Diné Coin Silver and Turquoise Bracelet [SOLD]

C4643-72-bracelet.jpg

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Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: coin silver
  • Size: 5-¼” inside end-to-end;
    1-¾” opening; ⅝” width;
    Wrist Size 7
  • Item # C4643.72
  • SOLD

This Diné of the Navajo Nation turquoise bracelet is stamped on the inside COIN SILVER, leaving no doubt or guesswork as to the source of the silver. It is thin silver so it would have been logical to declare that it was from sheet silver, so the stamping is valuable information.

After the Diné were relocated from Bosque Redondo to their old territory in 1869, they needed access to silver for making jewelry. They had no silver mines from which to procure silver, so their first access was silver coins. Originally, coins used were United States silver, but in 1890 the U. S. government began enforcing laws against defacing coins, so the smiths began using coins from Mexico, which they often traded from the Apache, perhaps in exchange for blankets which the Apache needed. The Apache were constantly in Mexico at the time and had easy access to Mexican coins. Traders also imported Mexican coins for use in their business. Mexican pesos had a higher percentage of silver and less copper than the U. S. coins, so they were preferred by the smiths.

To continue the history of silver use by the Diné, we learn that after the Mexican government forbade the exportation of pesos in the early 1930s, the trader at "Chinle asked a refinery to send him coin silver discs the size of pesos. . . The foundry sent small squares of coin silver weighing one ounce. By 1932, [these] slugs from Los Angeles refineries had almost completely superseded pesos from Mexico. [Bedinger, 1973:46]
Now that we have shared the introduction of coin silver slugs, we can discuss this bracelet. It has a single rich, green turquoise gemstone set on the top center, and both ends of the band are beautifully stamped with feathers, snakes, and lightning symbols. These designs were popular in the 1920s through the 1950s, so we believe this bracelet falls within those dates.


HOW TO MEASURE YOUR WRIST FOR BRACELET SIZE

Condition: very good condition

Provenance: this Diné Coin Silver and Turquoise Bracelet is from the collection of a client

Reference: Bedinger, Margery. Indian Silver - Navajo and Pueblo Jewelers, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. 1973.

TAGS: Southwest Indian JewelryNavajo Nationbracelet

Alternate view of the side designs.

 

Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Bracelets
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: coin silver
  • Size: 5-¼” inside end-to-end;
    1-¾” opening; ⅝” width;
    Wrist Size 7
  • Item # C4643.72
  • SOLD

C4643-72-bracelet.jpgC4643-72-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.