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Native American Culture/Curious about ages and types of turquoise in Native American rings


blue turquoise ring
blue turquoise ring  

green turquoise ring
green turquoise ring  
Hi Mr. Sutton,

As a relatively new collector of Native American jewelry I tend to buy pieces that catch my eye without knowing a whole lot about them.  I recently purchased a very pretty vintage Native American ring online and am curious about the type of turquoise in it, as I've not seen anything quite like it before, (it's a beautiful blue with feather like whitish swirls that look almost like clouds), also the age of the ring.  

I have another older green turquoise ring that has me stumped as well, again the stone is unique looking and not like anything I've run across in looking at pictures online and I'm curious as to what type of turquoise it is, (there is a teeny tiny bit of pale sky blue in the stone which makes me think it started out blue but has turned a lovely pale apple green with time).  

The green ring also has a paw print (etched) hallmark on the back side that I've been unable to identify.  I was told the green turquoise ring is from the 1970s, so it seems like I could find the hallmark in a book or online, but I can't seem to find it, it looks like a dog paw or a bear paw without the claws, maybe you've seen it before?

Many thanks and best wishes,


Turquoise can be tough, since depending on the surrounding metallic minerals in the stone where the turquoise is deposited, you can get big color variations from the same mine. My best guesses for the two rings would be Bizbee (AZ) for the large one and Hachita (NM) for the small one. both show the styling and work typical of mid 1970s handmade jewelry. If you'd like me to comment on who the makers might be, I'll need good, sharp images of the hallmarks in a follow-up. 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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