You are here:

Native American Culture/Hallmark for Turquoise Ring



front & side of ring
front & side of ring  
Hello, Dr. Sutton - I enjoy learning from your comments on the Experts website and follow your Ebay store items as well.
I purchased in 10/2012 a man's sterling turquoise ring out of Oregon and cannot locate the artist's hallmark - it reminds me of a thunderbird. I have Wright's 2000 edition of "Hallmarks of the Southwest" but haven't come across the solution using that text yet. I have more pictures if your need them.
Could you also tell me about the source of the turquoise and the approximate value of the ring?
Thank you for your expertise and sharing your knowledge with the public - you're doing a great service!

Dr. Sutton is another guy -- I'm just Richard, the Indian trader and writer of novels.

Re: Your ring, the work appears to be Navajo, Platero style and the stone resembles some of the recent material I've seen coming out of Kingman and other So AZ mines, but the color is a little off, possibly from body oil, suntan lotion, etc., which can green up turquoise if it isn't stabilized. The cabochon surface shows some wear, so that is probably the case.

As far as the maker's Identity, this seems to be the stamp of a bench operation. I've seen it before, but I can't place it among the New Mexico manufacturers I know best. There is a Denver, Colorado operation that uses a thunderbird hallmark, but I don't have one handy to compare yours to. Give me a week, and I'll see if I can scare up another opinion. I'll do a follow-up post. Hope this helps  

Native American Culture

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Richard Sutton


As a direct reservation trader in all aspects of American Indian arts since 1985, I've answered questions regarding cultural property issues, origins of traditional crafts, materials and techniques, collecting, authenticity, symbols and, of course, repairs! We have operated a retail gallery since that time, bricks and mortar until 2007 and online since 1996. Our online operation closed in 2/2015, to allow me to finally write full-time. My writing site can be found at I'll be adding a book or two from our trader experiences under the pen name of W.T. Durand and the rest of my fiction is under my own name. We are not "New Age" practitioners of adopted American Indian religious ceremonies or combined philosophies. If you are seeking such knowledge for spiritual reasons, we will only provide answers that address factual information on these subjects. Unless one is raised in a traditional, American Indian family with language, culture and religious belief intact, we don't believe that simply applying the trappings or cultural property of a given traditional group will give a non-Indian (Native if you prefer)any insight other than the academic.


My primary focus is on Southwester American Indian Nations and their people, but I also have experience in Plains and Northeastern traditions, having engaged in active trade and retail since 1985 and study for most of my life. I am not claiming any expertise at all in the work, techniques, lifeways or crafts that are made by the Native People of Mexico. They are not the same, either linguistically or culturally but certainly their crafts deserve discussion and appraisal by those who are able to provide real information.

I was a guest on Fox Network "Lifestyles" program, during the 1990s, to discuss how to tell forgeries, and authenticating jewelry as Native American work. I have also written extensively for our website, and our Ebay Store.

UofO, 1970 active in the Authentic American Indian Arts business and direct Trader since 1985. Graphic Designer and published novelist.

©2017 All rights reserved.