Can anyone help me figure out the background of this unusual bracelet? The chain is very heavy, and the clasp is marked with an eagle stamp, and “Castelan Sterling Hecho en Mex” so I date it 1950’s or later, and obviously from Mexico. But the charms don’t fit…as they appear to be Zuni or other Native American inlay work as well as a few more simple turquoise and silver charms. Is it possible that these were added to a Mexican silver bracelet later? Appreciate anyones help!
The inlay charms without silver bars or stone on stone are the older pieces. The machine made sawtooth bezel places assembly on those items after WWII.
Can you show the backs of the charms?
I think it’s really interesting that some of the bracelet links have jump rings permanently soldered onto them. Maybe it was originally made with Mexican charms and those were removed and replaced with these?
That’s what I was wondering too. Do you think the charms are older than the bracelet then?
I’ll let the experts weigh in on the age of the charms. I found a couple of listings with the original Mexican charms. One is claiming 1940s.
Castalan with Eagle Mark 15 is in Hougarts book of Mexican hallmarks. The only thing we can say for sure is that the hallmark identifies the piece as being produced before 1980, when the new Number Letter system was introduced in Mexico. Having said that the eagle shape on Castelan is identified as being used between 1955 and 1980. I would venture to guess that the bracelet is far older than the charms. Do any of the charms have marks on them? Just another thing to mention regarding Mexican Sterling. I have repeatedly run across what looked like Native American work, only to find the Mexican Hallmarks. Some of them you could not tell the difference without seeing the hallmark. I have posted before on this topic.
To me, this looks like a collection of single vintage earrings, repurposed. I have entertained doing this myself, with a heavy sterling chain like this to keep a nice proportion with the earrings.
Question: I have heard that mexican silver is often an alloy of silver and nickle. This combo then tends to tarnish more quickly than other alloys. Thoughts?
Nickel silver is a alloy that contains no silver; same for alpaca which you find stamped on mostly Mexican pieces.
Mexican silver is confusing terminology. Mexican pieces, just like their American counterparts, can be sterling, or alpaca/nickel silver.
Since sterling and it’s marked .925 counterpart is 92.5% silver there has to be another metal that makes up 7.5%? German silver or nickle silver is as you noted nickle.
I was asking about the various metals used to make up the alloy.
Nickel silver is a copper alloy with nickel and zinc.
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of.other metals, usually copper.
I found this on Wikipedia.
I think someone may have collected the charms over time and put them on a handy chain. However, there are quite a few people who collect singleton earrings, charms, pendants etc and put them on bracelets as “handmade.” These sell for big bucks.