RING – Zuni channel inlay, natural Morenci turquoise, Mamie Mateya
In the early days of Heyday Indian jewelry (1960-70’s), much Morenci natural turquoise made its way to Zuni Pueblo. Lapidary experts all, the Zuni consumed most of the natural turquoise available. And it was during this time that rich blue natural turquoise from Morenci mine in Arizona made its appearance. The mine produces a large portion of the world’s COPPER and the upper strata of the open pit was laced with streams and ribbons of mass turquoise seams. This was a nuisance to the copper company. Nevertheless, the allowed miners to haul away turquoise specimen, eventually limiting the distraction to “lunch bucket” full per day. Thus the term “LUNCH BUCKET” turquoise.
Hefty jewelry inlaid with NATURAL turquoise is a Zuni Pueblo specialty. Often replicated outside the village. Never duplicated. Perfection runs deep in Zuni blood. And a preference for quality in every regard. Zuni may be the most industrious village anywhere.
This ring is hefty, solid silver. The silver channels are hand made and symmetrical. Solid. Natural MORENCI turquoise in a vibrant blue, hand cut, hand set. Secure.
Circa 1970s. Size around 8. Correct size included. Sterling silver. EXCELLENT condition.