Trendspotting: Turquoise Makes a Comeback

By Special Guest Blogger

March 29th, 2011

Today’s guest blogger is Tamara Bradshaw, a jewelry collector and regular contributor to Show & Tell.

Pantone, an authority on color forecasting, released these as some of the hottest colors for spring: regatta (a color like the blue sky in Colorado), blue curacau (like turquoise ocean waters), coral rose (a sophisticated orange). and beeswax (a warm honey yellow).

In February, I also started seeing ads for turquoise jewelry, which inspired me to dig out my vintage Native American pieces for the spring, and also look for similar new items at the stores. One ad featured a beautiful Zuni-inspired squash blossom bracelet, which was offered for $45 online, so I set out to the stores to find it. Well, I haven’t seen it yet at the stores, but here are some of the items I did find.

These look like traditional turquoise styles—especially the row bracelets that are similar to the Zuni snake eyes (above). Here’s a ring (right) also similar to Native American designs with trendy new colors—blue curacau and beeswax.

While the prices on these items weren’t all that bad, I always think, “How much would that cost me if it were vintage or real?”

At the end of the day, I only found one real squash blossom bracelet, it was way too big for me, and it was a little pricey, $295. But it was gorgeous, and it was “dead pawn”—antique jewelry made by Native Americans for Native Americans—which is always a little more expensive.

When I was researching vintage faux turquoise prices, these items were almost exactly the same prices you would find for new jewelry in the retail stores, if not more. Good incentive to look for them in your jewelry box or your mom’s!

In my jewelry box, I have classic styles, most of them are real silver and turquoise, but some are faux. I like to intermix new items with vintage so I am not real matchy-matchy. I am always talking about prices, so you are probably wondering how much I paid for my vintage items. The Zuni ring was $60, and the Zuni petit point bracelet $50. My husband found two of the row bracelets at an estate sale for $1 each, and the Zuni Snake Eye was $7.50.

The colors coral rose and beeswax are the complimentary colors to wear with these island-inspired blues, and these can be translated into vintage favorites as well. Think of butterscotch amber beads, Bakelite amber bracelets, and apple juice colored beads. I know trends probably never stopped you from wearing your favorite vintage items, but now you can easily say “Oh, I am stylish,” while wearing vintage finds that didn’t destroy your bank account.

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