Squash Blossom Necklace with Turquoise and Silver Conical Blossoms

C4569Q-necklace.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Necklaces
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: silver, turquoise
  • Size: Clasps to naja 15-¾”;
    Blossoms 2-¼” long;
    Naja 3-⅞” tall x 3-¼” wide
  • Item # C4569Q
  • Price: $2250

Simple hook and loop secures this necklace.

Yet another one-of-a-kind and creative version of the squash blossom—this silver and turquoise necklace is regal and exciting.  This piece is unsigned, but because of its contents and nature, we believe it to be made by a Diné of the Navajo Nation artist. 

Like many squash blossom necklaces, this one includes a single strand of silver beads, sometimes referred to as Navajo pearls, that become doubled to hold the other elements of the necklace and afford them stability when worn.  The beads are built like a silver bell, and remain uniform in size throughout the strands. The necklace closes at the nape of the neck with a silver clasp. 

Where this piece truly stands out from the rest is in the formation of its blossoms.  Twelve symmetrical blossoms decorate the silver strands, six on each side.  Each blossom is a work of art and could be worn alone as a pin.  Very special blue turquoise with dark matrixes has been used throughout the necklace, and each piece rests in a bezel of silver.  

Wrapped around the turquoise is a curled strand of silver appliqué on one side, while the other features six small silver globes encased in a matching circle.  Just inside this element a twisted piece of silver frames the bezel. Facing the exterior, delicate but sturdy blossoms, each with three petals have been fashioned out of silver.  The interior is cradled in a stamped conical piece making the effect of one, dynamic and alive blossom reaching outward from the necklace. 

Lastly, a naja crowns the piece with flourish.  Two pieces, similar to the blossoms but without the actual petals or cone, are stacked as the central aspect of the naja.  They sit in mirrored fashion to one another, and are flanked on both sides by two descending pieces, identical but this time, including the conical housing. The effect is to finish the necklace with royal symmetry.

What is a Naja? Early Navajo-made jewelry contained elements that were borrowed directly from Spanish colonial and Mexican ornament. One of these items is the naja, a crescent form of Moorish origin. The Spanish conquerors in the Southwest outfitted their horses in elaborate silver ornaments—one of which was the naja that hung directly on the forehead of the horse as a part of the bridle.  Today, it is still seen in both Pueblo and Navajo modern jewelry. 


Condition: This Navajo necklace has a natural and consistent patina to the silver and is in excellent condition. 

Provenance: This Squash Blossom Necklace with Turquoise and Silver Conical Blossoms is from an estate in eastern Washington, USA.

Recommended Reading: Navajo Jewelry: A Legacy of Silver and Stone by Lois Jacka

Relative Links: Southwest Indian JewelryNavajonecklace

Close up view of the naja.

Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Necklaces
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: silver, turquoise
  • Size: Clasps to naja 15-¾”;
    Blossoms 2-¼” long;
    Naja 3-⅞” tall x 3-¼” wide
  • Item # C4569Q
  • Price: $2250

C4569Q-necklace.jpgC4569Q-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.