Meenakari (also minakari) is the centuries-old art of enameling metal, the process of fusing colored glass to silver or gold. Originating in Persian (Iran), artisans traversed the Silk Road, bringing their craft to India, Afghanistan and China. Cloisonné has become the most common form in the West.
Arizona's Sleeping Beauty mine produces some of the earth's purest turquoise -- clean, bright, matrix-free in brilliant robins' egg blue. The beads used in this piece come from 'old stock', meaning it was mined at least 30 years ago, which is when this strand was purchased. Sadly, the mine is now closed, considered exhausted; but this does add value as collector demand has risen steadily since the closure in 2010 as it becomes increasing rare.
This strand was purchased at the source in the 1980s.
Coveted old stock Sleeping Beauty turquoise rondelle drums from Arizona; vintage meenakari enameled silver rounds from Rajasthan, India; tiny natural freshwater pearl spacers; Bali sterling silver openwork beads and clasp; Hill Tribe silver dangle from Thailand
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