My Favorite Ring

The forum has been a little slow the last few days, so I thought I’d post a photo of my favorite ring. Not only is it my favorite and the only ring I own, but it is also very special because it was my mother’s ring that I inherited when she passed in 2018. This was her main turquoise ring that she wore for everything from formal events to riding horses. She preferred wide shanks typically associated with men’s rings.

The ring is at least 53 years old because we have a photo of her wearing it in 1969 (my father kept meticulous records of their photo slides). She told me when she bought it, it was sold to her as an “older” pawn piece. Not sure if that means mid 1960s or 1950s - doesn’t really matter. I always admired this ring and hoped I would inherit it one day. She knew I loved it, so a few years before she passed, she gave it to me, so she could enjoy seeing me wear it. Best mom ever! :slightly_smiling_face:

Feel free to post a photo of your favorite ring and any stories that go with it. Would love to see it! :+1:

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Great looking ring and stone Tom and a great keepsake from your mom which makes it very special.

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Such a great ring! I love the patina, the hand fabricated bezel and the twisted wire or (maybe file work), decorative frame.

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I love it! Such a nice heavy looking ring. It is so special to wear something our parents wore. I think the main reason I practically never buy jewelry online is because half of the enjoyment I get with it is thinking about where I got the piece. Whether it’s something my parents wore, or remembering when and where I was when I bought Native American jewelry, I always seem to attach so much meaning. But then I am someone who could barely get rid of my broken breyer horses, so there is that. :grin:

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Oh and I love that you mentioned slides. When my mom passed we found about 30 boxes of slides up in the top of a cupboard. And reels of home movies. If we could ever get them all transferred over maybe I’d find more pictures of my mom and dad wearing their stuff.

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It’s a beauty. I especially love the hand-done bezeling and the wear visible on the setting’s rope, just what you want to see in a steadily worn heirloom. Very touching story, too. Thanks for sharing.

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Thank you for all of the kind replies! I wasn’t fishing for compliments, just wanted to start a fun thread on favorite rings. So feel free to jump in, if you wish.

@Ziacat I hear ya on the broken Breyer horses. We still have several in need of vet services in my parent’s basement. :slightly_smiling_face:

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My favorite ring is the one in my profile pic.
I made it in the 1980’s under the guidance of a master Navajo craftsman.
I wear it daily.

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@TAH lovely ring with great wear and a nice stone! And I love that it has special meaning to you as it was your moms. Good idea for a thread; I’ll have to see what I can dig up.

@Ziacat I still have my childhood Breyer horses too!

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I would imagine most folks on this forum would love to have that experience. :+1:

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I love that vivid blue!

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No one else has posted, so I will. Lately I’ve been wearing the one I got at the Eiteljorg Market in June, but I already posted that :grin:.
I don’t have one favorite ring, but here are 2 that I really love and have more interesting stories. This first one I got at the Teec Nos Pos Trading Post on the Navajo rez. It’s on the road from Shiprock to Kayenta and a bit away from the normal tourist routes, so that makes for a nice experience; we were pretty much the only anglos there when we stopped (been there 3 times). Inside were bags of Bluebird Flour piled up (preferred by the Navajos for fry bread), and one wall was covered with yarn of all colors for weaving rugs. This pawn ring was in the case, and the owner of the post told me it was made in the 50’s. I love the color change in the stones and the heaviness of the silver.


It’s a wonderful place, and I highly encourage anyone on their way through to stop. And if you do, ask to see the rug room!

I’ve got to head to work so I’ll post the other later.

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Beautiful hand made ring Ziacat. Likely made later than the 50’s. The serrated bezels in combination with pieces of commercially milled beaded wire clipped into individual sections would be from a later period.

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Beautiful ring :smiley: I love the color change too. I couldn’t narrow it down to one either. I think I have a top three :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you both! The color of the stones is what appealed to me when I bought it back in the late '90s.

That’s interesting mmrogers. When do you think it might have been made? The owner of the post seemed very knowledgeable about his clients and his merchandise. We spent a lot of time with him because we also bought a rug, but he never said he was a silversmith, so I trust your judgment on that. Which part are you referring to as the milled beaded wire? Do you mean the twisted wire piece in the middle surrounding the three stones, or the beads around the outside? They appear to be part of the base or else just smoothed in so well that they look like they’re part of it. Here’s a couple more pictures.


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I’m also going to add a couple photos from an Arizona website of the Trading Post, because I think they’re cool. I only had one photo of the outside and it wasn’t very good.



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@Ziacat I’m gonna suggest your dealer was correct on the dating, for several reasons but mostly because it’s the Teec Nos Pos Post people. They’ve seen a thing or two over the years. :smile: I’ve been there.

Anyway, serrated bezels go pretty far back into the first half of the 20th c. However, Michael may be seeing commercially made serrated bezels vs. handmade in your piece, I can’t speak to that–but even so, access to commercial parts happened quite early. CG Wallace made sure of that at Zuni, for one thing.
Example: https://www.brownstrading.com/1940-s-C-G-WALLACE-ZUNI-CLUSTER-RING-p/clr1151.htm

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The “shot” between the stones is sections of milled 1/2 beaded wire, cut individually and placed between the bezels in the cluster work in place of handmade shot. This is a time saving shortcut silversmiths use when making several rings at a time to sell or for an order from a merchant or trading post.This is a very popular technique for cluster work which came into wide use in the late 60’s early 70’s when Indian Jewelry was absolutely booming and patterned wire became available through supply houses. Prior to that time, shot was individually made from uniform small pieces of silver melted into shot under a very hot flame.

Not challenging the integrity of the salesperson, but while often quite knowledgeable, very few individuals who sell Native Arts and crafts are actually craftsmen themselves. I don’t believe the time frame was intentionally misrepresented, but I do believe it was an honest mistake.

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“access to commercial parts happened quite early. CG Wallace made sure of that at Zuni, for one thing.”

Fascinating Chickfarmer! I do see that the split shank on the ring you referenced is from milled 1/2 round, and that the shot is made traditionally. I wouldn’t be at all surprised at 1/2 round, round, and square wires being available in those earlier years. Do you happen to have examples of some of the fancier wires CG Wallace carried?

Thank you, that explanation makes sense. So my next question is, when they attach those, then do they smooth them down so much that they look like they’re part of the silver underneath? You can’t see that from the picture, but when I look very closely some of them almost appear to be smoothed into the silver backing (I have no idea what that’s called). And they’re not all exactly the same; some of them have small indentations in them. Is that from when they were attached to the silver base? I’m not explaining myself very well :flushed:.

And I know you weren’t questioning his honesty, I was just a little surprised because the owner seemed so completely knowledgeable of his stock and the people that pawned the items (but if it was made in the 60s or 70s it might be easy to forget which decade).

Thank you, I am learning a lot about how silver jewelry is made.

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