JEWELS FROM THE SOUTHWEST – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Monday: JEWEL


I fell in love with Native American jewelry in a tiny store in Boston’s Italian North End. I didn’t even know it was Native American, but I loved it, that first pair of earrings. Many more were to follow. Necklaces and bracelets and rings and things featuring beautiful pieces of turquoise stone.

Eventually, I realized what I was buying and learned more about it. I’ve never loved any other jewelry the way I loved Navajo and Pueblo and Hopi work from our southwest and on my two visits to Arizona, I always got something special while I was there.

I also discovered online sources until I collected quite a treasure-trove of it. Now I’m at the point of beginning to let go of it because I don’t work. We don’t go to fancy parties, either.

Meanwhile, my wrists have gotten allergic (this is a real thing, no kidding) to anything tight against my wrists. It’s called “wristwatch” allergy and it comes from wearing bracelets and watches for a lifetime. Apparently, your wrists get sensitive. Bizarre, right? Thus with few exceptions, I’ve rehomed my beautiful bracelets with the incredible stones in them because they were just sitting in the drawers of my big jewelry dresser. But I’m glad they will get worn.

Big sky in Navajo land

I also discovered fetishes, mostly carved from antler, but some carved in turquoise. It’s not exactly jewelry, but it’s not exactly not jewelry if you get my drift.

For me, it has always been much more about the stones than the silverwork. A beautiful piece of turquoise doesn’t need a lot of fancy silver around it. It speaks for itself.

So when you see my pictures, all the jewelry I’m wearing — these days, usually just rings and earrings — it’s all from the southwest and most of it is silver and turquoise. But there are also various carved shells and other stones too.

Modern pieces, older pieces, I love all of it. I may not get to wear it often, but I love just having it. And every once in a while, I get to wear it, too.

 

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

19 thoughts on “JEWELS FROM THE SOUTHWEST – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Oh, how I love turquoise! When I was a child, we lived for two years on a ranch here in Southern California, and the ranch hands and maids were Navajo.They made a Navajo doll for me one year, with the authentic dress and hair style, and gave us turquoise jewelry . During the winter months, one of the men would come to our house and start the fire in the fireplace, dancing in front of it and chanting. I loved it.

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  2. If I could wear jewelry, it would be like the earrings in your picture. I like turquoise, Doug loves turquoise. I think he would wear it more than me.

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  3. Absolutely love how the jewelry sits on your neck. Enjoying the collection of photos here. There’s a native American shop in the stockyards in Fort Worth, TX that has wonderful turquoise jewelry.

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    1. Technically, my birthstone is the bloodstone. Since it’s an ugly stone and when it fully turns red, you die, we have adopted (Pisces) ANY other stone as our stone. I’m going with turquoise. Green, blue, veined or clear. Any old way.

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  4. Like you, I love turquoise and other stones, and I love silver too. Sometimes I like to just hold them in my hands, or feel them on my skin, you know? There is such an innate warmth in them.

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