I welcome your thoughts on this bracelet. It’s supposed to be turquoise, tested as sterling. Seller does not know who made it.
Do you think this is genuine turquoise? If so, any ideas as to the type?
And do you think it might possibly be NA? I suspect it isn’t (and the seller makes no claim either way), but I’m still a newbie in these matters.
Lastly, I think it’s unmarked, but there’s a thin squiggle on the back that, with effort, could be interpreted as an M or maybe a W. Although I suspect it’s probably just a scratch!
I don’t think it’s NA, I do think it’s turquoise. Asian import.
I think we look first to the construction of the piece. Most of the time when we think import we think of the piece maybe being manufactured/cast. This bracelet appears to be handmade. You have a fancy bezel that is supply store purchased, bead wire along the edges, three silver drops, and a small flat wire for the shank. All of that indicates that it is handmade to me. Also, that stone looks to be a real piece of turquoise. Whether it is Native American made would remain a mystery without some identifying mark, but the style appears to be Navajo.
@Jason can you speak to that bezel, and the odd shape of the drops? I just don’t see Native here.
Before reading the replies, I was going to point to the bezel as a reason this bracelet is likely not NA made. I don’t know for sure, and definitely no artist is confined to any specific style because of their heritage or tribal affiliation, but I don’t see this bezel as typical for NA work. Maybe it was a NA artist experimenting with supply store components or different looks. I think it’s a pretty peice of turquoise. That M mark looks kind of intentionally placed for me, but it could be an owner’s initials, not necessarily a makers mark.
If it helps any, this style of bezel and the bead wire was available at Thunderbird Supply In Gallup NM, in the 1980’s.
Many of my Navajo artist friends purchased items from there.
The Turquoise looks authentic to me.
I may have to eat my hat then, if Navajo craftspeople were buying these (odd) bezel forms and beadwire. Thank you for the info!
I do not know if this was the norm or not. That bezel is not traditional and often used for import items.
I saw the beadwire used for many items, including bracelets. I even made one for myself with that wire, as it was available in many thicknesses.
I’m on the fence on this one. A bit unusual yet has a NA ring to it. Possibly Anglo?
Indian Jewelers Supply was selling similar type gallery wire used for bezels (Findings-metals catalog volume VII, 1993, page 7)
Looking at the construction and techniques, this does not look at all like native work in terms of fabrication method or style. Gallery wire bezel, round beaded wire borders, solder chips precisely cut into tiny rectangles, and precisely placed. To me this looks like the work of someone with a background in dental appliance, or similar fabrication.
Interesting observations. Especially the soldering.
This piece intrigues me.
Thank you all for your responses—I really appreciate them. This is a fascinating discussion. Whether or not this piece is NA, it’s been a wonderful education just reading your comments. This is why I don’t mind the odd doubtful purchase or two, even if they may not pan out; they’re such great opportunities for learning. Especially if, like me, you’re geographically challenged and have few opportunities for hands-on examination.
I agree, this does not look like Native work. But of course we cannot say for sure. Could be any silversmith hobbyist, like myself.
However, it is attractive and I would wear it!
A variety of gallery wire is available at Thunderbird, where I shop for my supplies.
Anyone can buy it and create whatever they want.
Fascinating—thank you! I did think it was a little odd, and that would explain a lot.
Think I’ll call this my brace-let from here on in