About Effie Calavaza
Zuni artist Effie Calavaza, from Zuni, New Mexico, is renowned for her snake designs. She learned silversmithing from her husband Juan Calavaza and began making her own designs in 1956. Her pieces are prized and collected throughout the world.
Indian Snake Symbolism
For some Native American tribes the snake represents abundant rainfall and fertility and is depicted as as lightning or a lightning arrow. Some tribes use the snake as a healing image or for swiftness in battle. The snake does not symbolize anything negative or treacherous. Snakes are rarely used in Navajo jewelry but they are often seen in Zuni jewelry.
We here in Colorado live with snakes - they are part of the landscape and ecosystem. Since our climate is semi-arid, we welcome the abundant rainfall the snake might bring.
100% solid silver won't tarnish but it is too soft to use for making jewelry - it could easily be scratched, dented and bent. Sterling silver has a small amount of one or more other metals usually copper, added to the silver. To be called sterling silver, the alloy must contain at least 92.5% pure silver. Sterling silver alloy is harder than pure silver but the added metals also can cause discoloration or tarnish.
Opal is a naturally blue stone with interior fracturing of light which results in a play of color. Opal is October's birthstone and is believed to make the wearer less self-conscious, thereby encouraging spontaneous action and awakening one's psyche.
(also known as precious opal) contains between 3-10% water but can be as high as 20% and this can make the stones less stable.
is considered a true synthetic or created opal – produced in controlled laboratory conditions and with the same chemical composition as natural opal but with a very low moisture content making it more durable. Lab opal has much fracturing of light and brilliant colors including blue, pink, purple, red and green..
(artificial or simulated opal) is different chemically from natural and lab opal. It is made up of 80% silica and 20% resin and is an economical option to both precious and lab opal. It is the opal most commonly used in Native American jewelry.
NOTE: Items in our Vintage Shop are either USED or NEW. They might come from inheritances, estate sales, private collections, and store liquidations. Many items are brand new (, New Old Stock) and in perfect condition while others may show tarnish, scratches and other signs of use. Major issues will be described in detail and shown in photos. Vintage Shop items are sold as described and are not returnable
Horsekeeping LLC - Definitions of Jewelry Age and Condition
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|A dark or colored film of oxidation that forms naturally on metal exposure to air and other elements. It is often valued for its aesthetically pleasing appearance.|
|30 years or older.|
|New Old Stock. Retail store inventory from at least 10 years ago.|
|An item that has been used.|