I bought it as new old stock from a closed gallery and was told it was made in the late 70's or early 80's. The King mine has been closed for several years.The turquoise was first mined by Native Americans 1000 years ago and the first claim filed for the mine was in the late 1800's. So it's history is similar to turquoise from the great Cerrillos turquoise mine in New Mexico. And in fact, it's rich green color would blend beautifully with turquoise from Cerrillos as well as Royston turquoise from Nevada or Cripple Creek turquoise (another Colorado mine).
Manassa turquoise is extremely hard, runs in veins and only a highly skilled stone cutter can work with it. It's known for it's rich green color with undertones of blue...
The turquoise beads in this necklace are beautiful example of Manassa turquoise. Photos are taken inside with natural light, not flash and also outside with no flash. The turquoise beads and necklace were most likely made duringrobably the huge boom in Native American turquoise in the 70's. The cones are unusual, being done in gold filled instead of sterling silver.A lot of early Santo Domingo necklaces used brass findings and beads, so this piece ties in with that mind set and the gold brings out the warmth of the greenish blue turquoise stone. The necklace has 3 strands that layer. The shortest is 23 inches long and the other two drape below it. The cones are long and elegant at 2 and 1/8th inches and stamped with a sunburst. The beads are 5mm in length and approximately 2.5 mm in width. This is very fine stone with a hard polished surface that is extra smooth and reflects the natural hardness of King Manassa turquoise. The process of making heishi is difficult and time consuming. The stone is cut and squared off with a flat finish on both sides.
It's drilled and then sanded (rolled) into a round shape, using finer sanding material. Then it's given a hand rubbed polish. It's a labor of love. There will be tiny nicks in some of the beads, which reflects their hand formed nature.
I don't see a lot of King Manassa on the market and most definitely not a heishi necklace. It would be a wonderful addition to anyone's collection of rare American turquoise. The item "Vintage Santo Domingo King Manassa Turquoise Heishi Necklace" is in sale since Tuesday, September 3, 2019. This item is in the category "Jewelry & Watches\Ethnic, Regional & Tribal\Native American\Necklaces & Pendants". The seller is "100smr" and is located in Saint Louis, Missouri.
This item can be shipped to United States.