Vintage is 30 years old or older, so something made in the early 1980s or before.
Clip earrings. They are a thing of the past ………. or are they? More and more we are seeing clip earrings in retro fashion photos.
And with repurposing being all the rage……..many of these little beauties can have second, third and fourth lives !!
Today I got playing around with all the clip earrings we got in an estate lot.
Singles as pendants
First of all, in the case of these vintage, New Old Stock sterling silver earrings, many are hallmarked and made very well.
Next, they are inexpensive. You get two “pendants” for a fraction of the cost of one.
Because you get two, you can use two in mix and match creations.
You can lose one and not cry because you will still have one pendant.
You can keep one and give one to your best friend.
You can wear one as a pendant and clip the other to your shirt collar, your jeans pocket or cuff.
Of course there are many other things to do with these nuggets of history. Several bloggers, much more crafty that I, have provided some ideas that require tools and glue, not for me, but here you go ! Paula
We’re camping this summer while our house is being built. That puts us very much in touch with nature AND we are sleeping in new surroundings. I’ve been wearing my ghost beads and hanging them over our bed. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh……….
Are they Juniper or Cedar Berries?
Juniper berries have long been a Navajo medicine for treating such things as diabetes. Juniper berries (seeds) are also used to make ghost bead necklaces. Juniper is a broad category of trees, some of which have common names that include “cedar”, such as “red cedar” that is widely used to make boxes and line drawers. This can be confusing because a true cedar tree comes from a different family of trees. So you will see ghost beads referred to being made from cedar seeds, juniper seeds or juniper/cedar seeds. If you want to be technically correct, they should be called juniper seeds or berries.
I am looking for a SMALL squash blossom necklace or choker, ideally WITHOUT the large naja central pendant. I am also interested in matching earrings.
Here are a few ideas.
Here is one that is 18″ long and what I would call a miniature squash blossom necklace by Zuni artist Lorena Peina and it does have matching earrings.
This lapis squash blossom necklace is medium in size and 19″ in length and also has matching earrings.
Bennie Ration – Navajo Sterling Silver
Eagle Kachina Pin Pendant
with Adjustable Feather Necklace Collar
Authenticity of Native American Jewelry
© 2011 Horsekeeping LLC © Copyright Information
The authenticity of each jewelry item and artifact that we sell on Horsekeeping.com is confirmed in person by us or by our partners to be Native American made. We deal mainly with Native American Indian artists located in New Mexico and Arizona (the heart of Navajo, Hopi, Santo Domingo, Apache and Zuni country) and South Dakota (Oglala Lakota). In many cases, we purchase directly from the artists themselves. Buying in person allows us not only to confirm authenticity, but also to hand select the finest pieces, the best stones, and to learn interesting details about the people who make the jewelry.
Jewelry that is Native American style but is made in China or the Philippines is NOT Native American made and legally cannot be called Native American. Yet it often is! These imported knockoffs hurt legitimate sellers and Native American craftspeople who are being forced out of the jewelry business because of the low prices charged for the fakes.
If authenticity is important to you, buy only from reputable sellers who offer genuine Native American made merchandise. We at Horsekeeping.com describe our authentic Native American made items as “Native American”. When an item is NOT Native American made, we make sure you know that by calling it a Reproduction or putting it in our non-Native American section called the Bargain Barn.
The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 states that “it is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian tribe.”
Every item we offer as Native American made is in full compliance with this act.
Certificates of Authenticity. Legally, only the artist who makes a piece can fill out and sign a Certificate of Authenticity (COA). Therefore, for us to send you a generic certificate serves no purpose. Only about a half dozen of the artists that we purchase from provide COAs. Of the rest, many of them sign or put a hallmark on their pieces. Some do not. Buying from reputable sellers is your main assurance that the Native American item you purchase is Native American made.
I am trying to find out any information about the two necklaces in the attached photo, like which Native American tribe may have made them (if they are indeed genuinely made by a Native American). It seems like you may be quite knowledgable about these things so if you have any ideas I’d love to hear them!
Thank you. I am very interested and immersed in my work so I have gathered some knowledge about Native American jewelry over the years but there is so much more to know. That’s why I like to post these questions here on this blog to attract comments from others.
The necklace on the right certainly seems like it could be Navajo made. It has the look of a sterling silver necklace, simple but similar in layout to a squash blossom necklace. When I enlarge the photo, the beads seem to be hand made, not bench beads. It is a very nice necklace which I feel pretty certain would have been Navajo made.
The necklace on the left however, although very attractive, does not seem to be Native American made. The first thing that caught my eye was the brass beads which say India to me. The horizontal brass spacers between the brass beads are also not a design element associated with Native American jewelry. It seems the long dark beads and the shorter tube beads are made from horn or bone, again something I’d tend to associate with India or Africa. The rondelle beads which make up the majority of the necklace also could be bone……or perhaps they and the shorter tube beads are some sort of ivory. These things are hard to tell from a single photo.
