Dine Spirit™ Choice of Sterling Silver Turquoise Feather Pendant w/ 18" or 24" Chain

Like a feather they have prevailed through time - their spirit and their art! This lovely pendant captivates this spirit and art of the people of the Southwest in its truest form with a feather shape that hangs from a liquid silver bead chain. A single turquoise accents the pendant. Hand-crafted by Navajo artist Chris Charley.

The Significance of Feather Symbol in Native American Culture:
The ancient Native American tradition tells of the Diné people since the beginning of time, when the Great Spirit sent his sacred knowledge and wisdom to man through his messengers - the glorious birds of his kingdom. Likewise, the prayers and messages of man were carried back to him on the wings of these birds. So revered are the birds that their images have decorated the artwork, pottery, rugs and clothing of Native Americans for centuries. According to lore, the personal adornment of feathers connects the wearer to the heaven.

The feathers used in jewelry often have two parts, representing the duality of life - daylight and darkness, life and death, peace and wartime, youth and adulthood, body and soul, etc. The addition of turquoise to this silver feather honors the bird's home and realm of sky and heaven.

  • Metal: Polished and etched sterling silver
  • Stone Information: One oval shaped 8 x 6mm Carico Lake, Fox or Matrix Sleeping Beauty turquoise cabochon
  • Setting: Bezel
  • Measurements:
    Pendant: 3"L x 3/4"W x 1/4"H
    Chain: 18"L or 24"L x 2.3mm W
  • Chain Type: Liquid silver beaded chain
  • Clasp: Spring Ring
  • Collection: Dine Spirit
  • Country of Origin: USA

Please Note: Pendant can be removed from the chain. Carico Lake turquoise is teal green with matrix, the Matrix Sleeping Beauty turquoise has matrix while the Fox turquoise color is blue green with matrix. Comes with a romance card signed by the artist.

The Carico Lake and the Fox stabilized turquoise are enhanced through a process of coating the genuine gemstone with colorless acrylics or resin to fill porous gaps, harden the stone and maintain the stone’s color. The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is enhanced through a special stabilization treatment known as the Zachery Process. The process helps improve the stone's color by significantly reducing porosity, increasing its ability to resist discoloration without the use of any artificial additives such as resins, dyes and oils.

Please see the About The Artist tab for more information on Chris Charley.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver, also called fine silver, is a beautifully lustrous cool-toned precious metal favored in fine jewelry among other products. The most reflective of all metals (excluding mercury), sterling silver looks stunning by itself and brings out the best hues in an array of colorful gemstones.

Sterling silver can be polished to a higher sheen than platinum. In fact, Ag, the chemical symbol for silver, comes from a word that means “white and shining.” The surface of silver can boast that shiny, polished appearance, or can be brushed, satin, matte, sandblasted, antiqued or oxidized (chemically blackened).

In order to be called sterling silver, a metal must be made up of a minimum of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% alloy (meaning other metals), including but not limited to copper and nickel. The alloy is added to pure silver to make the metal more durable, tougher and harder. Sterling silver is designated a fineness of “925.” Pieces with sterling silver may be marked “sterling.”

Finishes on Sterling Silver
Finishing, or plating, is a common treatment with sterling silver. Popular types of plating are rhodium plating, gold plating and anti-tarnish plating. Plating is used to extend the life and sheen of the jewelry. After sizing or buffing a piece of jewelry with a machine, it must be re-plated to restore the finish.

  • Rhodium Plating: Rhodium plating is a complex and laborious process that enhances the luster and beauty and extends the life of silver. A member of the platinum metal group, rhodium is often used as a finishing touch on silver jewelry. It's a shiny silvery metal with a very white and reflective appearance, much like mercury. It's also very hard, so it withstands much wear and tear, resists natural tarnishing and wonderfully mimics the brilliant finish of freshly polished silver.

