My latest design, and I am super excited about it. I made a broad bracelet using Elfweave (stabilized), and then had a local Navajo jeweler build the centerpiece based on my design and with my Hubei Turquoise stone. The result is pretty amazing!
What are we looking at?
The design is Elfweave sheet, which means a continuous band of Elfweave. The chain is about 1″ wide. It does not have a clasp, so the chain is unbroken. It is made in 100% sterling silver. It’s a heavy chain, at 1.75 ounces. As you can see here, the chain has no breaks for the clasp.
So, how does the bracelet clasp?
The box centerpiece IS the clap. The “tongue” slips into one side of the box and locks into place. It features minimal design to counterbalance the complexity of the chain and focus attention on that beautiful stone.
I have a friend who is a really great silversmith. After I bought that stone, I explained my design for the centerpiece clasp. He built the clasp and set the stone. I’m very pleased with how it came out.
The Centerpiece Stone
That cabochon on the centerpiece is Hubei Turquoise. I love the green and teal shades, with the golden brown matrix.
Hubei turquoise comes from the Hubei province of China. Most turquoise these days comes from China, and the very best comes from the Hubei province. There are only 2 primary mines in the region, and one of them closed recently! That stone will go up and up in value, I am sure.
By itself, the stone cost me nearly $200. (Actually, the first stone I picked out was nearly $300, but, well, I couldn’t justify the cost at the time. On the other hand, this stone is extraordinary. At 58 carets, it is slightly heavy.
- Weight: 3.5 ounces (quite heavy)
- Length: 7.5 inches
(However, the box clasp is long and doesn’t bend around the wrist–this bracelet will not fit a 7.5-inch wrist. It fits fine on a 7.25-inch wrist.)
- Width: 1.25 inches
I welded all the rings near the clasp. The chain, itself, is strong, and I don’t expect that any rings will ever fall out unless someone really tries or catches it on something and yanks it hard. The rings at the chain ends are also strong, but welding makes sure, just in case.
On the other hand, it someone needs this re-sized, I will need to cut off all those rings on both sides of the chain.
The stone is the most likely component to take damage. It this bracelet gets dropped on the stone face, I suppose it could crack, just like any other turquoise cabochon. It cannot be repaired, only replaced, so let’s hope that never happens!
Plans for This Bracelet
Of course, I would love to sell this piece. It’s currently listed at $820. Resizing will be charged because of the materials and a lot of time.
However, if I don’t sell it in the next few months, this will be my 2021 State Fair entry (assuming we have one this year!).
Overall, this was a very enjoyable and satisfying project. I will likely make another one. Already, my wife wants one, but with a smaller stone. I plan to make several more, with a variety of stone sizes. I might make one with a square or rectangular stone, which would be great.
But this one is pretty amazing!