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Native American pawn jewelryTom and Sylvia Kee, Navajo
Sterling Silver and Gold Overlay
Storyteller Ring

HK Item #VR380 - size 10 1/4

Jewelry  <  Vintage Shop  <  Vintage Rings

authentic Native American sterling silver overlay Storyteller Ring size 10 1/4 by Navajo artisans Tom and Sylvia Kee

A hogan and a mitten butte.

size
10 1/4
dimensions
3/8" tall
condition
pre-owned; excellent, like new
materials
gold, Read about gold
sterling silver, Read about silver;
hallmarks
stamped: TSK 14K STERLING
artist
Tom and Sylvia Kee, Navajo

authentic Native American sterling silver overlay Storyteller Ring size 10 1/4 by Navajo artisans Tom and Sylvia Kee

CAN I HAVE A RING RESIZED?

We leave the natural patina on our pawn jewelry because many of our customers like the old "vintage" appearance. If you'd like to clean up your silver jewerly, new or old, check out our handy silver cleaning and polishing cloth.

To Polish or Not to Polish

More Vintage Rings

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Questions or more details.

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Authentic Pawn Jewelry

Tom and Sylvia Kee, Navajo
Sterling Silver and Gold Overlay
Storyteller Ring
size 10 1/4

VR380 - $165 plus s/h   
(ONLY ONE AVAILABLE)

   

Paula says - "This sterling silver and gold storyteller ring depicts scenes of everyday Navajo life."

authentic Native American sterling silver overlay Storyteller Ring size 10 1/4 by Navajo artisans Tom and Sylvia Kee

A mitten butte.

authentic Native American sterling silver overlay Storyteller Ring size 10 1/4 by Navajo artisans Tom and Sylvia Kee

Woman herding sheep and a hogan.

authentic Native American sterling silver overlay Storyteller Ring size 10 1/4 by Navajo artisans Tom and Sylvia Kee

Two sheep.

authentic Native American sterling silver overlay Storyteller Ring size 10 1/4 by Navajo artisans Tom and Sylvia Kee

A large shade tree and clouds.

Native American pawn jewelryPaula's Collection                   

During my early years, I accompanied my parents on trips every year, usually to Florida to escape the harsh midwest winters but also out west on summer road trips. During those trips, I accumulated the type of tourist grade Native American jewelry that a kid would buy and now, years later those items are referred to as being "Fred Harvey" style. Fred Harvey was an entrepreneur who created an avenue for Indians to make and sell jewelry to the tourists. Jewelry of the Fred Harvey era has typical Indian kitsch of arrows, tomahawks, tipis, thunderbirds and so on and was most produced from 130- throughout the 1950s.

You can read more about Fred Harvey here.

From childhood through college and beyond, I had an eye for that type of jewelry and collected it, yet rarely wore it !! About the only jewelry I wore for years was a Swiss Army watch and my wedding band. My Mother, also a jewelry lover, gave me a few vintage Native American pieces she had picked up. That really got me interested in older pawn items.Yet I was a collector, not a wearer.

Then suddenly, about ten years ago I started wearing first one Native American item, then another and soon I felt incomplete if I didn't wear at least one bracelet and necklace or pendant. Now I wear rings, belt buckles, watches and all things Native American. My favorites include lapis lazuli items, water bird pendants, Hopi bracelets and pendants, anything with Man in the Maze on it, silver beads, heishi of all kinds, storyteller bracelets, rings of all kinds, all kinds of fetishes and more.

Once I started working here at Horsekeeping and they added Native American jewelry to the website, my personal collection quickly outgrew my jewelry box.....so much so that I had to make a rule. Maybe some of you have done this with the clothes or shoes or purses in your closet. For every new item I bring into my personal collection, I must trade out at least one item. I've been doing this for years and now have quite a box of items that I will list in my own section "Paula's Collection".

When I first began collecting Native American items, I didn't realize the importance of knowing the artist's name - if I liked something and wanted it, I bought it. But now with all of our personal contacts with artists, our reference library, and our interest in providing as much information as we can to our customers, we are all very interested in finding out the artist's name, relatives, and tribal affiliation. So I'll do my best to give you the most information I can on each piece.

I hope you enjoy browsing through our pawn shop - and Paula's Collection - it is a treasure trove of American History!

What is Storyteller Jewelry?

Storyteller jewelry, typically bracelets, pendants and pins, are made using the sterling silver overlay method, sometimes incorporating gold in the overlay. Two layers comprise the jewelry - the top layer is a scene, figures, or symbols meticulously cut out and then placed over a solid bottom layer. The bottom layer is the background behind the cutouts and is often textured or darkened (oxidized) for contrast. The two layers are then “sweated” together - the silver is heated until the two layers meld. The result is a 3-D picture with great depth and interest. Storyteller jewelry often depicts scenes from life on the reservation, including animals like sheep, dogs and horses, buildings such as hogans and outhouses, mesas, trees, looms, kivas, wagans and even pickup trucks.

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 (NOS, 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.

What is Overlay?

Native American overlay pieces are made of two layers of sterling silver. The bottom layer is a solid piece while the top layer has a cutout design. The cutout layer is placed over the bottom layer and the two pieces are "sweated" together, heated so that they become one solid piece of sterling silver. The bottom layer, or background, that shows through the cut out portion of the top layer is often darkened for contrast.

Hopi silversmiths typically texture the background layer with hash marks while Navajo artists often leave the background smooth. Hopi artists tend to use geometric designs and symbols similar to those used in their pottery and baskets. Navajo silversmiths tend to create scenes depicting everyday life using people, animals, buildings and landscapes to tell a story - this style is called "overlay storyteller jewelry". Read more about overlay here.

About Native American Rings

Materials

Southwest Native American rings can be made from many materials but usually are sterling silver alone or embellished with turquoise, coral, jet, mother of pearl, petrified wood, abalone, lapis lazuli, jasper, gaspeite, malachite, spiny oyster, tiger eye, white buffalo stone, onyx, opal, bear claws and much more.

Styles

The styles of Southwest Native American rings are many and varied including bands, single stone, shadowbox, cigar band, pictorial inlay, cobblestone, corn row and mosaic inlay, storyteller, sandand tufa , cluster, petit point, needlepoint, snake eye, overlay, feather, leaf, channel inlay and others.

Navajo

Navajo rings are typically a sterling silver band, often heavy and/or elaborate. The band can be silver only or have stones that are set with various types of bezels. For more information on bezels, read my article Types of Bezels. If a Navajo ring is inlaid, the inlay pieces are usually separated by silver channels.

Zuni

Zuni rings are usually either stone-on-stone inlays (no silver channels in between the pieces), snake rings, snake eye, petit point or needlepoint.

Hopi

Hopi rings are most often sterling silver overlays with contrasting (oxidized) and textured backgrounds.

Read more in my blog post: Southwest Native American Rings

Horsekeeping LLC - Definitions of Jewelry Age and Condition
  2019 Horsekeeping LLC    Copyright Information

Patina
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.
Vintage
30 years or older.
NOS
New Old Stock. Retail store inventory from at least 10 years ago.
Pre-owned
An item that has been used.

Our Rescue Mission
of
Native American Indian Jewelry and Artifacts

Native American Jewelry blog tips and informationWe are in the vintage Native American jewelry rescue business and are passionate about finding new homes for used and vintage jewelry and artifacts. 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.

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