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Native American jewelry

Turner Auctions to close out Native American jewelry collection Dec. 8

Native American jewelry
Navajo old pawn concho belt, 46 inches, marked sterling and maker’s mark on the buckle. Estimate: $600-$800. Turner Auctions + Appraisals image

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Turner Auctions + Appraisals will present a Native American jewelry auction on Saturday, Dec. 8. Offering over 300 lots, mostly from one major collector, this extensive sale features a fine selection of Native American and Southwest jewelry. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Included are bracelets, squash blossom and heishi necklaces, rings, numerous watch cuffs and watch bands, concho and other belts, brooches and pins, pendants, hat bands, belt buckles, bolos and ketohs. Most are Native American, including Navajo and Zuni, with sterling or coin silver; most have turquoise, coral or other embellishments. All are old pawn or vintage. Several other related items round out the sale, including a Navajo rug, silver desk set and beadwork items.

Native American jewelry
Navajo rug, approximately 57 x 94 inches. Estimate: $800-$1,200. Turner Auctions + Appraisals image

Of note, this is the final sale of items from a major collector whose exceptional jewelry Turner Auctions + Appraisals has been privileged to offer buyers over the past two years. The collection’s owner, who has since retired, was a major dealer and collector of Navajo, Zuni and Hopi jewelry in Southern California for over 30 years.

Native American jewelry
Old pawn Southwest Zuni silver squash blossom set consisting of a necklace, earrings, cuff bracelet and ring. Estimate: $500-$700. Turner Auctions + Appraisals image

From the mid-1970s to the early 2000s, he operated a retail business that sold vintage, contemporary and custom Southwest jewelry to movie studios, prop and costume houses, and collectors. All auction items are “from the vault” – ones that were reserved for personal use or set aside for future appreciation.

Native American jewelry
Navajo old pawn turquoise and silver cuff bracelet. Estimate: $300-$500. Turner Auctions + Appraisals image

Everything in his collection is original and handmade. Most items are made of heavy, solid silver – either coin or sterling silver, and adorned with gem-quality stones and elaborate hand-cut bezels.  The majority were crafted by talented artists; many are maker-stamped. Some items are vintage ceremonial pieces; many are museum-quality. None of the pieces has color-enhanced stones or are plated with silver or nickel. Overall, the owner’s quest was to obtain top-quality items that were out of the ordinary—the finest examples of handwork he could find.

Native American jewelry
Old pawn Southwest heishi necklace, 14¼ inches long. Estimate: $150-$250. Turner Auctions + Appraisals image

Additional highlights include:

– Lot 96: two old pawn Navajo silver belt buckles with turquoise and coral, marked sterling. Estimate:  $300-$500.

– Lot 12: two old pawn Navajo cuff bracelets, both with maker’s and sterling marks. Estimate: $200-$400.

– Lot 46: old pawn Navajo silver and turquoise brooch, 1¾ inches x 3¼ inches, approximate total weight 73 grams. Estimate: $200-$300.

– Lot 130: Navajo silver and turquoise ketoh, 1970s, 3¾ inches x 3 inches. Estimate: $200-$300.

– Lot 118 Navajo old pawn turquoise and silver bolo tie, marked with maker’s name. Estimate: $150-$250.

– Lot 134: two Navajo old pawn turquoise and silver hat bands, both with maker’s marks, one with sterling mark. Estimate: $200-$400.

Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction Dec. 8 at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time/1:30 p.m. Eastern.

For more information, contact Stephen Turner, president of Turner Auctions, at 415-964-5250 or

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Native American jewelry