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Paula says - "This vintage bracelet is likely from 1940s when most silver and stone work was done by hand and hallmarks were not yet commonly used. It was around the 1950s that the Navajo Guild and other groups encouraged Native American artists to identify their work with hallmarks." Read about hallmarks.
"This is a chisel cut split shank bracelet, a traditional Navajo and Zuni bracelet form where a solid band is split using a chisel to form two, three or more small bands with the ends left intact. The resulting open spaces allow for ventilation, thus making the bracelets more comfortable to wear in hot and humid weather." Read more . . .
Our Rescue Mission
We are in the vintage Native American jewelry rescue business and are passionate about finding new homes for used and vintage jewelry. That's why we purchase Native American pieces from estates, inheritances, collection downsizing and New Old Stock (NOS) inventory from closed stores.
Often people contact us after taking a box of Native American jewelry to their local pawn shop and find that a pawn shop is mainly interested in melt value of the metals and not in preserving the beautiful historic pieces. To hear that people have considered selling these treasures for melt value makes us truly sad.
Melt value is usually far below what we would offer for the jewelry. Yet we can't pay retail price for items because of the time and cost involved in finding new homes for them. We have to research, often repair and restore the jewelry, photograph and list each item on our website, and sometimes hold pieces in inventory for years until the right buyer comes along.
We hope you'll find something special in our vintage shop that will complete yet another circle of our jewelry re-homing mission.
Coin Silver: When used in association with vintage Native American jewelry, this refers to the alloy that resulted when pre-1965 US silver coins were melted down to reuse in jewelry making. Coin silver made from US coins has less silver than sterling silver (90% compared to 92.5% in sterling silver) but that doesn’t necessarily make coin silver jewelry less desirable. In fact, because coin silver jewelry is usually older and hand hammered, it might be more valuable than if it were made of sterling silver. Vintage Mexican coins often had a silver content above that of US coins, therefore was softer and easier to hand hammer and preferred by some old-time silversmiths. Some Mexican coin silver jewelry will test as high as sterling silver.
Spread Wire, Split Shank and Pretty Girl Bracelets
All three of these types of bracelets – spread wire, split shank, and pretty girl bracelets, are traditional Navajo and Zuni bracelet forms and all are open and airy making for comfortable summer wearing. The open spaces allow for ventilation, thus making the bracelets more comfortable to wear in hot and humid weather. Read more . . .
NOTE: Items in our Vintage Shop are either USED or NEW. They might come from inheritances, estate sales, private collections, and store liquidations. Many items are brand new (, New Old Stock) and in perfect condition while others may show tarnish, scratches and other signs of use. Major issues will be described in detail and shown in photos. Vintage Shop items are sold as described and are not returnable
Horsekeeping LLC - Definitions of Jewelry Age and Condition
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|A dark or colored film of oxidation that forms naturally on metal exposure to air and other elements. It is often valued for its aesthetically pleasing appearance.|
|30 years or older.|
|New Old Stock. Retail store inventory from at least 10 years ago.|
|An item that has been used.|