Navajo Sterling Silver, Turquoise, and Coin Pendant by Betty Yellowhorse
Native American Navajo Sterling Silver Pendant by Betty Yellowhorse - $900
PENDANT: 3-1/2" L x 1-1/2" W
BAIL: 7/16" L
CONDITION: Vintage, Never Worn
This unique pendant is handmade by renowned Navajo artist Betty Yellowhorse. The pendant showcases a Morgan silver dollar dated 1891, with three dangles made of Liberty Mercury Dimes dated 1942, 1934, and 1940, plus five turquoise cabochons.
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.
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.
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.