Unmarked little pendant

I found this today at a pawn shop. It has no mark whatsoever, although I’m positive that it’s sterling 925. I’m less sure about the turquoise though. I’m still a total beginner with turquoise and can’t actually tell what’s what.

I had another ring I thought for sure was fake, and it turned out to be real. So I just can’t tell.

I’d love to hear your opinions about this little one.
I’m guessing that it’s not a very valuable little pendant, especially since it looks like someone polished the back so much that there’s no visible signature or anything.

But I’m very curious about the hollow space surrounding the turquoise stone. I wonder if it was made this way, or if someone has dug out and removed something that used to be there.

There doesn’t appear to be any little scratches or anything like I would expect to see if someone removed something. Just an empty space. It’s strange. What do you think?

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Also, I wonder if someone here could tell me about the little silver beads, they don’t have any visible 925 mark, but they’re not magnetic either. They seem like they might be sterling.

Do any of you know of a reputable Native American artist who sells beads like this? Maybe the necklace would look nicer with more beads.

The style with the hollow space around the stone is called shadow box. If you google it you will find many pieces similar to your pendant. As for the turquoise, it looks real to me, but I am no turquoise expert. Just a beginner myself.


Thank you. I appreciate your input.

Do the holes in the beads look uniform? This will help to determine if they are hand made or purchased. How thick are they?

Here is an easy, tentative test for sterling. Take a ring, or something else, you know is sterling. Rub it, then smell your fingers. Sterling has a distinctive smell.
Wash/dry your hands. Then do the same with this piece.

I use this method often. Have seen some pieces marked sterling that were not.

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Thank you. I wouldn’t have thought the beads were handmade, but they’re not exactly uniform in size either. They have me convinced they’re sterling even without a mark though. I’ll try to get a better picture of them.

I wonder why someone would purposely rub off any marks? That seems so strange to me.

I prefer the second style silver pendant

We can get seamless beads both silver and plated, hard to tell from this image which these are. They would not be handmade, and if it seems heavy it is more likely to be nickel.

Likely no marks were rubbed off. The fact is that not all Native jewelry is marked.

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This doesn’t look abnormal to me although it’s not all Native American. Shadowbox pendant, but looks to be manufactured beads and chain. I have a lot of beads like this…they’re called spacer or filler beads and common in craft/hobby jewelry.

The back isn’t rubbed off, just not marked, but looks sterling.

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Regarding the scuffs on the back…
Not that this particularly pertains to your piece, but I’ve seen pieces at flea markets where the hallmarks are buffed off like that because the original mark was Phillipine or Mexican and the seller thought they could get more for the piece if it passed off as Native American. I’m no pro, but I always go by my gut instinct. If something doesn’t seem right, even if I can’t put my finger on it, I walk away from the piece.

they may have been trying to give it a brushed finish to make it look older, and didn’t know how to handle their steel wool. :wink: