Uncertain origin

My mom is of Pueblo heritage and although my dad was of German heritage, he embraced her culture and loved buying and wearing the turquoise and coral belt buckles, watches and jewelry. But I found this piece and have no idea where he got it. I don’t know if it’s genuine or costume jewelry. I can’t imagine he’d buy costume jewelry or any jewelry without turquoise. And I couldn’t find any markings. I cleaned it…maybe I shouldn’t have. I thought it might be an image of a bear paw print. He passed away three years ago so I can’t ask him.

Interesting piece. Before you cleaned it did it look worn. Could be several different stories for this one. It sounds like it was something you never saw him wear? In some respects it looks unfinished? Maybe he leant someone money who gave him this as collateral? The ring appears to be cast, so it would have come out of the mold with this design. Did your parents live at the Pueblo?

I can’t tell if it was worn. It was pretty tarnished, but I never saw my dad wear it. My mom grew up in Mesita, CO. Her father was a farmer. After he retired, they moved to Albuquerque, NM. My mom and dad met when he was stationed in Alb. He’s not of Pueblo descent, but my mom is. So I’m not certain how he ended up with it except that it’s much too big for my mom to wear.

It could have been meant to be something like this, that just didn’t get finished.