Turquoise Nugget Necklace

Joe Pacheco


Very long 4-strand necklace of stabilized, medium-blue turquoise nuggets separated by baby olive shell heishi. 43 3/4″ fully extended; 29″ at shortest.

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This jeweler is resolutely traditional, but with a modern twist. He is known for his totally natural turquoise heishi necklaces, which run into many thousand dollars, because of the amount of material needed, and wasted, when the heish is cut. For this traditional nugget necklace, he used handsome turquoise that is stabilized, to cut the cost down.


Stabilization means filling the pores of the stone, much like a gym floor is hardened to withstand heavy use. Speaking of turquoise, this means the nuggets won’t crumble, but the stones are otherwise natural in color and form. Each nugget is an individual shape and color; mostly pretty uniform, but with a few that are different, here and there. (Finding them can be a fun past time.) Each nugget is separated from the next by a few minuscule disks of baby olive shell, and this heishi goes around the neck, too, for comfort.


The style of this necklace is historically traditional, but in a more refined form. It is distinguished by its length, as well as by the pleasing hues of the turquoise. Unusually long (43 3/4″), it can be shortened to a more ordinary long length (29″), according to where the hook is clasped.


With its chunky texture and celestial color, this necklace is a knock-out that can be worn in every season, with work, casual, or more formal clothes – as to dinner, or the theater.


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