Petite Squash Blossom Necklace – have you ever seen one?

Hi Paula,

I have a petite squash blossom that I’ve never seen another like it. Measures 12 1/4″ end to end, the naja is 1/2 x 1/2″. How you ever seen one this small? Maker?

Pamela

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Hi Pamela,

I’ve never seen one quite like yours but I’d guess either:

Navajo made OR

Native American style, shop made such as Bell Trading type piece OR

imported (not NA made)

Here is a small Navajo made squash blossom necklace – it is 16 inches long and made with 3 mm beads.

BD849-smooth-mini-squash-16inch-curley-1

Miniature Squash Blossom Necklace by Larry Curley

You can see how small it is by the dime in the photo – similar scale to yours I’d think.

BD849-smooth-mini-squash-16inch-curley-6

Here is a small Zuni needlepoint squash blossom necklace that is 18″ long and the Naja is 1 1/2″ x 1 1/4″

NS328-needlepoint-squash-turq-peina-2

Miniature Zuni Needlepoint Squash Blossom Necklace by Lorena Peina

Paula

To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here
http://www.horsekeeping.com/native-american-jewelry-artifacts.htm

If you are selling your jewelry, read this
http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn-buying.htm

Visit our pawn shop for your research and shopping
http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn/pawnshop-vin.htm

N156-SD-squashblossom-turq-150h

Squash Blossom Jewelry Questions

Hi Paula,
I am hoping you can help me out. I have two squash blossom necklaces. One is from my mother (late) and is a cool mother of pearl that I remember she told me that she purchased in the 70’s. The other, in blue turquoise, I acquired at a resale shop about ten years ago. I have decided to finally pull them out and start wearing them and would love to know more about them. I can’t find a stamp on either one of them. I don’t see an artist and I don’t see a silver marking either. I have taken a few pictures and would love to hear your opinion. Also, is it fashionable to polish or not polish these necklaces. Also, does it affect the value if I chose to have them lengthened or shortened? Thank so much in advance.
Colleen
Squash blossom 001Squash blossom 005Hello Colleen,
Without a hallmark, about the only thing I can say about your two lovely squash blossom necklaces is that they are vintage Navajo.
As to their silver content, that is something you can test with an acid test kit or have them tested at a pawn shop.
As far as polishing, that is a matter of personal taste. You could leave as is, clean or polish with a cloth, or completely restore as you see fit. Here is more information about cleaning jewelry.
In terms of adjusting the length, yes it would likely affect the value. For a collector, leaving a squash blossom necklace the traditional length would be best. But for “using’, depending on who did the alteration and how they did it, a shortening might increase its “value” because then it would be wearable art!
Watch for my next post which will show a squash blossom necklace that I had shortened so that I could wear it more as a “choker” than a long necklace.
Paula
To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here
http://www.horsekeeping.com/native-american-jewelry-artifacts.htmIf you are selling your jewelry, read this
http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn-buying.htmVisit our pawn shop for your research and shopping
http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn/pawnshop-vin.htm

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What is this green necklace worth?

Hi Paula,
I recently inherited a necklace that my grandparents bought in the early 1970’s. It has at least 40 years of patina built up on it and a maker’s mark on the back that I think is “HL”. I took it to a jeweler and she told me that is was indeed entirely made of sterling silver, handmade and that the turquoise was real. It has spent that better part of the last 20 years in a safe deposit box and, if I keep it, it will stay there until I die. It is something I will never wear and have no strong sentimental ties to it. I cannot find anyone that can tell me who made it, how much it might be worth and how I can sell it for its true value. Can you help me?
Here are two photos of my necklace. The only marks I can find on it is what appears to be a cursive “HL” etched on the back. There is at least 40 years of patina built on, possibly more. My grandpa bought it for my step-grandma in the early 70’s and my mom said she doesn’t think it was ever worn by her, but I do see some signs of wear, edges that are worn smooth, so it may be much older. I really don’t know anything about it and everyone who would is long dead.

Is there anything you can tell me about this, who made it, or anything that might make it particularly special or rare?

Thank you,
Deby

necklace1 necklace2 hallmark necklace2Hi Deby,

First of all, what you have here is a Squash Blossom Necklace. To learn about its symbolism

Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace – What is its history and meaning?

Back in the 1970’s there was a “Native American jewelry boom” !!! You can search 1970 in the search tool on this blog and you will find several articles related to 1970s jewelry including this one

The 1970s Native American Jewelry Boom

So because of that, there was a lot of Native American jewelry made at that time, some very nice and some kind of quick to feed the demand.

