Help me with Identifying LB stamp/hallmark?

I don’t remember where I got this damaged buckle, Colorado or Utah.

The stamp on the back is LB. I searched around on some sites for a mark like it, but to no avail. I saw Loren Begay’s is very similar, but this is without the pictograph of the horse.

Any clues to where from this might be? The stone is honkin big and gorgeous. It’s damaged (obviously), but perhaps reparable.

Thank you for your help and thoughts!

Here’s what “Hallmarks of the SW” has to say about this hallmark … Lex, Billlie. Navajo Silversmith. Presumably worked as a smith for Les Baker. It is possible that he was Lex Baker, This hallmark is the same as Les Baker, Larry Begay, Loren Begay, etc. Possibly all the same person.

1 Like

Hallmarks will change over time, what was once an LB could have turned into an LB with a horse. https://www.rubylane.com/item/570452-rl2837/Loren-Begay-Huge-Native-American-Turquoise This buckle looks like a 1980s piece and this bracelet attributed to Loren Begay seems similar. Ia324prof is right, this could be one of those names, all of those names. When we see pieces from this time frame they can be difficult to determine the artist, especially if they didn’t make jewelry into the information age. Thanks for sharing and good luck.

1 Like

Thank you, La324prof. Though it’s hard to imagine it’s all the same person!

Jason, thank you. I imagine a change in hallmarking could easily occur over time.

Thanks again.

I do wonder what it might be worth, and if it were repaired with respect to the integrity of the piece, would that improve the worth or ruin it…

I think what la324prof means is that the hallmark belongs to one person, but over the years a handful of names have been given to the hallmark. It is a nice and unusual piece. That piece of seafoam turquoise looks huge. Having inlay in a buckle is always a challenge, as you can see. If we had this and it was fixed we would probably be around $300. Hope that helps.

1 Like

:+1: Right on! Thank you.

If you were someone who did repairs to something like this (and you may be!), what is the ballpark what one would pay for such repairs?

Would it make a difference if the repairer is not NA? Would that be considered disrespectful to the art? (gah, such a n00b!)

We would do this repair work for $30.

Thank you. I have one offer from a jeweler friend, but no cost estimate. I still wonder if the repairs should be done by someone who is NA.


I believe these are the initials for Les Baker. You can follow the link above for Stage Coach that has a bio on him. He was not a Native American, but was an early designer and worked with Native Americans.