Navajo Sterling Silver, Turquoise, and Coin Necklace by Betty Yellowhorse (SOLD)
Native American Navajo Sterling Silver Necklace by Betty Yellowhorse - $900
23-1/2" L -- Necklace without pendant (open)
11-1/2" L -- Necklace without pendant (closed)
14" L -- Necklace with pendant (closed)
2-1/2" L x 2-3/8" W (dimes), 1-1/2" W (dollar) -- Pendant
CLASP: Handmade silver hook clasp with Liberty Mercury dime incorporated
CONDITION: Vintage, Never Worn
This unique necklace is handmade by renowned Navajo artist Betty Yellowhorse. The pendant showcases a Morgan silver dollar dated 1900, framed by two Liberty Mercury dimes dated 1941 and 1942. All three coins are topped with a teardrop shaped turquoise cabochon, with a silver embellishment crowning the Morgan silver dollar.
The coin pendant hangs from a strand of dime beads, each hand made of two Liberty Mercury dimes (dating as old as 1924) which have been shaped by hand into a dome and soldered together. Four turquoise nugget beads near the neck on each side add the finishing touch.
The closure is a substantial hand made hook and eye clasp adorned by a 1941 Liberty Mercury dime. The back of this necklace 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.
A topic so hotly debated in its day, free coining of silver (a practice in which for a small fee one could bring silver to the mints and have it coined into legal tender, regardless of the ever changing value of silver) was the central topic of the presidential campaigns of 1896 and 1900. The Coinage Act of 1873 ended free coining, after which the Morgan silver dollar was the first silver dollar minted (in 1878). The Morgan silver dollar is today considered to be the most popular American coins to collect.
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.