Vintage '70's? Squash Blossom Set

When I was a kid my mom bought a bunch of Navajo (?) jewelry from the son of some friends of hers. I think the guy worked for the BIA and it might have been illegal for him to be selling stuff on the side. IDK. Anyway, he dumped a giant grocery bag of jewelry on the dining room table and we were in awe. It was like a treasure chest! Mother chose this set and let me pick out a ring or two to purchase. It has always been one of her favorite possessions. There does not appear to be any markings or hallmarks but it is very heavy and I think the turquoise is pretty good quality. I’ve always been curious about the maker, which mine it is from, and the value. Not selling at this time.

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Oh. My. God. This is superb. I’m in awe.

I’m the one who was asking about my mother’s ring, so I don’t know as much about turquoise as others here.

Is this … Morenci? I tremble in writing the name. I think I see huge patches of pyrite.

Or is it a different look of Bisbee, with larger cloud-like blotches of matrix?

No, I think this is like the Holy Grail of Morenci.

Edited to add: I’m just happy this exists, and that you shared a picture of it with us.


I agree with @saef, the turquoise looks like very hi- grade Morenci. Definitely a collectible (and expensive) turquoise.

It does appear to be Navajo, and the age of the jewelry appears to be consistent with your story. Without any hallmarks, it’s difficult to identify a maker. Personally, I love Morenci. It’s my fave, so I tend to price it a little higher than other pieces. In my antique store, for the cuff, I would have it priced around $375- $400. The ring around $165- $185, for the squash, maybe $3000. I feel that $3000 is high, but I have seen lesser quality squashes go for that price.

I did notice that you have a few loose beads and a clasp in the background of the first picture? If those are from the squash blossom, I think it would impact the value a little. I would recommend to you that you have it restrung or soldered, depending on how the squash is originally held together. It shouldn’t cost very much (depending where u go).

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Thanks so much, saef! I think our rings look so much alike that they could possibly be by the same artist. Twinsies! :sweat_smile: I’ve always loved it but wasn’t sure how to research it. But thanks to this site and a few others, I found lots of info just this afternoon. Really fascinating learning about all the different mines and the styles of work. It does seem to match the descriptions of Morenci as the blue is very deep and the matrix could be pyrite, but I’m still a total novice.

Thank you, Bigbree43! That’s super helpful info. Those prices seem close to what I would expect unless someone was willing to pay extra for it being a matching set, which seems fairly rare for vintage turquoise. My mom said tonight she paid $1800 for it way back when so I would hope it has appreciated since the early seventies. But she’s 89 so maybe she is misremembering? Or maybe she got ripped off! :confused:Who knows?
And sadly, yes – the clasp is broken and I have hesitated to let just anyone try to fix it. I hope it doesn’t have to be completely restrung.
It is exciting that you both think it might be Morenci.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts about this set.

Oh yeah I definitely definitely forgot to mention that. Personally, I believe you can always ask more when you have a vintage set. But that’s just me. I have encountered people who don’t believe that. If I ever acquire a set of 2 or more matching pieces, I always price a little higher. So if you do decide to sell it, take that into account. My advice to people is to price it high. Then you can negotiate a price with a buyer. You can always price high and mark it down later, you can’t do the opposite!

So I scrounged through all my jewelry boxes and found this ring which I think may have been one of the pieces my mom let me choose when she was buying the squash blossom set. Thought I would just add that here. It is also unmarked.

Yep! Looks like more Morenci. Still beautiful, but the stone isn’t quite as nice as the ones in your other set, but still a good stone. Very cute stuff, I’m way jealous!

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Thanks again, Bigbree43! I hesitated to share this one because it is not as finely made, but I felt like it was from the same batch – maybe same artist even. Still fits and its great for everyday wear. I’ve actually never worn the necklace but have started wearing the cuff and the ring