Vintage Mexican Sterling & Natural Cantera Opal Matrix Link Bracelet
Cantera opals are a unique Mexican opal variety. They consist of a pocket of vibrant opal contained within an opaque rhyolite matrix, which are polished together rather than separated. (The Mexican name "cantera" refers to the host matrix.) Their unique appearance usually includes a pale pink or beige matrix that surrounds the central pool of vibrant opal color. The matrix provides a natural background, allowing the color play of the opals to become more visible and radiant. Historically, opals were believed to bring good luck when given as a gift. In the modern day, they continue to be adored worldwide and are one of the most desirable stones used in fine jewelry!
This vintage Mexican bracelet (ca1950) features beautiful cantera opals in a handmade sterling silver setting! Each link holds a natural cantera opal cabochon, which has a pale pink matrix marbled with vibrant opal pockets. The opal pockets include fire opal and jelly opal varieties, some exhibiting rich fiery red colors, and others emitting iridescent flashes. A swirled sterling setting grasps each stone at the sides, and open rings connect each link together. Stamped on the back of one of the links is "STERLING MEXICO" along with a crown hallmark. The flexible bracelet wraps comfortably around the wrist and fastens with a hook clasp at the end. A unique everyday piece, it has natural earthy look that would make a great addition to any collection!
Measurements: The bracelet measures approximately 7 7/8" long and would fit nicely on an average to large sized wrist. The cantera opal links vary in size and shape, averaging 7/8" long, 1/2" wide, and 1/4" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the bracelet is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the sterling setting or to any of the cantera opal links, all of which are intact. The hook clasp fastens securely. A natural patina is present on the surface of the silver and adds a darkened vintage appearance, which is normal but could be polished if a brighter effect is desired.