"We include at no extra charge an expansion band and a timepiece with battery (neither of which are sterling silver nor Native American made)."
& Bernice Leekya, Zuni
$315 plus s/h
Paula says - "You are buying two watch tips. Striking Zuni silver work with six beautiful turquoise stones from the Kingman mine set in micro serrated bezels and accented with sterling silver rope braid and sterling silver rain drops. A gorgeous watch.
"The term Watch Tips refers to the two Native American made decorative panels that connect the timepiece to the expansion band. Neither the timepiece nor the expansion band are sterling silver nor Native American made. They are included with the tips as a convenience so you can use the watch right away. You can replace them if you so choose."
silver tips are
Robert and Bernice Leekya, Zuni
is the hallmark of husband and wife team Robert and Bernice Leekya. Robert was
born in 1934. He was taught the art of silversmithing by his father, the esteemed
Leekya Deyuse (1889-1966) during the 1940s. Robert started working in his signature
nugget style in 1953. He has won many awards for his cluster work using high quality
nugget stones. Robert's mother was Juanita Cooyate.
Turquoise is associated with the sky,
and bringing sky energy to earth. It is known as a master healer stone as it is
believed to help speed the healing process. It is also thought that turquoise
can help promote honest and clear communication from the heart.
The Kingman mine, located in Mohave County, Arizona, has been operated by the Colbaugh family since the 1970's. It is known for producing bright blue stones with white and black matrix, considered by many to be the best turquoise in North America. Old authentic natural Kingman turquoise is extremely rare.
In the 1950s S. A. "Chuck" Colbaugh developed a modern method for stabilizing the color and strength of turquoise. It is an expensive process that takes over 3 months to assure that the turquoise does not crack while being treated. Basically, the moisture is removed from the stone and replaced with an optically clear resin, the same type as used in jet fighter windows. The turquoise is then allowed to dry naturally for two to three months. Although other mines have turquoise stabilization facilities, those at the Kingman mine are widely regarded as the best.
Marty Colbaugh (Chuck Colbaugh's grandson) now runs the Kingman mine and continues the stabilizing tradition began by his grandfather. He says if natural turquoise is not treated, it can become oxidized with oils from the skin and change color. The products that Kingman uses for stabilizing turquoise are clear and no dyes are ever used so the natural turquoise color is preserved and no discoloration occurs.