A good way to find out what your necklace is worth is to show it, in person to someone who deals specifically in vintage Native American jewelry. Another way is to use eBay to establish value. I outline a specific procedure you can follow to determine value in these articles:

Paula – What is my Squash Blossom Necklace Worth?

How to determine the value of your item using eBay SOLD feature

As far as your necklace, it is fairly typical of the time. Although you only sent one photo of the front of the necklace, I can see that the stones are a very nice green turquoise, except for perhaps the one in the upper position which appears quite blue. That could be how it was originally made or it that stone could have been replaced at some point. Most of the squash blossom ends do show damage but they can be repaired by a Native American jeweler.

I couldn’t make out the inscribed hallmark well enough to verify and there have been a number of Navajo artists with the initials HL over the years.

Enjoy your treasure !

N156-SD-squashblossom-turq-1

Paula

Why are there so few Squash Blossom Necklaces made with Black Onyx?

Hi Paula,

I have a Squash Blossom necklace made with black onyx, and wonder first of all if it is authentic, and the hallmark looks like a ‘S’ while researching I found a necklace on ebay that looks exactly like mine, but the hallmark is H or N. Also I was wondering why there are so few necklaces made with black onyx. Thank you so much for your help in advance.
I really appreciate this and am also excited. I just learned from my friends this weekend that squash blossom necklaces find the person, and you will never believe where i did find this beauty. So I do believe they find you. Is this true, are you aware of it? I am just learning about this.
 
Blessings
Julie
1875 Hallmark IMG_1869 IMG_1870 IMG_1874 IMG_1878Hi Julie,
Your necklace does has characteristics that are consistent with being a contemporary Navajo made squash blossom necklace. I think it is elegant ! I have always liked black onyx. The beads are bench beads which is to be expected. The bezels are smooth and tidy.
As far as it being authentic, the only way to positively authenticate an item is to either know the hallmark for sure, buy the item directly from the person who made it or have some documentation that shows where the item was purchased and when. A few artists provide a Certificate of Authenticity with their items. With all that said, your necklace gives the appearance in photos of being Native American made and my gut feeling is that it is.  But…….
When you say you have seen identical ones on eBay but with different individual initials for hallmarks, it makes me wonder a couple of things. If these necklaces are being made in a Native American shop by a number of different NA artists. Or if these necklaces are being made outside of the US – the easiest hallmark to fake is a gothic single capital letter and since there are so many artists in can be attributed to, there is not such a risk of being caught.
I honestly can’t see the hallmark well enough to see what it is. If you would like to send another photo that is in focus, that would be great.  If you don’t have a close-up feature on your camera, just take a normal photo of the entire back of the naja (like you did of the front) and send it and I can zoom in on it.
If it is indeed an S, there are several dozen Native American artists who have used that initial over the years so it would be a wild guess.
As far as onyx in a squash blossom necklace being rare? Well turquoise is the most traditional and popular stone used in squash blossom necklaces. We do see the occasional Mother of Pearl, onyx, lapis and various inlay squash blossom necklaces, but probably 90% of them are made with turquoise. Why? Because when stones began to be incorporated into Native American jewelry, turquoise was a beautiful local stone so was readily available and a natural choice  – thus became the tradition.
Although black onyx is mined in the US, it is not mined in Arizona or New Mexico where many of the Native American artists live(d). Contemporary artists use stones from all over the US, and the world for that matter, so onyx would be a more modern choice.
As far as a squash blossom necklace choosing you, I have not heard that before but perhaps a reader of this blog has.
The main thing is to enjoy your beautiful necklace ! Thanks for sharing.
Paula
Julie sent a closeup of the hallmark along with a note that is below this new photo.
back view 3 cropped

Hi Paula, Thank you for responding to my questions in detail regarding my necklace. I just want you to know I only did see one like mine.
 
I am sending you pictures of the back so you can make out the Hallmark, I hope they work for you, I did take them to publisher and cropped them, and messed around with the brightness on one picture in case it helps you. I am assuming the black stone is Onyx, as I do work with gemstones in my business. However, I have been reading that Jet is often used in this type of work, what do you think about that? Is there a test I can do to check if it is actually Jet?
 
Anyway, good luck, and I am very curious to hear back from you as to what you discover.
 
Again, I appreciate your help so much, and want to thank you.
 
Blessings,
Julie

Looking for a SMALL squash blossom necklace

Hi Paula,

I am looking for a SMALL squash blossom necklace or choker, ideally WITHOUT the large naja central pendant. I am also interested in matching earrings.

Thanks, Lee

Hi Lee,

Here are a few ideas.

