Navajo Sterling Silver, Turquoise, and Coin Pendant by Betty Yellowhorse
Native American Navajo Sterling Silver Pendant by Betty Yellowhorse - $1800
PENDANT: 4-3/4" L x 2-1/2" W
BAIL: 3/4" L x 15/16" W
CONDITION: Vintage, Never Worn
This stunning pendant, handmade by renowned Navajo artist Betty Yellowhorse, is quite ornate. The star of this piece is an incredible turquoise stone, which is surrounded by intricate sterling silver ornamentation. Even the bail is stamped with beautiful designs. From the main pendant dangles four Liberty Mercury dimes, one of which is dated 1943, with the other three dated 1941, plus four smaller, round turquoise cabochons. The back of the pendant bears Yellowhorse's signature hallmark, and is stamped sterling, 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.
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.