Spondylus Shell Jewelry (Spiny Oyster)

I am always amazed at how extensively the native tribes travelled great distances back in the day.  They fought over the use of the best land and resources to support their people but they knew they could never “own” the land, as we think of owning it today. They travelled for trade, warred for better food sources and valuable captives to replenish their numbers or trade to other tribes, and sometimes traveled just to visit friends and relatives.

In particular, they prized the richly colored spondylus shell that could only be found off of Baja California, Mexico, Central and South America, especially Ecuador, whose sailors travelled far and wide in balsa wood vessels as early as 3000 BC.

These shells were one of the most important sacred items of all time and were sought largely by Ecuadorian, Andean and Peruvian Chiefdoms. These shells represented fertility and other sacred symbols. They were carved into human and animal fetish figures that were believed to ward off evil and bring good luck. Life was hard and  good luck always important!

Today we call this beautiful and much sought after orange, red and purple Spondylus shell in all its primitive beauty, Spiny Oyster, and I love to use it whenever I can in my jewelry.

Latest Creations

Garden Jewels Bracelet– Garden Series

B572NA2
Garden Jewels

So pretty! Jewels with pearls and turquoise, a beautiful combination! The focal charm of this bracelet is a design of multicolored faceted little jewels, mostly citrine and amethyst.  There are three other jewel charms by Nicky Butler and four larger turquoise and sterling charms, two with nice sterling stamping designs, one with leaf embellishment and one with an elegant, simple sterling setting. Three of  these charms are signed. Not to forget a pretty little square charm with tiny turquoise cabs and a dark purple/black  center. The nugget charms are matt Hubei turquoise, faceted freeform amethyst  and natural baroque pearls. The band of this bracelet is green turquoise with  four sterling beads and a sterling chain closure with a lobster clasp, adjustable from about 8″to larger. This is an elegant bracelet, rich in its colors and charms and just waiting for the special buyer!

Garden Cardinals (Garden Series)

Garden Cardinals
Garden Cardinals

This bracelet features two vintage Cardinal birds beautifully inlaid into Mother of Pearl backgrounds by amazing Zuni Indian craftsmen decades ago. These pretty charms flank a fine focal charm with two large natural turquoise stones set in attractive sterling embellishment. In all there are twelve Navajo vintage charms in addition to the focal charm, and all but the two Zuni cluster charms are old and vintage with still a little patina left on them. These are old timers and the bit of patina just attests to their venerable age! The additional nugget charms are natural Kingman mine turquoise  and bright red Mediterranean coral with sterling bead caps. The band of this bracelet is natural coral with sterling beads and a pretty sterling toggle clasp. It has a wearable length of about 7.75″ to 8″.

Fiesta! Lavish – Fiesta Series

Fiesta! Lavish
Fiesta! Lavish

Three hearts!  This bracelet has a fine Zuni sterling needlepoint turquoise focal heart, set with a  variety of little green and blue stones. It is signed “PB” on the back and I have added a cluster of beads at the back just for interest. Two long sterling feathers flank the focal heart in addition to two red spiny oyster charms.  The other two hearts are elegant sterling and turquoise hearts surrounded with red coral, possibly jasper, and they are signed by Dan Dodson. There are four vintage charms, a little cross with a malachite heart, signed, two handsome concho charms with nicely stamped sterling silver designs and turquoise centers, and a small malachite charm with sterling leaf design.  The nugget charms are natural turquoise and coral and the band of this bracelet is green turquoise with sterling beads and a pretty sterling toggle clasp designed on both sides. This bracelet has a wearable length of about 8.5″, but can be resized. This s a bold bracelet and would adapt easily to a necklace, just ask.