Who made this necklace from the 60s and what is it worth?

Hi Paula,

I got this necklace in the 60s been in a storage box for 40 years, any idea what it is or who made it or what it would be worth if I sold it. Thanks Paul


This is a unique necklace as I have not seen anything quite like it. A combination of heishi, claws and a turquoise pendant. When you say you “got” it in the 60’s, how did you get it? From whom and where? That often helps.

The heishi looks handmade and like either acoma jet or dark shell (maybe olive shell) with some turquoise mixed in. Its hard to tell from the photos but it looks like there are some (deeply tarnished) silver heishi beads mixed in there too. Are there?  The beads and cones on the ends look appropriate for a Navajo made piece – could be sterling silver with 40 years of tarnish.

The claws are meant to represent Bear Claws. Whether they are real or faux claws, I can not tell from a photo. The hot pin prick is really the only way to tell – the smell is quite distinct between a real claw (if you’ve ever smelled burning tooth or bone or even branding of cattle or horses – its something like that) and a faux claw (a more acrid, sharp smoke – think burning plastic).

The treatment of the claws is very unique – the two side claws with their silver caps and added into the heishi. Very interesting treatment. But the crowning achievement is the way the three claws are affixed to the bottom edge of the pendant – see best when viewing the back of the pendant. – that took some thought and skill.

The setting around the turquoise stone is unusual (i.e. not traditional NA), looks free form handmade. The stone is very blue for being 40+ years old but life in a box might explain that.

Does this test positive for sterling silver? In some of the photos it looks like it is, and other not so much.

As far as the hallmark, although there are many hallmarks using similar arrows, most have either another symbol or initials along with the arrow.  In one hallmark book, there is a drawing of this arrow in the “Unidentified” section. So perhaps someone who reads this blog might have an idea, but I do not.

As to what it is, I’d call it a Bear Claw Necklace, whether or not they are real, that is the style.

Is it Native American made? It is definitely made in a Native American style but with a very unusual combination of elements. The hallmark leads one to think it was Native American made, but until the hallmark is identified, one can’t be sure if it was Native American made and if so, by whom.

As far as its worth, I wouldn’t hazard a guess from photos.  If I had it in hand I could give you an idea.


4 thoughts on “Who made this necklace from the 60s and what is it worth?

  1. I’m inclined to agree with you. how are you doing? Don’t mistake my lack of writing as lack of caring. I think of you all the time. Have FB problems and trying for past months to help my mom move into assisted living. I’ve got med and legal issues to boot and my place is loaded with goods to the point you have to turn sideways to get around. Dara’s Attic has become Dara’s closet! Miss you, the Attic doesn’t recognize its own password and my world is upside down. Gmail is working should you want to stay in touch. Love, Dara.

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