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Native American Culture/Question about age of Native American cuff bracelet


Large native american cuff bracelet
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Large Native merican cuff bracelet back view
Large Native merican c  
Hi Mr. Sutton,

Just one more question and I promise I won't bug you again. :)  I recently purchased this gorgeous vintage Native American cuff bracelet and was wondering about the age of the piece.  It's unmarked, except for the pawn marks/prices? on the back side of the cuff face.  I think it looks like a 1970s design (it's also quite large and heavy, 2 3/4" at the widest point and 68.2 grams) but something about the construction makes me think it may be older than this.  The seller also said it was made of ingot silver.  I'm curious as to what you think of the age of this item.

Many thanks and best wishes,


I agree, as the construction and the clearly handmade solid bezels back-date this in my mind at least to early 1950s work. As far as it being "ingot" silver, you could have a test done by a reputable silversmith on the inside, with Scherzer's Salts/Nitric Acid solution which will certainly reveal a higher silver content than .925 Sterling. Some of the older work was made from ingots cast from older Mexican peso coins which were around 95% silver. The light colored, but hard turquoise is also quite interesting, as the color and fogged matrix might indicate a New Mexico mine, possibly Cerrillos. If that is the case, I might consider this Pueblo work rather than Navajo, maybe Cochiti Pueblo, which had several families doing silverwork at that time and long before. 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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