Found in my grandfather's safe

This came from the NM area decades ago. Its very tarished. It measures 28 inches long and weighs 7.3 ounces. I cannot locate any makers marks. Any iformation about this necklace would be appreciated. This is my first post.

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What a great find. It is a Navajo squash blossom necklace. Not sure about the turquoise, almost different mines have been used. The workmanship suggest it might be someone learning. If you start to wear it will polish and look pretty amazing.

Thank you for the response. I appreciate the information. Knowing it was hand made by the Navajo makes it even more special. I will need to learn how to get it polish without damaging the stones. Thanks again!
This is a great site!

I found a small symbol on the bell shaped bead. Sorry my camera isn’t the best but have you seen this before?

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I love your squash & that dark warm patina, I have a similiar rustic looking one, I’ll share a photo tomorrow when I have better lighting.

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Thanks! Looking forward to seeing yours.

Great find! If you decide to clean it, be aware that for many collectors (if you choose to some day sell it) may find a cleaned vintage piece much less desirable. all that beautiful tarnish you see is proof of legitimate age, and would be almost impossible to recreate! If it were scrubbed clean and shiny it would be impossible to tell it from a brand new piece.

YOu can buy a “sunshine” silver cloth on amazon, and use it to gently take off tarnish from the high spots only - dont clean into all the nooks and crannies. Or, as Jason suggested, you can just wear the piece. you may get some transfer of tarnish onto your clothing or skin the first few wears, but it will be in a natural way on the back of the piece, that won’t detract from the honest age and patina.

the mark you see on the end cones is likely not a hallmark. if it were hallmarked, it would probably be on the back of one of the larger silver components with stones. It is extremely common, however, for many pieces of Navajo work not to be signed at all.

cheers! and Welcome to the forum!

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I love the look of this squash! Please don’t polish, especially around the stones; I sell jewelry in a charity thrift shop and our customers do NOT want a shiny-bright vintage piece. The patina is the history and it will buff naturally to a lovely burnished finish once it’s worn regularly. Just my 2 cents!

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Good morning Jamez2 and thanks for the advice and the warm welcome. I know very little about turquoise jewelry so all the information you good folks have provided has helped a lot.
One more question:
I believe its called a Naja (the crescent pendant) needs to be re-welded/attached to the necklace. Do I need a jeweler to repair it? Or, will it devalue it?

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Good morning! I agree with you all. I will leave as is. Thanks for the suggestion.

I agree! it takes decades to achieve but only seconds to wipe off. I say keep the patina :blush:

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You could ask Jason regarding Perry Null repairing it for you. They do fantastic work!

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Morning! I’ve been thinking I should return the necklace to the Navajos. I don’t know if its museum quality but it is part of their history and should go back to them. I’m a country lady who rarely wears any jewelry. Just a thought.

I would definitely ask Jason about having the naja restored/repaired and restrung. Many folks here have had work done by Perry Null with very good results. As for returning it to the Navajos, i think you should wear it a few times first! You might find that you enjoy the piece, and the conversations it starts! your grandfather must have valued it highly to have kept it in a safe, it would be a shame to let go of that legacy. I don’t know if it’s a valuable piece per se, but you should keep it in your family!

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I wouldn’t know how to act with a beautiful BIG necklace hanging from my neck. I spend most of my time in muck boots and coveralls. Lol
Always have my head to the ground looking for treasures. My kids and I have spent years arrowhead and artifact hunting. While living in New England I combed the beach for seaglass. I love the history of it all. Now I’m back in Mo, its mushroom hunting (morels) and arrowheads. Seems pointless to keep it in a safe or save it for my adult children who would rather be climbing mountains and traveling and not interested in jewelry.
Maybe Jason will read this thread and give me the info for the repair and I’ll start there. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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What a kind thought, but rest assured this is not a part of Navajo cultural patrimony in need of return. It was intended and made for sale in a retail environment, i.e., strictly a commercial product of the 20th century. Not an historic or a cultural artifact.

If you decide to sell it, it can be sold without any moral concern in a normal selling environment (eBay or whatever).

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That makes me feel better about selling it. It does us no good sitting in a safe when someone who has a passion for this type of jewelry can be worn and enjoyed. Again thank you all for sharing your knowledge…you’ve been a big help.

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By the way I’m also a muck boots and overalls person a lot of the time, but it doesn’t keep me from collecting and wearing great Native jewelry! Just sayin’. :smile: :smile:

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(i’m in MO too. no muck boots, though! cheers)

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LOL. I would love to see some pics of your cool stuff. Maybe it’ll give me some incentive to wear something pretty.

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I’m in NE MO. If you are anywhere around here, you’re going to need those boots.
Its great chatting with you. Take care!