I’ve had these earrings about 15 years. I never thought of them as NA until last night. I see LEX has several names associated with it. I Think stone is Malachite; yes? They are large, just under 3" long . Anyone think they might be NA. I wear them with a graduated Malachite bead neckle about 20" long I have. PS. yes I stopped cleaning when I realized I probably should not. Thank you. Bev
I’m not sure if these are Native made. I see people on Etsy and other places saying LEX is for Lex Billie, but when I saw some other pieces that were also listed as being by Lex Billie, they looked very different than these earrings, and they were stamped LB on a diagonal. I saw quite a few earrings similar to yours stamped LEX. I couldn’t find LEX listed as a hallmark, but I don’t have as many resources as others on the forum. They have (to me) the feel of southwestern style jewelry I have seen in department stores in the past. Could LEX be a company (and is that a copyright mark next to LEX?)?
Thank you for the info.
There is a thread from May 2017 with some info on LEX.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.
Jason also offered some insight. I was goping someone might have the dame earrings with turquoise stones instead of Malachite then we would know. Well, day is not over yet!
I think you are right, It does look like a C after LEX for copyright.
I saw two different hallmarks attributed to Lex Billie (but not in an official site - just by the sellers). LEX with the copyright c, and LB, with the L set slightly higher.
So you found info on the artist already. Then maybe is native made.
Look like Malachite to me.
I found some info from 2017, but it raised more questions for me.
Les Barker an actor, who was not NA, learned how to make jewelry in the NA style one source said. Then he hired NA to make NA jewelry for retail. Myth? Truth?
That’s why I turn to Turquoise People as a reliable source.
I’m still at the “Maybe it’s NA” stage. I bought them second hand, in the early 2000s. Never noticed the Hallmark until yesterday when I was cleaning them. Hopefully, Ziacat, we will both find out soon.
The name I found attributed to LEX, although I’m not sure it’s accurate, was Lex Billie. The Etsy listings just seemed shaky in being able to attribute that name with that hallmark. Especially since other places had Lex Billie’s Hallmark as LB, but don’t know if I trust those either. It just feels like it’s hard to trust stuff on Etsy.
I really need to invest in some more good books. I have one with Hopi hallmarks, and then a bunch with great info on Native jewelry in general. So I end up googling a lot. And since I’ve been really careful when I shopped out west, I wasn’t always terribly concerned if I knew who the artist was, as long as the piece was legit. But now I’m more curious!
What I read years ago was that Les Baker’s wife fell in live with NA and Mexican jewelry. He couldn’t afford to buy it for her to he took up silversmithing. He also hired and collaborated with NA artists. I have several of his pieces including a carved turquoise head that was a collaboration with Fritzen Toledo. He has a shop mark as well as the others that are used.
Thanks for weighing in. In your experience, does the style of the earrings look NA to you? Do NA actually copyright their signature signified by the c in a circle after their initials? I bought them because they are beautiful and I wanted something malachite to go with my malachite necklaces.
I just found these on ebay. I am leaning towards Lex Billie as you thought. They are smaller but bear a resemblance to my Malachite ones. The second picture shows the mark LEX with the c after it. What really convinced me they were made by same artist is the way the silver is curled on the upper left side (back image). Mine are curved the same way and are so comfortable to wear. The maker is named by seller as Lex Billie.
I believe that are the same artist.
I’m not saying your earrings aren’t Native made, but I don’t necessarily think LEX is Lex Billie. The items I find online that are described as Lex Billie with the Hallmark LB are a completely different style than the items with the LEX Hallmark. Both hallmarks have been attributed to him, but it seems weird that the styles are so different. Here are a couple pics. One is of the LB Hallmark.
This is really different from the earrings. I saw numerous earrings like yours that are hallmarked LEX. I’m thinking they are not the same person. So I am still perplexed by your earrings, but they are pretty!
The LB mark is hard to see, but it’s down in the lower right corner in the second pic.
Thank you. The seller on Ebay whose earrings are made like mine, do appear to be the same maker. I think, having bought them second hand at a church sale, I will never really know, so I would not say they are Lex Billie, or even NA. The sweet ladies at the church never said they were, or weren’t NA. There is just no way to be certain. It’s not important, as I don’t plan on selling them. And they do go well with the necklaces I have worn them with. I do appreciate the photos you posted.