Restringing a Squash Blossom Necklace

When this arrived in a recent estate lot, I went eeek ! and then promptly contacted our favorite repair shop. Although we can make minor repairs and alterations here at our store, we leave something like this to a professional that has experience with Native American jewelry.

A jumble of beads and a broken wire – I wonder if everything is here to make a necklace again??!!

The 14 mm handmade beads are stamped on both side and so are the blossoms – quite rare !

As usual Old Town did their magic – straightening any bent blossom petals, balancing all the beads beautifully, making a new hook and eye closure….resulting in a treasure of a necklace.

The repair shop we use…….
Contact Diane Radeke at
Old Town Trading Co. / Jewels of the West
4009 N. Brown Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
602-350-4009
info@oldtownjewels.com

See this related article

Shortening a Squash Blossom Necklace for Paula

Paula

Why do Navajo Pearls have hook and eye closures?

Dear Paula,

My concern is about the hook and eye closures on the silver beads (Navajo Pearls).  Are these secure?  I would think that they could fall off easily and do not understand why they do not come with a lobster claw or more secure closure.  Have most customers been satisfied with this kind of closure or do they tend to lose their jewelry? Is there anything that can be done to make this closure more secure?

Thank you.

MM

BD843-19-grad-stamped-yazzie-3

Hello MM,

The hook and eye is traditional as the early Navajo artists did not have access to lobster claw clasps or other mechanical style clasps.

N227-squash-turq-27-5I’ve never had a necklace come undone. If you are worried you can squeeze the hook together which will make it more secure but also a little harder to hook.  Once on, I have found hook and eye closures to be quite secure.

BD832-stamped-grad-30-nelson-7

You could purchase a necklace extender with a lobster claw clasp. We offer both kinds but the hook and eye extenders sell 8:1 to the lobster claw clasps. It is a matter of tradition and personal preference.

NEXOT-group-4-450wNEX0T-L4-chain-450w

N256-WB-25-beads-bears-2N256-WB-25-beads-bears-6

Paula

Can you tell me more about this Sterling Silver Bead Necklace?

Dear Paula,

I am interested in possibly purchasing this necklace to wear with a large silver and copper pendant by Roland Begay that I recently received as a gift:  Navajo Sterling Silver, Stamped Bead Necklace – 8mm 18 inch, 42 grams, #BD789-B hand-crafted by Tashina Long.
 
I live on the east coast and have just begun to educate myself about Native American jewelry.
 
Could you kindly tell me more about Tashina Long the silversmith and her work?
 
Thank you for your time and attention,
Mora
BD789-ABC-stamped--8mm-long-2 BD789-ABC-stamped--8mm-long-3
HI Mora,
First of all, it is a beautiful necklace and would make a stunning pendant hanger.
Lily Yazzie Jameson Long is the mother of Tashina Long.  (You’ll also see Lily’s beads in our store).
Lily is the sister of Lee, Raymond, Marie Yazzie James, Lola Yazzie Daw, Shirley Yazzie Johnson, Cindy Yazzie, Mary Yazzie – some of the most celebrated Navajo silversmiths today.  You’ll see beads and jewelry by them in our store.
Tashina is in her twenties and has some children.  The Longs and Yazzies come from a long line of distinguished silversmiths.  Her mother Lily and her sisters taught Tashina to be a silversmith.  She lives north of Gallup as do many in her family.
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

BD832-stamped-grad-30-nelson-8

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.
BD794-pinto-stamped-grad-1725-3
AT38-pouch-silverblue-300w
You can also keep them in an anti tarnish pouch if you want them to stay shiny.
AT33-38-pouch-brown-black-280wPaula

Are these items even Native American made?

Hi Paula
I am trying to find out any information about the two necklaces in the attached photo, like which Native American tribe may have made them (if they are indeed genuinely made by a Native American). It seems like you may be quite knowledgable about these things so if you have any ideas I’d love to hear them!
Kind regards
Heidi

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

Hi Heidi,

Thank you. I am very interested and immersed in my work so I have gathered some knowledge about Native American jewelry over the years but there is so much more to know.  That’s why I like to post these questions here on this blog to attract comments from others.

