weave in the old way. This small rug had a price she'd like and a lower price she'd accept. I knew how much work goes into weaving, so I wrote a check for the higher of the two prices.

Traditionally, this design has warriors. Mine has spinners and weavers. The spinners are holding unspun wool and Navaho spindles. The weavers are holding stylized tapestry forks for beating down the weft. The weavers in my silver earrings and pin are holding tapestry forks and beating the weft down. And the rug is purple (the outside border), which is the official favorite color of every weaver I know (and most pearl fiends, too).

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"Squashed your blossoms", indeed! Very pretty Indian jewelry, BWeaves.
Thank you for sharing your amazing SW art collection with us, BW. Rich in history and so naturally beautiful!
Thank you so much for the stories and photos of your turquoise and Native American pieces. When my husband and I were first married, over 40 years ago now, our first big trip was to the SW where I fell in love with the silver and turquoise jewelry. Such amazing work, and the beautiful turquoise was abundantly available. You assume it will always be so, but like so many things, it doesn't last. I have a number of pieces from that period that I adore, but none as fine as yours. I looked at fetish pieces, but none were within my budget back in those days. Yours are exquisite.
Just wonderful...restringing those beads should be fairly straightforward, but of course I'd want to use seed pearls in between each bead.

I have a crystal necklace (or maybe two) and they are strung on gold wire. I don't wear them as they were hand me downs from mom or grandma, but I believe one of them had gold beads between the crystal beads.
I love your Turquoise jewellery...it really takes me back to my University days . The local 'Hippy' shop that sold beautiful Turquoise - I used to have so much of it and have no idea where it all went. I think I left it behind when I moved to Australia and I'm sure my sister sold it at a garage sale lol

That bracelet is stunning ! As you noted...very modern looking. I love it!
Last post!

I picked up Mom's last engagement ring from the jeweler today. Mom was a firm believer that you married the man, not the ring. She had her engagement and wedding rings redone several times, usually with the original stones. Then later she bought bigger stones. Since her last version didn't come near to fitting me, I couldn't size up without the stones falling out. So I had the stones put into a setting just like my moonstone ring, and made by the same jeweler, http://www.okidanokh.com


It's a brass knuckle of a ring. It's 18 karat yellow gold with a matte finish, and shiny palladium, similar to the finish on The Swan pendant. The center stone is a 3 carat, D color. The side stones are .60 each, F color. The side stones have their bezels lined in palladium to keep them looking whiter. This is the only large diamond piece I really wanted of Mom's. Sister got the rest of the big diamonds except for the original engagement ring, which went to Brother.

With my moonstone and sapphire ring.


The jeweler made the sides of the bezel much higher on the diamond ring than on the moonstone ring, and she angled the side stones. I sort of wish it was a bit flatter, but it's ok. I love that there are no prongs to snag on my threads when I weave. The shank is also a bit wider than the shank on the moonstone ring because the side diamonds are bigger than the sapphires.


It's very comfortable. It actually looks unreal to me. I'm sure diamond shrinkage syndrome will set in eventually.

The ring is a size 8. I've always had huge knuckles. Even at our wedding, the rabbi tried to get Greg to give me Greg's ring, because it was so much smaller in diameter than my wedding band. My wedding band looked like the man's ring in comparison to his wedding band. His still falls off his finger. I haven't been able to get mine on in 2 decades, and it was a 7 1/4 back then.


Mom in her 9 mm akoya choker and her mabe earrings in the drippy gold setting. These are my favorite of her mabe pearl earrings. She'd lost so much weight that this choker looks much longer than it looks on me.


Mom and Dad on their wedding day in 1957. Mom is wearing faux pearls. The earrings have crystal hoops with large SS like round pearl drops. The choker is graduated, but very small.


Thanksgiving a decade ago. Mom and I wore tiaras, and Greg and my Dad never said a word about them, and pretended they never saw them, which drove my Mom nuts. It was too funny. My hair is ironed to within an inch of its life. Sister got Mom's gold omega necklace with the large pearl shaped diamond.


P.S. I didn't look like this in real life. Sister owned a photography studio. She photoshopped my oily face and zits away. Yay! She also photoshopped away one of my nostrils. Oh, well.
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Wow these photos are amazing! Your parents on their wedding day! Your mum is stunning. I love the lace, and your dad in his white suit! And the tiara photo! You both are so beautiful.

I love your new diamond ring, what an incredibly special piece.
Great big Thank You BWeaves, for sharing Mom with us. Her engagement diamonds look wonderful in their new home; the wedding photo!!!! ... and Tiaras Thanksgiving ... the best :) Thank you so much for taking us on this journey with you.
BW--I have loved the pictures and the memories as well as your sharing the stories and the jewelry she loved and wore. Thank you for sharing.
Just one more. I did swapsies with my sister. I gave her 2 Victorian silver bracelets and that funky 1940's Mexican silver bracelet from my Aunt. Plus I gave her the Majorica faux Tahitians. I wore them a couple of times, but I have real pearls I like better, and Sister was lusting after the Majorica's. Sister gave me a 2 color gold bracelet with cabochon emeralds, rubies and sapphires, and teeny little diamonds. It's the X's & O's bracelet in the photo.


I love cabochon stones. The bracelet is very light weight as the sides and backs of the links are all cut out and holey. I can't decide if that is a plus or minus.

I wore it with another of Mom's two color gold bracelets.
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