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 Henry did his 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…….

Diane Radeke
P. O. Box 55935
Phoenix, AZ  85078

See this related article

Shortening a Squash Blossom Necklace for Paula


Navajo Dolls in Traditional Dress


Navajo Dolls represent Navajo Men and Women in traditional dress.




Navajo dolls are meant to be played with or collected.



Traditional dress for a Navajo woman would start with moccasins, either ankle or knee high.  Alternatively, a Navajo woman might wear short moccasins and wear leggins or leg wraps.




 The full, tiered skirt might be cotton or velvet. It is a full length pleated shirt that might have rick rack trim between the sections.

If the skirt is velvet, there is usually a matching top that is cinched around the waist with either a sash or a concha belt. It would be completed with jewelry made of silver, turquoise and shells and perhaps a shawl.


ND407-couple-blue-lg-6Necklaces are usually squash blossom style so with the dolls, a facsimile is often sewn right onto the dress. Doll earrings are often beaded loop earrings.


Men usually wear traditional muslin pants, a bright colored shirt (often velvet) and a cinched sash like belt or concha belt.  Men also wear necklaces and bracelets.













Often Navajo men wore a Bandolier Bag (medicine bag) slung diagonally across from shoulder to hip. The bag was usually made of leather and decorated with conchas.

Vintage Navajo Bandolier Bag



Hair for the dolls is made of mohair, wool or yarn.


The hands are sometimes made of leather.


The face is fabric and the facial features are usually painted on.

Navajo dolls might just be standing or they could be involved in an activity from everyday life such as weaving, cooking, or sewing.


Squash Blossom Necklace with Hearts

Hi Paula,

I have a squash blossom necklace made with hearts. I have searched your blog and the internet and have not found this shape. Can you help me determine if this is in fact a rare-type shape? Also, can you help me determine the type of turquoise? And, my clasp is broken, do regular jewelers repair the clasps, and the way they repair, does it make a difference or lessen the value? Like soldering vs. wiring vs.gluing?

Thank you,
20140709_143636 20140709_143651Hi Catherine,
I would interpret the design element as clouds rather than hearts.
Possibly this could be King’s Manassa turquoise but it is hard to say for certain.
As far as repairs, I would recommend that you have any repairs done by an experienced, knowledgeable jeweler that as worked on vintage Native American jewelry so that the repair would be consistent with the original piece.
We don’t do repairs here but we recommend this business for Native American jewelry repairs. They do all of the repairs for our store and we are thoroughly satisfied with their work.
Repair Contact:
Diane Radeke
P. O. Box 55935
Phoenix, AZ  85078
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Vintage Navajo – Sterling Silver and Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace

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?




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.


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.


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


Miniature Zuni Needlepoint Squash Blossom Necklace by Lorena Peina


To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here

If you are selling your jewelry, read this

Visit our pawn shop for your research and shopping


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.
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.
To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here you are selling your jewelry, read this our pawn shop for your research and shopping


Real Bear Claw Necklace – can you tell me anything about it?

Hello Paula. I have a Bear Claw Squash Blossom necklace. I got it at an estate auction in 1989, in Bowman ND. It is missing one claw. They are real claws,  it is made of silver. It say “Craig” on the back. Is there anything more you may be able to tell me about it? Rob

1025130554a 1205131756 1205131756aRob,

Without seeing the hallmark, I can’t say for sure. There are several Navajo silversmiths in the Craig family.

If you would like to send a clear photo of the hallmark, that would help.

What is that hanging down between the two claws of the drop? Can’t quite get a fix on it. I’m thinking it might be a piece of Mother of Pearl (MOP) to coordinate with what appears to be MOP set above the turquoise on the two sidepieces.

The assembly of this necklace is not typical. The curved reinforcements are unusual.

I wouldn’t call this a squash blossom necklace. Although it is true, it is strung on double silver beads typical of squash blossom necklaces, that is about where the similarity ends.

Below is a traditional squash blossom necklace complete with squash blossoms.

N201-squash-turq-nugget-1And this next one is a bear claw squash blossom necklace.N150-SD-bearclaw-turq-coral-2 I look forward to receiving the photo of the hallmark.  Paula

To view our full list of article or to ask a jewelry question, follow the instructions here

If you are selling your jewelry, read this

Visit our pawn shop for your research and shopping

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,

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 !