Native American Jewelry

5 strand silver and turquoise Navajo bracelet

Five strand old pawn openwork bracelet with 31 stones of varied sizes and shapes.  14 medium size stones surround the central stone, bordered by two clusters of 8 on either side. Matrix is beautiful, rich blue with whitish, tan, and black inclusions.  Center, triangular stone with rounded edges and particularly nice matrix. Size of central stone is 1 3/16 inches wide.   Three flattened bands with rounded tops and two inner spiral bands.  Other details include braided settings on three largest stones, and stamped globular beads separating stones.  Excellent craftsmanship.

band diameter side-to-side 2 1/2", width across top 2 1/8"

Scribed in thin lines on inside 206 OUKK

excellent condition with typical oxidation from age.  One of the smaller stones is cracked, but the damage is almost un-noticeable.

  We do not clean our vintage silver pieces, in order not to alter the patina.   We leave the decision to clean or polish up to the buyer. 

Circa 1950

Purchased in Taos, New Mexico in 1955. Seller noted as "Tony Renos"



"Old Pawn" refers to Southwestern Indian jewelry and textiles pawned by Indian families, often to raise money before harvest or shearing time.  Until recent times, the only manufactured goods available in  the area were at trading posts, originally set up to administer treaty trade by the Department of Indian Affairs. These "Posts" later became privately owned businesses trading in lumber, wool, and farm products. Families needing cash or credit would trade valuables for the goods they needed. These items could be redeemed or could be left and eventually sold by the trader for whatever profit he could make.  "Old Pawn" jewelry often exhibits long passed craftsmanship, unusual stones and exceptional character. Museums throughout the US and the world are filled with examples of fine, old craftsmanship which most likely came out of a pawnbroker's vault.  Museum-quality old pawn  is now rare, and highly desired by collectors.  

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