Hello! My grandmother recently gave me this beautiful turquoise necklace and I do not know much of the history behind it and cannot ask my grandmother as she is ill. I just would like to find out more information about this piece, the history, age, worth, and origin. I do not know much about turquoise or vintage jewelry so any info is appreciated. Thanks in advance!
This style of necklace is known as a “Squash Blossom” necklace. The name can be confusing because the little cones that protrude from the sides of the necklace are actually the squash blossoms, while the large center pendant is called the "naja"
The beads on your squash blossom are all made by hand, those are known as “bench beads,” but i have also sometimes heard them called “Navajo Pearls” if they are strung on a necklace by themselves. Your squash is made of sterling silver, but I am unsure of the turquoise. Because of the bench beads, the patina, and the fact that it is strung on chain, I would tentatively date it from around 1950 or early 1960’s Many of the older squash blossoms are strung on chain like this, whereas newest squashes tend to be strung on metal jewelry wire.
This is more than likely a Navajo made piece, and the turquoise has a nice color. Factors like weight, and necklace length also effect the price, but are difficult to determine from a picture. I would have this for sale in my shop for around $850 to $950 dollars. A lot of people tend to ask upwards of $1000 for vintage squash blossoms… but In my opinion, there really has to be something amazing or unique about it.
Hi Bree, I was just reading up on some of the older posts on the forum and I came across your response regarding the type of chain that the other posters squash blossom was strung on.
I have a piece I haven’t paid much attention to until I saw your comment. My chain looks similar. Any thoughts on this? Age? Native American? The “cone beads” all have the same marking.
That would be a tough call just based on the chain alone. We see chain being used on earlier pieces but it’s also an option used for restringing necklaces today. Your beads are entirely handmade, which is a nice feature. The pendant has a style that we see most often in the 1970’s or so.
Is that an impression of a cat face that I see on the elongated bead in the 4th picture down?
There is some impression on all the cone shaped beads, I can’t tell what exactly it is.
Verrry interesting !
Do you think it’s a makers mark? Or could they have been something else then hammered into the beads?