Tufa Cast Naja with Natural Kingman Turquoise
Tufa Cast Naja with Natural Kingman Turquoise

Tufa Cast Naja with Natural Kingman Turquoise

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This intricately stamped naja has a natural Kingman turquoise stone set at the top.  Under the stone is a design that resembles a dragonfly or maybe a moth?  Either way, it is beautifully graceful.  All of the sterling silver has been oxidized and polished to give it an antique look.  The bale is large enough for 10mm beads and also has beautiful stamp work.  It is stamped "EL Billah" on the back.  What a stunning piece!

Size: 3.5" H x 2" W

Najas are a prominent symbol in Navajo jewelry and are always the center piece in squash blossom necklaces.  I was told they are a feminine symbol, and their crescent shape represents the arms of a matriarch and the generations of the past and future.  It symbolizes ease of movement, paths of least resistance for the family, even during challenging times.  There is a sense of open arms in the shape of the naja that is soothing.  Some najas have hands on each end.

Tufa Jewelry: Tufa is a volcanic stone which can be as dense as chalk which has an organic texture. The first thing a jeweler does is examine a piece of tufa for any tiny fractures.  If it looks good, the tufa is cut in half and, if there is a design, it is carved into the tufa.   There is a pour hole carved into the top and several narrow vents carved into each side.  The two pieces are then bound together tightly and molten silver or gold is poured through the hole at the top.  If there are any microscopic cracks, the tufa explodes when the metal is poured in and the process has to begin again.