The necklace on the right certainly seems like it could be Navajo made. It has the look of a sterling silver necklace, simple but similar in layout to a squash blossom necklace. When I enlarge the photo, the beads seem to be hand made, not bench beads. It is a very nice necklace which I feel pretty certain would have been Navajo made.

The necklace on the left however, although very attractive, does not seem to be Native American made. The first thing that caught my eye was the brass beads which say India to me. The horizontal brass spacers between the brass beads are also not a design element associated with Native American jewelry. It seems the long dark beads and the shorter tube beads are made from horn or bone, again something I’d tend to associate with India or Africa. The rondelle beads which make up the majority of the necklace also could be bone……or perhaps they and the shorter tube beads are some sort of ivory. These things are hard to tell from a single photo.

Of course, many things can be determined definitively when viewing an item in person – using one photo is just guesswork.

It will be interesting to see what other readers think.

Paula

More Heishi Fit Notes – Choosing the Correct Length

When buying heishi necklaces, first you need to know how the artist or seller measures their heishi necklaces.

Many heishi makers sell their heishi by length of material used, so 19″ of turquoise heishi might be sold as 19″ …………but with a hook and eye and the bit of slack incorporated in the necklace to make it hang right, the actual necklace wearing length might be closer to 19 3/4″.

NH816-turq-grad-22-garcia-2

For chokers especially, each of us has a particular length we like to wear that suits our physique and clothing necklines. That’s when measurement become particularly important.

NH937-155-crespin-2

Here at horsekeeping, we measure from the tip of the hook to the eye on the other end. That represents the actual end-to-end wearing length.

NH912-20-21-jet-teller-3

This results in most thin to medium heishi fitting well……..

NH834-coral-turq-adj-1strand-ortiz-2but when you are purchasing very thick heishi, necklaces that are 3/8″ thick or more, you should compensate and purchase a necklace that is 1/4″ to 3/4″ longer than your usual length. That’s because the thicker heishi sits away from your neck so some of the end-to-end length is taken up to make the circle around your neck.

NH947-17-reano-2

The same principle applies to Navajo Pearls. If you wear an 18″ 4mm silver bead necklace, when buying a 14 mm necklace, you might need almost a 19″ long if you want it to sit in the same place on your neckline.

BD792-18-4mm-smooth-antiqued-arviso-2

BD796-jameson-stamped-14mm-175-2a

We provide measurements. The best way to get a good fit is to measure a similar necklace you already have that fits you well and compare it to the measurements indicated for the item.

Here’s to beautiful, well-fitting heishi !

Paula

Hooks on Native American Necklaces

Dear Paula,
I foolishly went to bed last night with my new coral necklace hooked around my neck.
N189-WB-26-coral-heart-2
I woke up in the morning and it was gone.
I could have lost it at the shops as I was in and out of bed trying to get to sleep and then we went to the shops late last night, I have searched all the crevices of my room and all places and it is just gone.
That hook they use at the back, I should have bent it shut if I wanted to leave it on, that’s what I do with my other hooks or I should have just taken it off before I go to bed.
What a shame! I scrimped and saved for that necklace and I so loved it, it was one-of a kind vintage!
Please get back to me any advice you do have about those hooks they use, and please help me for next time!
Thanks, Ruby
N189-WB-26-coral-heart-5
PS  My adopted Dad just found it! I am so pleased!  It was in between the doorway of my room and the hall way.
I have bent the hook shut, and can take it off over my head when I shower.
Any advice would still be appreciated.
Thanks
Love Ruby
Hi Ruby, Phew !! That’s good news. Yes, bend the hook shut like you did – that’s what most people do who want to take a necklace on and off over their heads. Traditionally the hooks are left open at first because some people have arthritis or other difficulty with their hands and need a big open hook in order to get it fastened.
30animals2strand-corrineB-7
Usually when a necklace is hanging straight down it won’t come unfastened. I can see where it would come off if you wore it to bed. But like you found, it is easy to squish the hook closed for more security.
Paula
BD746-tso-smooth-antiqued-10mm-14mm-5