Native American Jewelry – Please Help Me Describe and Price My Jewelry

Dear Paula,

I have a really unusual squash blossom necklace. I’ve owned it for over 40 years and was told then that the pale turquoise came from a Colorado mine.  the metal is pewter. the crown has 5 stones. the stems the stones are out of the beads.
I’ve reached a point a have to sell my jewelry so need help identifying the pieces.
Thank you. Ellie

Example of a Vintage Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace

This is not Ellie's necklace but an example of a Vintage Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace with pale turquoise stones

Hi Ellie,

I’m going to illustrate our conversation with some examples of Vintage Squash Blossom necklaces that are in our Pawn Shop (such as the one above, for example) so as to preserve the privacy of your piece as we chat about it.

I’ve received the photos of your necklace that you sent and I shared them with 3 of my colleagues who have been in the Native American Jewelry business for over 150 years collectively !!

We’ve never heard of a Native American squash blossom necklace made from pewter.

Do you have any recollection as to the name of the mine in Colorado the stones are from?

Are there any cracks in the stones?

What do you want for the necklace? Paula

Good morning Paula,
I’m happy you received the photos.
There are no cracks in any stones
What a leading question how much do I want, Well I want as much as I can get.
1st I would like to know who is the artist.
2nd is there away to find the history of the necklace?
I bought the necklace in 1970 from a shop in Arcadia, CA , the owners
wife was Navajo For several years I bought lots of goodies.  Around 1980 I wore it to the Indian pow wow at the Pomona Fair grounds, and it caused quit a stir was offered up to $1500.00 from different Indians that had selling booths.
Of course I said no, it was my savings account.
I thought I would try to get between $750.00-to $900. And work down from that.
3rd the jeweler said it was pewter, do you think so it’s verrrry heavy.??
As for which mine, all I remember my husband looked it up and said I don’t think she’s (the store owner) right they had closed that  mine in 1902.
Also can you suggest books giving silversmith marks?
Hope this isn’t to long winded. Ellie

Hi Ellie,
As to who the artist it……I would have no way of knowing the artist. Your best bet is to try to trace the history and artist from the shop or owner you purchased it from.
It is a very simple common design that many artists back then used, so it would be difficult to try to attribute it to any one person’s style.
The best way to find the history of the necklace is to contact the store where you purchased it. Or if that store is gone, a store nearby that might have been there at the same time.
As far as what metal it is made of, I can’t tell definitely from a photo. We have a used Native American jewelry store on our website so we test items daily for their silver content. It is a simple chemical test that any jeweler can do for you. I’d suggest you do that first – take it to a jeweler and ask him or her to tell you if it is sterling silver or has any silver in it. If it has some silver it it, it might be coin silver. If it has no silver in it, then the jeweler might be able to guess what metal it is by seeing it in person.
You asked about hallmarks – I didn’t see any silver smith marks on the necklace – are there any? They would usually be stamped on the back of the naja.
I mention a book about hallmarks in this post - Native American Hallmarks

Vintage Squash Blossom Necklace with Hallmarks "FY Sterling"

Vintage Squash Blossom Necklace with Hallmarks "FY Sterling"

Dear Paula,
There are no hallmarks.
The store is closed, in fact the whole area is one big mall now.
Did you find out anything about the mine?
Ellie

Hi Ellie,
FYI – I sent the close up pic of YOUR squash blossom to a friend who has been in the business for 30-40 years and asked if he thought it could be Dry Creek which is kind of light blue and was the only mine I knew of that produced the pale turquoise…………..here is his reply – do any of those Colorado mine names sound familiar that he mentions?
From the look of the beads, I would say that this was made in the 70′s, or is a good copy.  Dry Creek TQ was not really around at that time, coming into usage in the late 80′s to mid 90′s.  Is it possible to be Dry Creek – yes, just not as likely perhaps, and Dry Creek turquoise is from Nevada.  The Colorado mines were Lick Skillet also called Manassa, Cripple Creek. Leadville, Villa Grove, and a few minor others.  I am a little suspicious that this is Colorado TQ

Dear Paula
I bought the necklace in May of 1969.  And so your friend is probably correct it was new at that time. What do you think the value is?
Hi Ellie,
Well, it is like anything else, if you find someone who really wants it, they will pay more than if you just want to sell it quickly. So it might take time to find the right buyer.
Here is something that might be helpful for you to do.
Go to eBay and do a search for Native American squash blossom necklaces – if you need help on how to do that, let me know.
Browse what is FOR SALE now.
Then click on Advanced Search and choose the option “Completed listings” and you will see some that are sold (green numbers) some are not sold (red numbers) so you will see what people are asking, what people are actually buying and what auctions close without any bids.
The completed listings search is more valuable as it shows if there was any interest in a piece and if so, how much it brought if it sold – or was a NO SALE.
You’ve probably also visited our pawn shop and looked at all the squash blossom necklaces we have for sale and sold, right? That will also help you set a price.
Here they are – the ones for sale are on this page
and the ones we have sold are on this page
Here are a few more examples

Another example of a vintage squash blossom necklace

Another example of a vintage squash blossom necklace

Vintage Bear Claw Squash Blossom Necklace

Vintage Bear Claw Squash Blossom Necklace

Best of luck, Paula

Thank you Paula,

Thank you very much for your input. Your sites have also been very useful. – they are very nice sites. Peaceful photographs are much appreciated.

