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Turquoise & Tufa

Vintage Wilson Begay Wide Lapis Cuff Bracelet

Vintage Wilson Begay Wide Lapis Cuff Bracelet

Regular price $595.00
Regular price Sale price $595.00
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In a lovely departure from turquoise, this vintage Navajo bracelet by Wilson Begay is set with seven elongated oval lapis stones. 

Lapis Lazuli is one of a few other stones you'll find most often used in Navajo jewelry as a beautiful alternative to the much more ubiquitous turquoise. Lapis is a wonderful gemstone with a rich history spanning multiple ancient cultures including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Minoans, and Persians. In fact, it's one of the oldest recorded opaque gemstones. Interestingly, the death mask of King Tutankhamen is inlaid with both lapis lazuli AND turquoise (along with carnelian). How neat is that!

By the Middle Ages, Michelangelo demanded to use Lapis Lazuli ground into pigment for the brilliant blue ultramarine paint that would ultimately adorn the Sistine Chapel in its exquisite, heavenly blue hue. 

It's only appropriate, then, that our talented modern-day Native American jewelers also use Lapis Lazuli.

If you look closely, you'll see tiny flecks of mica in the stones of this Wilson Begay cuff. Used here, the sparkling mica is reminiscent of twinkling stars in a deep blue night sky. So cool!

Begay's bracelet measures 5 3/16" inside plus 1 1/8" opening. The width is 1 1/2", and the cuff has a nice, heavy weight. It's signed on the inside, and it was originally purchased circa 1990 right here in Santa Fe. Let's hope that its beauty will live as long as King Tut's mask. 

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