Althea Cajero was named a Local Treasure (along with her sculptor husband Joe, Jr.) for her jewelry. Her work is delicate, precise, understated and feminine, just like the artist herself. This exquisite necklace is typical.
Three strands of natural, freshwater “rice” pearls are accented with tiny 14-karat gold beads. They are held together by more gold beads.
The strands are connected to the clasp within handsome, stocky cylinders of diagonally etched silver, which softens their shine.
Similarly etched, like a feather with an applied gold spine, the silver bail supports the modern, figural pendant – the real star of this ensemble.
The “head” of the pendant is a domed black diopside, embraced by a gold bezel. Diopside is a mineral occurring in rocks, all around the world. Found in many different colors, the more iron in the chemical structure, the darker the color, and more increased the density.
In an abstract figural form, the body of the pendant consists of a narrow, tapered, natural druzy, also in a gold bezel.
The glittering druzy seems to illuminate that gold.
Wing-like silver forms are cast on cuttlebone, with its typical, graduated texture of curved lines.
These surround the figure like angel wings.
The stepped top and parallel lines are symbols of rain, a very good luck sign.
Silver loops and a center dome-let link the body to the head of the piece as if the figure were wearing a bow.
Even the back of the pendant is decorated with an all-over texture and lovely design of dainty leaves. It almost could be considered reversible.
With the glitter of the druzy, the gleam of the gold and silver, the luminous pearls, and the subtle touches of texture, this necklace radiates elegance.
The precision of each element, the subtle rhythm of the gold throughout the pendant and necklace, the unexpected stones, and subtle allusion to Native symbols, all contribute to a ravishing piece of jewelry.
Delicate in scale and appearance, this splendid necklace is also very practical; after all, it was created by a woman to be worn by a woman!
The pendant and the pearl necklace can be separated, and each can be worn separately, as well as together.
Mix and match with other chains, heishi, and/or pendants for maximum versatility. This enchanting necklace will amortize in no time.