    Caring for Sterling Silver
    Sterling silver becomes tarnished as the result of a natural chemical process that occurs when sterling silver is exposed to chemicals in the air, rubber, wool and latex. Humidity also plays a role in accelerating tarnishing. It's easy to keep your sterling silver sparkling, though, by taking a few steps to prevent tarnish and other wear and tear.

  • Avoid exposing sterling silver to direct sunlight and harsh chemicals, including chlorine, ammonia, hair products, perfumes, cosmetics, perspiration and strong jewelry cleaning solutions.
  • Periodically wash sterling silver with mild dish soap and warm water. Rinse well and dry completely with a soft cloth before storing because moisture can cause tarnish.
  • Lightly polish sterling silver frequently with a soft silver-polishing cloth, avoiding abrasive cloths completely.
  • Tarnish is easy to remove when it first forms as a yellowish tint, but becomes more difficult to remove when it becomes brown and black. Remove tarnish with a silver polish cream, avoiding immersing pieces with gemstones in tarnish-removal solutions.
  • Minimize scratches on sterling silver by storing it in its own compartment in your jewelry box or in a cloth pouch. Sterling silver may also be stored in sealed polyethylene bags.

    One of the oldest known gems, turquoise has been prized for thousands of years. The Egyptians believed it had powerful mystical properties, and turquoise jewelry has been found interred with 7,500-year-old mummies. Ancient manuscripts from Persia, India, Afghanistan and Arabia say that the health of a person wearing turquoise could be assessed by variations in the color of the stone. Montezuma's treasure, now displayed in the British Museum, includes a carved serpent covered by a mosaic of turquoise.

    Turquoise was especially revered by the Native American culture, an association that dates back to the Aztec empire more than 700 years ago. For the Aztecs, turquoise was reserved for the gods and mere mortals were forbidden to wear it. They believed it to be a gem of good fortune and a commodity more valuable than gold. Native Americans believed turquoise protected people from demons and they even placed turquoise in tombs to guard the dead. The stone's colors were thought to be symbolically blue for the heavens and green for the earth. Often warriors tied turquoise to their bows to ensure accurate shots.

    Today, turquoise is still believed to provide protection and bring luck. It is said to also promote prosperity, love, healing, courage and friendship. The stone is thought to relax the mind and ease mental tension.

    The gem's opaque turquoise color varies from shades of greenish blue to deep cobalt to sky blue. Some varieties display white or brown matrixes, which are streaks of the mother stone from which they came, while others have veins of black matrix running through them. Generally, the bluer the blue, the more highly valued the stone. A clear, even texture without mottling or veins is also preferred. The most rare and valuable color is an intense azure, but the most common is the mild to medium sky blue. Sometimes imitated by minerals such as chrysocolla, turquoise stones are often dyed or colored with coatings of various resins.

    In the 13th century, turquoise was mistakenly believed to have come from the country of Turkey. Hence, its name came from the French word for Turkey, "Turquie". The stone was actually brought to Europe from Persia (now Iran), via Turkey. It is a mineral usually found in association with copper deposits and is sometimes mined as a by-product of copper mining.

    Although turquoise is found in desert regions worldwide, especially in the southwestern United States, perhaps the finest and most valuable comes from the Sleeping Beauty mine in Globe, Arizona. It is named after the Sleeping Beauty Mountain which resembles a reclined woman in a slumbering state. Its turquoise is world renowned for its beauty that ranges from pure robin's egg blue to a darker royal blue.

    While only ranking between 5.0 and 6.0 on the Mohs Scale of hardness, turquoise remains quite popular for jewelry. In Europe, turquoise rings are given as forget-me-not gifts, while in the United States, the stone is given as traditional 5th and 11th wedding anniversary gifts. It has even become a modern consideration for the December birthstone. When wearing turquoise over the years, the stone will absorb oil from a person's skin, causing a slight change to the color of turquoise.

    Turquoise is commonly treated in various fashions to ensure its durability and visual appeal, especially when set in jewelry. If a stone has been treated, the type of process will be noted.

