Native American Culture/Native American Hallmark


Turtle/Lizard Hallmark
Turtle/Lizard Hallmark  
QUESTION: Hallmark of a turtle, or lizard, inside a ring that is vintage or newer.  I have not been able to find it in my usual resources.  Do you have any information about it?

ANSWER: Barbara -- I checked our references and field notes, and can't find it there at all. Send a follow-up with a shot of the work on the front and any information as to where it was purchased and maybe we can get some information together.

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Asymmetrical Ring
Asymmetrical Ring  
QUESTION: Attached is the front of the ring.  It was purchased at a large Native American Jewelry Show in Houston, TX in the 1990's.  No information about who it was purchased from, but believe that the piece was new.  Have been told that a similar ring found, in a resource book, was produced by Charles Loloma but with different bezel work. Don't know it this artist studied with Loloma or just a copy of style.

C. Loloma used a custom stamp of his name, and his daughters and nieces that followed, used the name Sonwai, but there is a Navajo family that have done this kind of raised inlay for some time. The Lincoln family, most recently Laura Lincoln, do it, and maybe this is from a family member we never bought from. It may also be non-Indian made. I wish I could offer you more. I also remember that in the 1980s, a Navajo inlayer named Carlos Eagle was doing larger scale work like cuffs and large pendants in multistone, raised inlay.

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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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