Are you supposed to polish Navajo Pearls?

Hi Paula,

I was looking at the stamped Navajo pearl necklaces and began to wonder – How do you polish these necklaces or are you supposed to polish these necklaces?

Thanks   Pamela

Stamped Navajo Pearls by Larry Pinto

Stamped Navajo Pearls by Larry Pinto

Hi Pamela,
It is a matter of personal preference. If you like patina, no polishing necessary.That’s why we leave the beads in our pawn shop as is – so the buyer can decide.
A lot of people prefer patina………and to satisfy those customers, Navajo bead makers also put an “instant patina” on their beads by adding a satin finish and antiquing on some of their beads such as this gorgeous necklace by Navajo Virginia Tso.
Antiqued Navajo Pearls by Virginia Tso
If you like shiny, you can use a soft silver polishing cloth. Leaving a little patina in the stamped portions just makes the stamping stand out more dramatically. Very pretty.
You can also keep them in an anti tarnish pouch if you want them to stay shiny.

5 thoughts on “Are you supposed to polish Navajo Pearls?

  1. Paula, are the “pearls” shown in this post hallmarked? If so, where? I have two similar strands but have not seen a maker’s stamp. I know they are very old, probably pawn. Thank you for all the good information. Marcia

    • Hi Marcia,
      Yes, these are both hallmarked.
      Both Larry Pinto and Virginia Tso stamp their hallmark on the last bead (usually) of one end of the necklace, by the clasp.
      However I have found that on some graduated necklaces, the stamp is on the first bead that is at least 10-12 mm in size so that there is room for the hallmark. So if the beads near the clasp are 8 mm or smaller, and the necklaces is graduated, the hallmark could be farther down the necklace on a bigger bead.
      Also some artists add a signature disc or plate, a small sterling silver piece for the hallmark, up by the clasp.
      With all that said, in our experience, only about 1 in 4 or 5 Navajo bead makers use a hallmark.

  2. Pingback: To Polish or Not to Polish, That is the Question………. | Native American Jewelry Tips

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