Any idea of quality, supposedly Santo Domingo heishi

Saw this ten strand heishi necklace today, wasn’t even thinking of anything like this but it caught my eye. Wonder if any of you might have an opinion as to quality, age, origin, etc. Tagged Santo Domingo, ends a bit oddly finished, but maybe it was make do with what they had. Hope someone has an idea if this is authentic as it does seem older. Always appreciate the learning experience here, thank you


When you say the ends are oddly finished, do you mean because of the link chain? I have a Santo Domingo necklace finished that way so that the length can be adjusted slightly.

Also saw some on the Garland’s website with links like that.


Thanks Ziacat, the chain is odd because it really doesn’t work as extender, and there is a spring loop at the other end, as well as 2 cones on one side or so it appears. If the chain was an extender, there should be a ring to attach to, or I guess you could just hook into any link. Just wanted to make sure of authenticity as it seems like an older piece, cones so tarnished, can’t make out if there are any initials, but just trying to avoid imports.


I couldn’t see all that. I still don’t see 2 cones on one side? I like the 2 brownish tones of the shell. I’m just not enough of an expert, so I just have to be so careful where I buy these (or any Native American jewelry).

With mine you just hook on any link. But mine does not have the spring loop.


We get necklaces like this from Santo Domingo artist Ramona Bird, 10 strand is around $180. They are nice and they always sell.


The two cones nested together on one side is interesting.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all on this group. Hopeful that all our futures are bright and filled with good health. Thankful to all that solved my mysteries and responded to my inquired.
I did decide to bring this piece home with me despite it’s quirks, 2 cones and the strange way it is finished. Seems older as it is on thread, maybe Ramona Bird, thank you Jason, just hopefully Santo Domingo, Kewa.
Hope you are all enjoying this day with your friends and family and look forward to seeing and learning about all your wonderful pieces made by so many talented artists.


@biker4all Congrats on your heishi necklace. I love the use of differing shell heishi in a graduated design. Over the years I’ve accumulated a variety of Santo Domingo heishi pieces…mostly older pieces. Most of mine have the traditional neck wrap as opposed to cones and chains. After your post I pulled out one of my favorite pieces. It uses pen, olive and white shell heishi. As it’s an older piece, I don’t know the artist, so If anyone has an idea, please chime in.

Happy Holidays to all😊


Your necklace and earrings are beautiful. I keep looking to see if I am able to figure out a maker and it seems that there were many that used graduated tones, but one that stood out was Charles Lovato. Have no idea how you authenticate these older pieces with no identifying marks, but still a fantastic piece that you have.

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I have one piece I thought may be Charles Lovato…but again it’s an older piece with the neck wrap, so I’m not sure. His work is amazing, so finely done. These nicer pieces feel like smooth snake skin when you pull them through your fingers.
Good luck with your search. If nothing else, it’s always interesting to see the variety of artists and workmanship.

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