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Native American Culture/Silver hallmark identification


Necklace 1.jpg
Necklace 1.jpg  
QUESTION: I recently acquired a jewelry set that has a bracelet, necklace, ring and ear rings that have a green stone (not turquoise) set in sterling silver with a hallmark I cannot identify.  The hallmark I triangular with a two additional marks below that are hard to explain.  I did scan it the reverse side of the pendant necklace  that show the detail and will try to attach.  Can you help me identify?  Thanks.

ANSWER: I'll need to see the face of the pendant as well. What makes you think this piece might be American Indian made? The Hallmark doesn't look familiar to me, but maybe the style of the work in the setting will help.

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QUESTION: What made me think that this is American Indian made is that my mother (passed away in 2010) collected several pieces and sets that were made by either Victor or Vernon Begay and others that I was able to identify.  Attached is a face shot of the set using a scanner because my camera doesn't have good resolution.  With the exception of the earrings, the other pieces have the same marking as the pendant.  Thanks again for helping me out.

Well, the set is malachite (copper ore) and resembles a lot of mid-1970s work from several Navajo silvermiths, but the hallmark is unknown to me. I checked several resources and my own notes and found nothing even close. The mark is a complex, machined one, which would seem to be more common from a manufacturer rather than an individual silversmith. I wish I could give you more information, but I can't find any reference that carries the mark.

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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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