Ellie

34 thoughts on “Native American Jewelry – Please Help Me Describe and Price My Jewelry

  1. dear Paula and Ellie,

    There was a type of turquoise a mineralogist I knew called “Snow White” (after a mine) that produces beautiful, gem-quality pale turquoise without any veins. I do not remember the its location other than its U.S.

    Best of luck, Dara (the Collector)

  2. The Snow White Mine in San Bernadino County, California is a Talc mine.
    http://geology.csupomona.edu/drjessey/fieldtrips/kingston/snow.htm

    There is a Barite mine in Nevada by the name Snow White
    http://www.stardustexplorations.com/about/about.asp

    As far as Snow White turquoise, perhaps that is an urban legend.

    I can find no information on a Snow White turquoise mine nor have any of my associates heard of such a mine or turquoise.

  3. Dara – That is exactly what my husband said when I told him “Snow White” – he said “She’s probably thinking of “Sleeping Beauty” mine.
    But of course that mine produced bright blue turquoise with usually rich black matrix.
    I’ll post on that mine later today.

  4. I know that posting about the pewter Squash Blossom necklace was last year but I am hoping to get hold of Ellie.
    I have one purchased in the late 70′s. It is made of pewter too. I just had a silversmith check for me. Pewter can be dangerous to wear due to the lead content. That wasn’t mentioned in the comments about the necklace.
    I was going to have several smaller necklaces made out of the one heavy one and was told that the jeweler didn’t want to handle it due to the possible lead content.
    Carol

  5. Just found your website! Have a squash blossom necklace similar to one in picture you showed that was like Ellie’s.
    Mine is silver but has ” Lot 92 – Mexico” Also the stones are
    a little darker. Is it just a copy? It looks handmade.
    Any comments?
    Elaine

  6. i have an indian bead necklace my great grandmother was suppose to of made , my mother has had every since i can remember now it is passed on to me . i would like to know whats its worth for insurance purposes or if it has any value at all.

  7. Hi Paula,

    Just came across this website. I have a silver and turqoise necklace that was my mom’s. She passed away many years ago and I have just started doing research on it. It has what looks to be sterling silver beads, then 5 shell like pieces with torqouise inside. Not sure what to make of it. Have not found anything like it on the internet. Was wondering if I could send you a picture of it and maybe you might know something about it. Thanks.

  8. Hope I’m doing this right. My question is not about the pewter squash blossom but two items I own. I have a heavy three-part man’s collar necklace of silver and turquoise by Eddy Chaco and a turquoise and silver headstall with no signature. Both are quite old. I have had them for over 35 years and they were both old when I bought them. I’m trying to find out if Eddy Chaco is still alive to get more info about the necklace, if possible, and also try to establish the value of the horse headstall. Can you help me?

  9. Hi
    I had my squash blossom stole a few years ago and I still try and look every where I can think of or post at sites. Im not sure how to put in image of it but if someone could point me in a direction of a site for stolen squash blossoms Id appreciate it;)

  10. Hello
    My mother passed away a few years ago and in her things I found a beautiful squash blossom necklace. My father said she’d gotten it from a friend and in the box was the name ‘Glenn Wonderly’ with the address in Greensburg, PA. I have no way of knowing where it came from, but I grew up in southern AZ, where my folks lived until their deaths.
    Can you identify the tribe based on the design and give me a ballpark idea of its worth, and how I could best dispose if the item it I desired to do so? Also, how can I post a photo?
    Thanks so much! I am one quarter Cherokee so the Indian heritage is very important to me.

  11. is anyone reading this I have a squash blossom my mother left me and it is signed, name looks like sopa but, not sure! She was told it was very old navajo and it is silver and terquise with what is actual leaves hugging the terquise and she was told that the navajo’s do not produce this style anymore the retail shops is Santa Fe told her anywhere from 15000 to 25000 but I would like an experts opion..

  12. Paula,
    My name is Holly and I have this squash blossom necklace that my father has passed on to me. Its very old and I’m ready to sell it but I have no idea what its worth and so far the people I have talked to suggest stripping the turquoise and selling the silver separately. Reading your blogs I think you may be able to help. Thank you, hope to hear from you soon.

  13. Hi Paula, I have a tough one on my hands. I have a squash blossom necklace that was past down and bought in 1969 AZ. and I can’t make out the Artist name and trying to find out if if I send you pics of it in differant angles can you help me find the artist and maybe if it was early work of some famous artist and what it might be worth. I no about what some one is willing to pay, and no that the artist could make a big differance. I no it is sterling silver and the wait is 165 grams. can and how can I send you pics if you can help thanx andy duncan.

  14. hello, i need to know how much my zuni jewelry is worth i herd it was about $80 but i still did not got the exact price.Thank you so much!

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