Hanging a rare shell around one’s neck was a very ancient form of adornment among the Natives of the Southwest. Originating in the far-off Gulf of Mexico or California, shells were precious trade goods, and often further embellished with tiny bits of equally precious stones and other shells.
This is a sophisticated, refined version of this type of age-old jewelry. The natural spiny oyster shell has been de-spined and polished, by hand; the turquoise, lapis, and shell mosaic follows the form of the shell. Four round pieces of natural turquoise are scattered across the face of the shell, like pebbles on a beach. The reverse hook (it hooks over your necklace or collar from the front) showcases a gleaming piece of matching turquoise, set in sterling. The white zig-zag pattern at the bottom of the shell is its natural marking; Nature showing off her artistry.
Much more refined than the historic pieces, but just as beautifully dramatic – hand it on heishi – or whatever you like and let the compliments roll in.