Of course, many things can be determined definitively when viewing an item in person – using one photo is just guesswork.
It will be interesting to see what other readers think.
Did you ever wonder why there are so many Native American jewelry items from the late 1960s and early 1970s?
Those were the times of peace and love, alternative dress, hippies, movie stars going wild and a big publicity boost for Native American jewelry from Arizona Highways magazine and other publications.
Although many celebrities began wearing Native American jewelry in the late 60s and early 70s, perhaps two of the most influential were Jim Morrison of the Doors and Cher.
During the late 1960s when the Doors were at the height of their fame, Jim Morrison bought a concho belt from Wayne and Irma Bailey when they were traveling in California. Joe H. Quintana (1915-1991), a Cochiti Pueblo master silversmith was the maker of this famous belt. Quintana likely made the belt in 1966 or 1967 when he worked for Irma Bailey’s Indian Art & Pawn on the Old Town Plaza in Albuquerque.
Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian of Armenian, Irish, German, English and Cherokee descent) has used Native American jewelry and accents throughout her career from 1965 and has had a dramatic influence on fashion. Her album Half Breed was release in 1973.
As a result of such publicity, everyone wanted some of the action !!
One of the most popular items made in the 1970s were squash blossom necklaces. There was a huge demand for them. It is also one of the most common vintage items offered to us today. The retail price of a squash blossom necklace during the early 1970s boom was the same or higher than the same item today. And often they were full size, heavy and ornate, something that doesn’t sell well today because a good number of people would rather wear than collect Native American jewelry.
During the boom some beautiful items were made. However, to cash in on the demand, some shops and silversmiths cranked out the items, sometimes with inferior workmanship and maybe the work wasn’t even done by Native American artists.
One thing that wasn’t skimped on was the sterling silver. Silver was only $1.29 per ounce when Jim Morrison’s belt was made in 1966. Today silver is trading at $27.27 per ounce. Read more about silver prices here. How Silver Price Affects the Value of Native American Jewelry
Back in the late 1960s there was ample US mined turquoise around to fill needs but as demand rose, Persian turquoise began to be imported from Iran. In the 1970s a one carat U.S. turquoise stone would be considered expensive at $1. Today some of the more sought-after U.S. turquoise can cost up to $100 per carat.
Because of the great demand, the 1970s experienced the first BIG influx of imported copies and reproductions which gave some people the idea that Native American jewelry was chintzy and poorly made.
The boom crashed about the mid seventies when the fashion cycle started changing and the silver price started rising, hitting an artificially inflated high near $50 per ounce in the late seventies.
When buying heishi necklaces, first you need to know how the artist or seller measures their heishi necklaces.
Many heishi makers sell their heishi by length of material used, so 19″ of turquoise heishi might be sold as 19″ …………but with a hook and eye and the bit of slack incorporated in the necklace to make it hang right, the actual necklace wearing length might be closer to 19 3/4″.
For chokers especially, each of us has a particular length we like to wear that suits our physique and clothing necklines. That’s when measurement become particularly important.
Here at horsekeeping, we measure from the tip of the hook to the eye on the other end. That represents the actual end-to-end wearing length.
This results in most thin to medium heishi fitting well……..
but when you are purchasing very thick heishi, necklaces that are 3/8″ thick or more, you should compensate and purchase a necklace that is 1/4″ to 3/4″ longer than your usual length. That’s because the thicker heishi sits away from your neck so some of the end-to-end length is taken up to make the circle around your neck.
The same principle applies to Navajo Pearls. If you wear an 18″ 4mm silver bead necklace, when buying a 14 mm necklace, you might need almost a 19″ long if you want it to sit in the same place on your neckline.
We provide measurements. The best way to get a good fit is to measure a similar necklace you already have that fits you well and compare it to the measurements indicated for the item.
Here’s to beautiful, well-fitting heishi !
Perhaps you can help out a fetish newbie. A few weeks back I bought from your website a black bear pendant and a leather necklace to put it on.
I’ve found the loop on the bear is too small to fit over the clasp on the necklace. I don’t want to return either one, but any suggestions? Should I take it to a jeweler? Try to flatten the loop to make it a little bigger? I sure don’t want to damage it. Or perhaps buy a different chain? How would I know that one would fit? I plan to eventually make a necklace of several fetishes that have special meaning for me, and I guess I need some help before I start.
I would appreciate any directions or suggestions you could give me.
Thanking you in advance,
First of all, any time your purchase something from us, feel free to ask ahead of time if a certain bead necklace, for example, will go through the bail of a pendant you are looking at. We can always check that out for you. For most pendants and necklaces we list the size of the bail on the pendant and the diameter (or thickness) of the necklace so you can get a pretty good idea.
The pendant you purchased was shown with a sterling silver round omega which would work very well with it as would most chains.
Also we have some very small, 5mm, antiqued beads that could work.
And yes, you could take your bear pendant to a jeweler who could gently heat and open up or otherwise reshape the heavy wire loop.