Early Earrings?

Hi Everyone - been away for awhile taking a break. Did get to see some amazing sites on a up and down West US road trip but that’s another story.

  1. What would you say the age and origin of these earrings are? - and a couple more questions.
  2. About what date did we begin to see NA jewelry pieces stamped/signed by makers?
  3. About what date did we begin to see these types of small Turquoise beads?

Thanks All.

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Hi and welcome back💜
I believe these are a 70’s-80’s era modern artist named Phyllis Woods …she’s also a huge jewelry/body ornament history buff and has both a history of design and a bead and jewelry supplies business. She likes to recreate and use techniques from historical pieces from all around the world including first nations people. As far as the history of heishi style beads I am not sure but that’s a great question. I’ll be looking into it🤔 I think pieces being signed started in the 1830’s because of the gold boom and the sudden interest in the Indians and the west because of the advancement of the railroad/ train and industrial revolution. Cool questions!

Some jewelry makers hallmarked their pieces early on, but it is not common. It is a debate of when the Navajo first started making jewelry, seems to be sometime after the 1850s. In the early 1900s retailers are spending a lot of time educating people about Native American silver, most people become concerned it is Native American not who made it. When we get to the 1970s buyers want to know the name of the artist and it becomes common to see pieces with hallmarks. Turquoise bead making outdates silver jewelry making. These small heishe style beads are not that old, and the ones in this piece do not even look like real turquoise.

It’s a learning experience as always. I found these on a auction site but did not purchase - the sterling mark and makers mark kept me thinking these might be replicas of early pieces from which to learn from which is my passion. I looked at some pieces of Phyllis Woods marked 925 but did not find the Sterling mark. It is good to learn about her Co. TribalinksDesigns so as not to mistake her pieces for authentic.
Lots of good info. Thank you koliopee & Jason

Jason, I have heard that hallmarking on a large scale started for pieces made for the market. If you had a piece that was made for you, it really didn’t need to be hallmarked since you knew the artist. Any thoughts? I’d have to say only about 40% orf my bracelets and they are all pretty new