We just got back from our annual spring buying trip where we seek out the new and beautiful items made by Native American artists in the southwest US.
Here is what we found. No surprise here. Because the prices of silver and gold are higher, the price of Native American jewelry is higher.
But you might not know this. Small things like earrings, pins and light bracelets are just not being made, so are not available.
Medium weight pieces are not as readily available as last year and those that are cost 1 1/2 to 2 times what they did last year this time. The same item we might have purchased last year at 65 grams for $150 looks pretty much the same but now weighs only 52 grams and costs $225.
Heavy, quality pieces are available and they are where it seems artists are focusing their time.
So we have begun listing the treasures.
Visit our NEW page to see the latest and greatest !!
The cross in the attached photo was bought in New Mexico somewhere between Zuni & Navajo reservations – It was about 2.25 -2.5” in length – my husband lost his over the summer and we are trying to find another just like it – Can you help?
Thank you! Denise
I have one very similar made by Francis Begay – it has a clear turquoise cabochon in the center. It is 2 1/2″ long including the fixed bail.
Hope this helps as I know how it is to lose a favorite piece of jewelry – often it is difficult to impossible to replace exactly – especially when the piece was hand made.
We have found that one year we might purchase a certain pendant from an artist and when we want more the next year, he or she has moved onto different things and isn’t “set up” to make those any more. Navajo artists, especially, are quite inventive and always changing the items they make to suit themselves, the availability of materials and the market.
Horace Iule (1901-1978) was a Zuni artist who made a wide variety of sterling silver and stone pieces, most notably traditional Zuni crosses.
Horace worked with his wife Lupe Iule, who was from San Felipe Pueblo. They were married in 1933, and had six children: Ruby, Lupe, Cecilia, Robert, Barney, and Phillip. Cecilia continues in her fathers tradition with the crosses.
Cecilia creates her crosses from tiny to huge and uses coral, turquoise, and other gem stones.
Vintage Malachite and Opal Cross by Cecilia Iule, Zuni
Horace Iule was taught silversmithing by his father. He made sand-cast items and then embellished them with hammering and die stamping. His children use some of his original casting equipment to continue the Iule cross legacy.
One person’s “large” is another person’s “small” and vice versa. I’ve learned that size is very relative.
I’ve had people contact us looking for a small Native American cross pendant and they mean 2-3″ tall and the next person that wants a small cross means 1/2″ tall.
So I’ve reorganized all of our crosses into size categories. The fabulous webmaster here put all of the photos in scale so now you can see how the crosses relate to each other in terms of size.
Just to keep life simple, I went with
Small – under 2 ” tall
Medium – 2 – 3 ” tall
Large – over 3″ tall (and several are over 5″ tall !!)
The height of crosses like all other pendants is measured from the top of the bail to the bottom of the pendant. Some pendants have very large bails so that will add substantially to the overall length but since the bail plus the pendant results in the total drop length (where it will hang on you !), the bail is included as part of the total height.
Here are a few pics in scale to give you an idea of what I am talking about.