Navajo Sterling Silver and Lapis Earrings by Betty Yellowhorse
Native American Navajo Earrings by Betty Yellowhorse - $150
2-13/16" L -- Total Earring
1-11/16" L X 3/4" W -- Pendant
An elegant pair of earrings, handmade by renowned Navajo artist Betty Yellowhorse. Each earring consists of a dangle made of two vivid lapis cabochons -- a larger oval and smaller round stone -- each set in a sterling silver bezel, and a Liberty Mercury dime. The dimes are dated 1927 and 1943. The back bears Yellowhorse's hallmark proving its authenticity.
Betty Yellowhorse is an accomplished silver smith, working in the rich Navajo tradition. She is known for incorporating beautiful old coins into her jewelry. Working with silver coins in jewelry is a practice which points to a time before the use of sheet silver and bezel wire, and so coin work taps the deepest roots of tradition in Navajo silver jewelry making. Betty Yellowhorse jewelry is imbued with the richness and beauty of this lineage, not only through traditional techniques and designs, but also by incorporating the long history held in such old coins.
The Liberty Mercury dime is an interesting coin, and one popular among coin collectors. Due to its resemblance to the Roman god, it came to be called a "Mercury" dime, but the winged head actually symbolizes liberty, specifically "liberty of thought." These ten-cent pieces were produced between 1916 and 1945 by the United States Mint, and are composed of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. Designed by well-known sculptor and engraver, Adolph A. Weinman, the design was quite popular in its day, but the coin presented problems when used in vending machines, so the design was modified in 1945.
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