Allen Pooyouma link Bracelet

Here is a link bracelet I just bought. A bit of if research in the mark reveals that the maker us Allen Pooyouma, who is of the Hopi tribe. He died a few years ago. I would have preferred a cuff but I found the silver work to be quite intricate and I liked the stones.
A few questions:

  1. From what mine might the stones originate?
  2. what decAde might this be from…the artist lived into his nineties but I haven’t found many images of items he made. Clearly the bulk of his work he predates the internet
  3. It wasn’t a cheap purchase but am dying to know if I got a decent deal…so wondering about value

I love this bracelet, if I had bought it it would stay in my personal collection. The stones are very interesting, I’m sure jason can tell you in a heartbeat. Can you post an outdoor photo? I have a pilot Mountain ring with similar matrix though:

As I said earlier, I really like this bracelet. The workmanship is very fine. His work seems scarce, and it’s not too often that Hopis incorporates turquoise into their jewelry. May I ask what you paid for the piece?

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Hi BigBree, thanks for your response. Here are some photos in natural light; one in direct.sunlight, the other without. The matrix is kind of dark burgundy reddish brown. I did some mine research and thought it might be Bisbee? I paid $275 at an estate sale. Thanks for any additional insight. I’m new at this and just buy what appeals to me but would like to know what I’m doing…at some point😚


You’re right, your matrix is darker. I’m not sure on a value, however I think you did okay, I’m positive it’s worth more than you paid, considering that some of his plain overlay cuffs have asking prices of $300+ dollars

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Just as a sample of his earlier work, here is a large ring (13) I acquired cheap because of the cracked stone.

I would have bought that bracelet too!

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@TryingToLearn I think the crack adds character.

Which makes it even more fitting for me…:crazy_face:

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Thank you for posting more information on this artist. Your photo shows that he was active from the 30’s through the 90’s …and that he has brother named Gene😋
Your ring looks older. I suspect mine is from the 80s 90s…wild guess. Somewhere I read that the overlay silver style, distinctive to the Hopi, was developed in the 60’s (will try to find article). Although he was Hopi, maybe he stayed with Navajo style?

Hoping for any additional information. Perhaps @jason will stop in and render an opinion on my bracelet’s stone, age, and value.

I have seen pieces of Tyrone Turquoise from New Mexico that have this great look. Age is always difficult to determine without other evidence then an active career from the 1930s to 1990s. Taking a guess I would say this is an old piece, 1950s - 60s. I think $275 is a cheap price for this :wink:

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Nice! These are really pretty stones. I’d say you did good :slight_smile: It’s different, if I had to guess I would have said it was Navajo rather than Hopi.

According to Paula Baxter in “Southwest Silver Jewelry” the “Hopi Silver Project” was launched in 1938 by the Museum of Northern Arizona to “encourage a tribally distinctive silverwork technique and style…the result of this project became known as ‘Hopi overlay.’” The book goes on to say that this style really got a boost after WW2.

Ah good …you found the reference …1938 for the Hopi silver overlay introduction. Since he would have been in practice for so long, he would likely continue in the Navajo style for a while. I have found some of his work in the Hopi silver

Thank you! I did an image search on Tyrone turquoise (which I thought was more green) and sure enough, I found some look-a-likes! I agree but I have to know…what are the clues you use to distinguish the mine sources? I know it’s lots of experience seeing zillions of examples…but I really thought it looked liked Bisbee matrix from my image searches. But maybe The blue part that wasn’t deep enough? Or the matrix was not purple enough?

@Scdub My silly piece of advice for helping to identify turquoise is to buy loose and rough specimens of the specific kinds of turquoise you are interested in. I bought some small, nickel and quarter sized Bisbee and Number 8 pieces from a reputable dealer online. Holding them, touching them, seeing them in person helps me identify them more easily when they’re set in jewelry. It’s like studying for a test, lol. Buying rough or cabs is also way cheaper than jewelry. I like I paid $34 for 50 grams of mid-grade Bisbee.


Thank you for posting these. I get it now.

These are so pretty! I can now see why my stones are not bisbee. Whoa I love the pink-y purple! Are you going to make something with these?

Probably not, it’s not the nicest Bisbee, in my opinion. But it’s nice to have for reference. Don’t forget that Bisbee produced alllll kinds of turquoise, and there isn’t just one look to it!

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Gorgeous stones and beautiful bracelet! What a wonderful find.

To follow your comment, just in case you didn’t see my follow up to my first piece with Bisbee that blew my mind:


When you posted it the first time, I thought it was such a cool piece. That one cab immediately to the right of the center stone has a classic lavender pit look to it. The whole bracelet is like a Bisbee sampler with all different kinds! This is my favorite piece, I bought it when the army sent me to Fort Huachuca for a few weeks, and Bisbee was only a few hours or so away