  • Stabilized turquoise is enhanced through a process of coating the genuine gemstone with colorless acrylics or resin to fill porous gaps, harden the stone and maintain the stone's color.
  • Reconstituted turquoise is enhanced through a process in which genuine gemstone fragments are powdered and bonded with resin to reinforce the stone. Turquoise-bearing rock is pulverized and the turquoise is separated from the rock using a float process. The pulverized turquoise is then mixed with a colored resin, which is then injected into a mold to form a solid block. This is then cubed, preformed and fashioned into various shapes and sizes. It is an excellent method of using rough that would otherwise not be usable.
  • Impregnated turquoise is enhanced through a process in which the genuine gemstone is infused with oil, wax or resin to reinforce the stone.
  • Mohave turquoise is crafted through a process that uses a hydraulic press to assemble turquoise nuggets together with bronze metal matrix throughout the brick of turquoise. Once the turquoise is pressed or assembled, it is stabilized to harden the stone. Currently, Mohave turquoise is the only product on the market that features genuine Arizona Kingman Mine turquoise and real metal matrix. The Kingman mine is the oldest known turquoise mine in the Americas and is located at the Mineral Park Mine in the Cerbat Mountains, about 14 miles from Kingman, AZ.

    Turquoise is one of the oldest gemstones known in history going back 6,000 years BC and has been revered by almost every ancient culture. It is the alternate birthstone for December and has a Mohs rating of 5.0-6.0. Turquoise is a Hydrous Phosphate of Aluminum and Copper and may form as a chalky coating on rocks or finely disseminated crystals formed within small rock cavities. Rough such as this is not commercially viable, which has led to the development of reconstituted turquoise. Turquoise-bearing rock is pulverized and the turquoise is separated from the rock using a float process. The pulverized turquoise is then mixed with a colored resin, which is then injected into a mold to form a solid block. This is then cubed, preformed and fashioned into various shapes and sizes. It is an excellent method of using rough that would otherwise not be usable.

  • About the Collection
    Discover the artistry of the Navajo people with Diné Spirit - a jewelry collection that embodies the true Native American spirit. Handmade in the Southwest and crafted in sterling silver with American turquoise and other fine genuine gemstones, each piece is an individual work of art.

    The Navajo people, or Diné as they call themselves, have a rich history in creating beautifully ornate and artistic jewelry. Combining modern techniques with traditional Navajo silversmithing methods, the collection transcends beauty. Common to the Navajo, each piece is meticulously created one-at-a-time in the homes of skilled artisans, with the artist's name engraved on every item.

    Diné Spirit is adorned with a variety of Southwestern details, including complex engravings, scrollwork, floral shapes, oxidation and more. Genuine gemstones native to the Southwest take center stage in each design, bringing color and personality to the pieces.

    Veronica YellowhorseAbout the Guest
    Brenda Baca has been in the jewelry biz for over a decade, honing a special eye for quality, Native American pieces. Having worked first hand with the silversmiths and artisans of Diné Spirit, and being an designer herself, she truly appreciates and understands the skill and talent required to craft this stunning collection.

    About The Artist:
    To say that Chris Charley likes to stay busy would be quite an understatement. When not at his bench producing a vast array of traditional and contemporary silver jewelry for his ever-growing market, this Navajo artist might be found at work on his sand painting or pottery skills. On the occasions when he does take a break from his many artistic pursuits, Chris can likely be found on the basketball court, working as passionately to create a decent jump shot as he does a beautiful ring or bracelet.

    Born in 1972 in Crown Point, New Mexico, Chris became fascinated with silversmithing while watching his uncle, Raymond King. At age eighteen, Chris began his own career as a silversmith, teaching himself the tools and techniques he observed his uncle use to craft his own award winning jewelry. A master of so many silver working and design styles now, Chris still considers the more basic, traditional Navajo method of stamp work to be his favorite and finest skill. The stamped silver pieces he produces are crisp, refined and expressive. It is with these traditional designs and techniques that Chris feels most connected to his tribe cultural history - the “old ways”.