Here is an older beautiful sandcast sterling silver bracelet set with a genuine turquoise stone. The turquoise looks like seafoam turquoise. The term Seafoam Turquoise does not refer to a specific mine or location where certain turquoise is found, but rather the characteristics of the turquoise, similar to the bubbling foam at the seaside, so it is a bumpy turquoise in seafoam color. I have heard that this style bracelet is sometimes called a butterfly bracelet, because it looks like a butterfly from the front.
The bracelet measures 1-3/4 inches wide and it has a inside end to end measurement of 5-1/4 inches plus a 1-1/2 inch gap. It weighs 77.5 grams.
This is an older bracelet from a private New Mexico collection. I was told it was from the 1970's. As is the case more often that not with the earlier Native American jewelry, this piece is not marked for silver content or maker. However, I guarantee that it is sterling silver. I believe it might be the work of Carol & Wilson Begay, as I have seen this style bracelet attributed to them. Excellent condition.
SANDCAST. One early technique still used by Navajo silversmiths is making silver castings in sand or stone molds. The artist carves a design into damp sand or tufa (a porous volcanic stone). Pumice or sandstone may also be used. A second flat stone is secured on top to complete the mold. Silver is then melted in a crucible and it is poured into the mold through a carved channel. If it is the proper temperature, it flows through to the bottom where it cools and hardens, filling the design space. Air vents allow steam to escape, preventing air bubbles from forming in the cooling silver. After cooling, the stones are separated and the casting is removed. Any silver not part of the overall design is cut off. The silver is then filed smooth. At this point the finishing begins with filing, stamp work, soldering on findings, adding stones, cleaning and buffing.