Squash Blossom Necklace Fashioned from Vintage Dollars and Dimes [SOLD]

C4569S-necklace.jpg

+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend


Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Necklaces
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Silver, turquoise, vintage U.S. silver coins
  • Size: Naja 3” x 2-⅝”;
    Clasps at nape to naja 15-⅝”;
    Weight: 1.08 lbs.
  • Item # C4569S
  • SOLD

A simple hook and loop secures this necklace.

Front of coin.This squash blossom necklace is distinctive and carries unique features.  The two foremost elements that strike one as they behold this piece are the dollars used for blossoms and the strong naja.  

The artist devoted significant time in transforming these historic silver dollars to shine in their repurposed nature. Carefully formed to gently sloping domes, each dollar arches toward the front of the necklace at its center.  The soldering of elements to string the dollars has been done with talent, making one question if they have always been in this form.  They date: 1921, 1888, 1885, 1883, 1879 and 1891 from upper left down and around to the upper right coin.

Back of coin.The naja is bold and classic, with a gemstone quality piece of turquoise at its crown.  The turquoise is a brilliant blue-green and possesses a warm coppery matrix.  Set perfectly into its silver bezel, it is framed with a twisted piece of silver appliqué.  The naja’s arms reach out and around in a crescent-like way, ridged just as the moon would appear as its waxes or wanes.  It has been stamped with ten half circles, five on each side. 

One last element of this necklace is exciting, as it may be lost upon those who view it unless done so meticulously.  Each of the fifty-eight beads, broken in two rows of twenty-nine, are comprised of two historic United States dimes.  The dimes are mostly from the 1940s, but some are as early as the 1920s. What a creative idea!  The artist drilled a hole in the center of each dime, formed them to create a hemisphere bowl, and soldered two hemispheres together at their edges.  Not only is this a beautiful necklace and a surprising adaptation of the squash blossom, but it holds the fiscal history of our country hidden in its constituent elements.

What is a naja? Early Navajo-made jewelry contained elements that were borrowed directly from Spanish colonial and Mexican ornament. One of these items is the naja, a crescent form of Moorish origin. The Spanish conquerors in the Southwest outfitted their horses in elaborate silver ornaments—one of which was the naja that hung directly on the forehead of the horse as a part of the bridle.  Today, it is still seen in both Pueblo and Navajo modern jewelry.


Condition: This squash blossom necklace is in excellent condition

Provenance: This Squash Blossom Necklace Fashioned from Vintage Dollars and Dimes is from an estate in eastern Washington. 

Recommended Reading: NAVAJO SILVER A Brief History of Navajo Silversmithing by Arthur Woodward

Relative Links: Southwest Indian JewelryNavajonecklace

Close up view of the naja and coins.


Jeweler Unknown
  • Category: Necklaces
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Silver, turquoise, vintage U.S. silver coins
  • Size: Naja 3” x 2-⅝”;
    Clasps at nape to naja 15-⅝”;
    Weight: 1.08 lbs.
  • Item # C4569S
  • SOLD

C4569S-necklace.jpgC4569S-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.