Calvin Spencer (?) Bracelet

I was at a Pow Wow yesterday and fell in love with this bracelet. It is so delicate and actually fits my small wrist.
The vendor said his Uncle was Leonard Begay from Chinle, AZ. His Uncle and some of his friends make jewelry items and send them to him to sell at Wisconsin Pow Wow’s.
This bracelet was attributed to Leonard, but the vendor said there was no Hallmark on it. He said that sometimes his Uncle does not use a Hallmark.
I noticed it did have a Hallmark after purchasing. It was a C.


After a little research, I found some similar bracelets with a C mark that is attributed to Calvin Spencer, Navajo.

One said the following in the description:
Vintage from the 1970s.
It was almost identical to my bracelet.
At a vintage shop on Etsy.

Another had Turquoise and not coral. Listed as pre-owned on Ebay.
Attributed to Calvin Spencer.
Both had the rose and leaves on them. Bith had the same C Hallmark.

Based on this info, I think my bracelet was made by Calvin Spencer.
I could not find any bio info on him.

If anyone knows where I might find bio info, I would appreciate it.
Also, wondering what a fair price would be for a new bracelet like this.
The used ones above were listed for much more than what I paid.

Most of the Pow Wow’s in Wisconsin have very strict standards for vendors. One must be Native American. You must sell items that are Native American themed and/or made by Native Americans. Often, most of the items offered are jewelry, accessories and clothing worn by dancers at Pow Wow’s.

Thank you.


I found a Calvin Hershall Spencer (~57 years old) that lived in Chinle, AZ. Now lives in Mesa, AZ. No idea if he is the one. Just a lead for you.


It can be from the 70s or or it can be by someone born in 1966 but it can’t be both. The research must continue, good luck. :slightly_smiling_face:
Congrats, it’s a sweet bracelet.


@jasonallenperry Could you take a look at this for me?

Thank you

I think the Etsy seller just said it was 1970’s vintage.
Still looking for any info on Calvin and approximate value for his works.

Did you mean to @Jason?

jerry cowboy jewelry google hits <CLICK

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There was a period in the late 70s when the Hunt brothers cornered the market on silver inflating the price from around $2 an ounce, to almost $50 an ounce. During that time a lot of Indian Jewelry makers and manufacturers were forced to come up with items that had minimum silver content in order to offer salable price points. My late brother James and I had a production shop in Gallup at that time, and like everyone else caught between a rock and a hard place by the market, we had to get inventive and design and create jewelry that sold at price points consumers were willing to pay.

Once the bubble burst and silver went back to 1/10 or less of the market high at that time, everyone went back to making the kind of jewelry we’re used to seeing from the 70s and 80s.

The bracelets posted in this thread are perfect examples of the kinds of items we and everyone else made during the brief Hunt brothers period.


Extremely helpful addition, Michael. It’s a story I’ve known, glad to see it posted.



Thanks for the revisiting of history @mmrogers . I was lightly into jewelry making then and more into cashing in some extra silver I had.


Thank you, Steve. Looks like Thunderbird is making these. I remember my brother delivering a large order of nearly identical bracelets to a Gallup wholesaler back the late 70s. Wonder if the revival of this style has anything to do with silver selling at well over $30 an ounce through the supply houses?

Sooner or later the market is bound to figure out that silver and gold are 600% higher than they were in the mid 2000s, which is where much of the available resale jewelry is still currently priced.


Thank you for the info.
The seller did have some inlaid cuffs that look like Ella Cowboy style.

I will do some more research.


Oops. Wrong word/meaning. Meant to be complimentary. I changed it.


Thanks Steve. Clearly a misunderstanding. Appreciate the clarification!


I keep telling my hubby that I shop because my Native American jewelry purchases are such a wise investment…:laughing:


I smiled when I picked up my bracelet-box the other day


You’re not wrong. Just taking into account the cost of materials and labor, I see some great items on the online resale market selling for literal pennies on the dollar. In many cases online resellers who don’t seem to know any better are reflexively working on low fixed margins over cost irrespective of actual value. Sort of a cutthroat game of scavenger vs. scavenger where the goal is to meet or beat a competitors price without any underlying knowledge or regard for the fact that the items are unique and often irreplaceable at anywhere near deeply discounted prices. Looking at the trajectory of precious metals prices alone, it’s not hard to foresee a sharp upward market adjustment in the not too distant future.


I say the same thing :wink:, somehow I don’t think mine is convinced somehow.


When you put it that way it seems kind of sad that this art is so underappreciated. I pretty much don’t shop online for Native American Art, mostly because my jewelry is also sentimental; I like to think about where and when I got it. I get joy from that.

And to be fair to my husband, he also appreciates the beautiful art. But he does sometimes comment that he’s glad I don’t prefer diamonds and gold :rofl: