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Native American Culture/Am. Indian Silver Jewelry Hallmark


QUESTION: Hi Mr. Sutton,

  My wife has few pieces of Native American Sterling jewelry (concho belts and bracelets.) I did some attempts to identify the hallmarks, but will appreciate very much your opinion/suggestion(s). Would you mind to look at few photos of the mentioned pieces?
   Thanks in advance for your answer,


ANSWER: I'm happy to check out up to three of your wife's items. Please put the images in to the form of follow-up questions, and I'll tell you what I can. I will also need images of the front and the work, not just the hallmarks. You should probably take all of the items to a local, qualifed appraiser, usually someone in the American Indian Arts business for some time. The website of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association in Albuquerque, NM ( can provide you a list of member appraisers in your state.

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Sterling/Inlaid Stone Bracelet
Sterling/Inlaid Stone  
Hallmark of Sterling/Inlaid Stone Bracelet
Hallmark of Sterling/I  
QUESTION: 1. Can you identify the maker of a sterling/inlaid stone bracelet (see attached photos? Thanks,


ANSWER: It's recent (post 1980)Navajo inlay. I'm not familiar with this specific hallmark, but it resembles members of the Nez family's work. Thomas Nez also used to link the T and the N on the ascender, so maybe it is a recent revision? Hope this helps.

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QUESTION: Thanks a lot! You mention that I may ask for 3 pieces, so here's the second one, a sterling bracelet with turquoise, probably Navajo work.

It's a very interesting mark. It looks like a double-strike of Jack Rhoda's mark. He's a Navajo silversmith that used the mark in the 1980s. Although it shows detail styles of mid-1970s Platero style work -- similar to some of the very best -- the stone shows it as being made in the late 1980s or 1990s or later as I believe the stone is a recent find called Bluebird or Bluejay down near Globe, AZ. Hope this helps.

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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.

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