Navajo Sterling Silver With Lapis and Turquoise Earrings by Betty Yellowhorse (SOLD)
Native American Navajo Earrings by Betty Yellowhorse - $200
3-7/16" L -- Total Earring
11/16" Diameter -- Coin
CONDITION: Vintage, Never Worn
An elegant pair of earrings, handmade by renowned Navajo artist Betty Yellowhorse. Each earring consists of a dangle made of two Liberty Mercury dimes with an oval lapis and two small turquoise stone cabochons in a sterling silver bezel set. The dimes are dated 1939, 1942, 1945, and 1944.
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.
Because these items are hand-crafted by local artisans using traditional techniques, slight variations may occur. Note that colors may vary according to each display monitor.