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Vintage Bisbee Turquoise Bracelet Mark Chee

Regular price $35,000.00 USD
Sale price $35,000.00 USD Regular price
Sale Sold out

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  • Vendor:

    Sedona Indian Jewelry


What makes this Mark Chee, Vintage Bisbee Turquoise Bracelet worth $35,000?? 

The short answer to that question is the silversmith who made it and the turquoise that's in it. 

Mark Chee is among the earleist recorded Navajo silversmiths. Chee's work was tops in its time and the turquoise he used was usually the best available.  It's very difficult to find mint Chee bracelets.  

Often, the original turquoise is scavaged and replaced with lesser stones. 

The Bisbee in this bracelet is original. It is a mind blowing gem. Just to see Bisbee this large is a thrill.  And the blue color and matrix are incredable. 

This gem  was  probably found before 1917, which is about when the Company decided to blast for copper (initally with miners in the tunnnels).

The blasting shook the mountain and fractured the turquoise.

I owned this Mark Chee for about 25 years. I bought it from the last Winfield to own the Camp Verde Stage Coach stop and trading post in Camp Verde, Az.  The original Winfield's came west on the Oregon Trail in to late 1800's. 

Mark Chee was Navajo. He is the oldest silversmith described in the Barton Wright hallmark book.

Chee was born in Arizona around 1900. His jewelry is very collectible. Occasionally pieces surface.

This Smokey Bisbee started out about the size of the palm of your hand. The stone cutter probably was Mark Chee.

Chee must have obsessed on the beauty of the turquoise that he held in his hand and what may be beneath the surface. 

Chee sliced the stone into 3 sections... the risk was well rewarded... the result was a turquoise collectors' phenomenon.

Turquoise is a by product of copper ming.  In Bisbee, as in many other mining operations, cooper was was blasted from the earth. The blasting process cracks and fractures any turquoise in the ground. That's why large pieces of natural, untreated, gem, turquoise are very rare.

In my opinion, this turquoise was mined before Bisbee was blasted. Blasting at Bisbee was already in progress in 1917.

The date turquoise is mined and the date it is used in jewelry is usually not the same.

The measurements for each of the 3 Bisbee Turquoise Gems are

2 3/8" x 1 3/8" wide 
2" x 1 1/4" wide 
1 3/8" x 1" wide

The Bracelet is 3 1/2" wide

It is presently sized for a 6 3/4" wrist but can easily be adjusted up or down. We are happy to do that for you.