Here is one that is 18″ long and what I would call a miniature squash blossom necklace by Zuni artist Lorena Peina and it does have matching earrings.

NS328-needlepoint-squash-turq-peina-setAnd here is a New Old Stock (made in the 70s) Zuni sunface you might like, but this one is longer – 24 inches.

S407-WB-sunface-set-4Both of these have the central naja. I rarely see a squash blossom necklace without one.

This lapis squash blossom necklace is medium in size and 19″ in length and also has matching earrings.

N186-WB-squashblossom-lapis-naja-set-1

N186-WB-squashblossom-lapis-naja-set-5

Paula

What mine is this turquoise from and what is the value of this squash blossom necklace?

Hello Paula,

All of the black matrix you see contains pyrite; some dark spots in the photo are exclusively pyrite. Most are mixed with the black matrix, however. Notice the quarter for size comparison. All the stones rise at least 1/8″ above their settings, and some rise as high as 1/4″ or higher. Amazing, right? 🙂 The earrings appear to have hand engraved rising suns on them (the suns are not identical, causing me to think they were hand carved, however they may have been distorted during the shaping of the petals?). I love this necklace so much, as both my folks have passed. Knowing they wanted me to have it makes me feel very blessed.

I sent you the photo in natural undirected sunlight, but I also took a couple pics in direct sunlight around 8:00 this morning, before the skies became overcast (we’re expecting freezing rain here in northwest Ohio this evening. great). If you want me to send a photo of the piece in direct sunlight, I can. The pyrite shows up better in the sun.

Much to my delight, I rediscovered the Fred Harvey bracelet my parents gave me as a child, and set it next to the necklace for you to look at as well. I had a copper one also, but I hated it, and either traded it for a plastic animal with one of my childhood friends or threw it out altogether. Regrets!!!

If you venture a guess on the value of these pieces as you try to determine the mine this turquoise is from, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Sydney

squash stone ID

Good morning Sydney,

Beautiful sentimental treasure.

Without seeing it in person, I can’t say for sure, but I’d narrow it down to Blue Diamond, Kingman or Morenci.

We don’t appraise or give value from photos.

Enjoy ! That’s the main thing. Turquoise has a great power and feel to it.

I’m going to post the photo of your necklace on my blog so if anyone else has other ideas on the stones, they can chime in.

Paula

Dear Paula,

Thank you so much for your input, I appreciate it very much. Per your knowledge of turquoise and my further research, I am pretty sure the stones in my squash blossom necklace are from the Blue Diamond hat mine. I’m pretty happy about that. I knew it started production in the 1950’s and stopped in the 80’s. The mine is now buried under thousands of tons of rock, making Blue Diamond turquoise highly collectible today.

In the descriptions I’ve read, Blue Diamond is known for the triangular-shaped black chert, which is readily seen in the stones of my necklace. This is why I believe my stones are Blue Diamond. Plus, the pyrite is not silver colored as in the Kingman turquoise. Morenci turquoise doesn’t exhibit the black chert so recognizable in Blue Diamond. So, by process of elimination, I have concluded my squash blossom stones are Blue Diamond turquoise.

It will be interesting to read the input from your blog after you post the photo of the necklace. 🙂 I’m no expert, but as in all things, when I become interested in something, I become a super sleuth until my desire for knowledge has been satiated. I too welcome your readers’ input.

Thank you for indulging me with this sleuthing, it’s been much fun, and of course I love the products on Horsekeeping,com.

Blessings,

Sydney

Squash Blossom Necklace with T Hallmark

Hi Paula,

I purchased this necklace. It was represented as “Vintage Native American”. No tribal affiliation was given. It was represented as being “very old” (maybe 60’s?)

The hallmark is a capital “T”. It is not marked sterling silver but again it was represented as being sterling silver.

It has been cleaned somewhat but does have patina consistent with an older piece.

My questions are:

  1) Do you think it is Navajo? (or some other tribe)

  2) Any idea as to the maker?

        Thank you! Shauna L

Hi Shauna,

It looks like a Navajo Squash Blossom necklace to me.

Based on the photos, its overall look and style and the smooth bezels around the stones and the stones themselves, plus the patina, it has the look of a 1970s or earlier item.

Your hallmark photo shows a capital T in Gothic.

According to Hallmarks of the Southwest by Barton Wright, the T hallmark is attributed to Navajo silversmith Tommy Singer.

According to The Little Book of Marks on Southwestern Silver by Bille Hougart, the T hallmark has been used by

Navajo silversmith Tommy Singer

Navajo silversmith Rhonda Tahe

Navajo silversmith Richard T. Thomas

I hope this has been helpful. Paula

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