Silver Dollar Jewelry

Hi Paula,

I want to get my grandfather a silver dollar cuff and the one marked sold on your site is the one he really likes. Can you get another? Jan

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Hi Jan,

We never know when one will turn up in an estate lot. But if you have or buy a silver dollar that you like, you can have it made into a bracelet for your grandfather. The shop that does our repairs, Old Town Trading (contact info at the end of this post) can do that for you. Here is an example of a bolo that Henry, one of their silversmiths, made for one of their customers.

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Diane Radeke
Old Town Trading Co. / Jewels of the West
4009 N. Brown Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ  85251
602-350-4009

NOS – New Old Stock

We are often contacted by stores and trading posts that are closing and want to sell us their NOS – New Old Stock.

The items range from contemporary to vintage Native American items but still on the stores cards or packages.

Often they are of designs that aren’t currently available anymore and most of the time they are made of heavier sterling silver and with stones we don’t see as often any more…….so they are cool !

Even though they are not used, we put the NOS items in our pawn shop since we didn’t buy them from the artist directly and they usually are not contemporary items. So they seem to fit best in our pawn shop.

We’ve purchased some interesting inventories and collections over the last few years and I am finally listing some of it on the website.

Here are some examples of the NOS we have recently acquired:

The White Buffalo Collection – Vintage but Unused Bolo Ties

So far I’ve just skimmed the surface of this wonderful collection with the listing of the rugs previously noted and now some awesome vintage but unused bolo ties.

 

White Buffalo Navajo Pawn Collection White Buffalo Collection

We recently purchased a large collection of vintage but unused Native American artifacts including jewelry, rugs and pottery. It was part of the estate of a Navajo woman who was a missionary that worked with Native Americans in Four Corners – the area of the American southwest where four states meet- New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. As a single parent, she raised 5 daughters and a son while also providing food, shelter, and clothing to less fortunate people that needed assistance. Often she was thanked for her help by gifts of Native American items.

Most of the items in this collection are from the 1970s to the 1990s. We offer these items to you with great respect and with the information we received from the family plus our research.

We named the collection after one of the pieces in the group, a hand carved Navajo fetish necklace honoring the Sacred White Buffalo.

Bell Trading Company History and Hallmarks

The Bell Trading Company was founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1932 by Jack Michelson and his wife Mildred. They sold Native American Indian jewelry at various tourist locations in the southwestern United States until 1972.

Their main competitor was Maisel’s Indian Trading Post who merged with Bell Trading Company in 1935.

The Bell company got its name from Jack’s wife, whose maiden name was Bell.

The types of jewelry sold by Bell Trading included sterling silver, nickel silver, gold, and copper.

Over the years numerous hallmarks were used on items sold by Bell Trading. The hallmarks typically included the image of a bell or that of an arrow sign post with a bell sign hanging from it. Shown here a just a few of Bell Trading Company’s hallmarks.

According to a reader who researched the trademark records, the mark “Bell Jewelry” (top middle picture below) was first used in 1935.

The “Arrow post hanging bell sign” (top right, middle, and bottom left pics below) was first used in 1961.

Bell Trading Company hallmark   Bell Trading Company hallmark   Bell Trading Company hallmark  Bell Trading Company hallmark

Bell Trading Company hallmark     Bell Trading Company hallmark   Bell Trading Company hallmark

In 1972 the company name was changed to Sunbell Corp. and items including giftware and moccasins were added to the jewelry inventory. Sunbell’s hallmark below.

sunbell cropped

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Bolo Tie – What is this pendant on a string?

Paula,

I inherited some jewelry and there is a pendant on a leather string. I have no idea what it is and how it is worn. Can you help me so I can know how to describe it to sell on eBay?

Chrissy

Hi Chrissy,

The photo you sent wasn’t in sharp enough focus for me to post but I was able to see you had a very nice vintage bolo tie. I’ll use one from our pawn shop to illustrate my description.  By the way, I encourage you to take the time to take sharp, in-focus photos of your bolo as it is likely to bring a nice price if people can see the details, stones, and workmanship.

A bolo tie, also called a “shoestring necklace” or simply a bola, can be thought of as a Western necktie. A bolo tie can range from an inexpensive “string tie”  to an elaborate sterling silver and leather affair. Maybe your younger brother had one of those string ties that he wore with his cowboy hat and cap guns ??!!

A bolo has three parts.

Sterling Silver, Turquoise and Coral Navajo Bolo Tie showing the three parts: Lariat, Tips and Slide

The cord that goes around the neck is called the lariat. It is traditionally braided from leather, and most commonly black leather. The lariat can also be made from woven cord, thus the term “string tie”.

The ends of the lariat are finished off with tips. The tips can be made of sterling silver, copper or other metals. They can be machine made tips or hand made tips.

And finally we get to the Pièce de résistance  which means the focal point, the best part or feature, the artistic creation for which the other portions exist !  The slide.

The slide is a decorative feature that, as its name indicates, slides up and down on the lariat. The slide can be worn up at the neck in the same position as a necktie knot (formal) or down lower for a more casual effect.

Slides can vary as widely as the artist’s imagination and can utilize many materials. Here are some examples of Native American bolo tie slides.

A lovely Navajo bolo slide made from sterling silver, coral and turquoise with leaves, flowers, rope work and other design elements.

A unique western spur bolo slide made by Navajo artist TK Emerson from sterling silver and beautiful turquoise stones.

A Zuni inlay bolo slide by Simplicio. The horse head is made from mother of pearl and jet. Two turquoise nuggets add a color accent.


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