Ear Cuffs and other Stuff……..any ideas?

Hi Paula,

I have a piece if jewelry that I am not even sure of what it is. I know they are to wear on the ears and I call them cuffs, but they are not exactly cuffs. The mark inside if very hard to read for me. I will attach photos and see if you can make it out. I can see Sterling and then 2 indiscernible words. The mark is TM and then hand etched a circle with another emblem in the circle. I slightly polished with a cloth trying to get a better view. The other pieces are just some things I have had for about 40 years. Nothing spectacular, but I would love if you could tell me anything about them. The silver band is the only one that is marked and it has a mark of LS and a stamp that looks almost like a face to me. The other pieces have no marks what so ever.

Thank you for any info you can provide on the ear cuffs.


023029 lightened024HI Donna,

I don’t wear earrings so I might be way off on this but my take is that these are either post or wire hoop-style earrings that have lost their posts or wires !  They look like earrings I have seen made in Mexico. Again, I could be all wet on this and I invite readers of this blog to chime in.

I can’t really read the hallmarks even when I Iightened the photo.

As far as your other items, the big turquoise ring, the ring next to the “ear cuffs” and the coral earrings seem to be in the style of Native American made items but it is hard to tell from the group photo.  The coral earrings are squash blossom style since they have the 3 petal squash blossom embellishment at the bottom as you see on the necklaces such as this.


Perhaps your earrings were part of a necklace set in the past.

The little ring between the big turquoise ring and what you are calling “ear cuffs” could be a Bell Trading Co. ring. It looks the style. Read about Bell Trading Co. here.

Here is an example of the type of ring from that company


It is possible that your other items are Native American made or they could just be southwestern style jewelry. It is hard to tell from the photo.

I invite comments !!


7 thoughts on “Ear Cuffs and other Stuff……..any ideas?

  1. Hi Paula and Donna,
    Donna is right to call that large pair a style of ear cuff. When ear cuffs became popular in the 70’s and 80’s all sorts of non pierced styles were made. The earliest ones were from Sante Fe and Albuquerque designers and manufacturers. The style spread around the country from there. I sold many southwestern ones in MT, WA, ID and made many styles of our own for my stores in Spokane and to sell to shops. The one you found is larger than many and centered on the ear instead of dangling below the curve of the ear.

    Ear cuffs became popular again in Northern Europe a year or 2 ago. This year they showed uo on runway models in fashion shows. This time many are very large designs that come from behind the ear. Very different from the one you show and from the earlier styles.

    I’ve collected pictures of many styles on a Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/russnobbs/ear-cuffs-and-ear-threads/

    They never died out entirely. Artists at craft shows continued to make simple styles and a few make dangly ones. Some sell them in pairs while others make singles. My findings business (Rings & Things) sells basic cuffs with a hole so craftspeople can dangle designs below them. I think we will see a resurgence in them for the next year or 2.

    • I figured you might know Russ !! Your pinterest page does show some similar in shape. I’m still having a hard time figuring out how Donna’s would hold onto and stay on the ear. Thank you for the information !! You are a valuable resource for us all. Paula

      • Glad to help. I enjoy ear cuffs to this day and often wear a Hopi style overlay one with a feather on it.
        I think the “hook” on hers fits into the lower part of the ear while the top part wraps around he top of the ear. Wish I had a picture of one similar to demonstrate.

      • Glad you like the little Russ Troll Bead. We’ve had a lot of fun with it. Only problem is that my appearance has radically changed lately. I guess I should upload some new pictures?
        I’m very glad you are still selling Southwestern style cuffs. I did find some new ear cuff pictures from the 80’s. I’ll scan them and put them on the Pinterest page.

  2. Hi Donna,

    We have bought similar ear cuffs from an artist who has made these in the past twenty years.
    the narrow longer piece of the cuff goes behind the ear and the loop on the other end winds around the ear and sits in the dip in the front of the opening of the ear. So your ear actually has the long piece at the back and shorter piece in front and your ear is cradled by the cuff. the
    small loop in the front should be maleable enough so you can adjust to sit in the ear with comfort
    as not all ears are alike.

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