Navajo Squash Blossom Jewelry, ca. 1965

Value (2011) | $1,500 Retail
Watch  

GUEST:
My husband found this jewelry when he was walking up a Forest Service road. He noticed a piece of tissue paper, a lot of it, sticking out from behind a rock. He kicked the rock over and lo and behold, that's what was under it. So we called the police, and they didn't have any accounts of stolen stuff, so we advertised it in the paper, and we've had it for 35 years.

APPRAISER:
Do you know what it's called?

GUEST:
Well, I know it's a squash blossom. I think the Navajos are the ones that make it. I don't know for sure, but it's turquoise and silver.

APPRAISER:
That is correct, this is a squash blossom necklace. The necklace extends from here to the naja. It's a crescent naja. And the Native Americans picked up this style from the Spanish conquistadores.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
The bracelet is composed of three medallions of turquoise. So the bracelet itself is this wide, and then it extends up your arm.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
Now, the Native Americans had a longstanding culture with silver and turquoise jewelry. It actually started in the mid-1800s and they melted down coins, they used ink and silver, and their jewelry was made for tribal purposes. They traded among themselves; it was a form of status. Now we move into an area of popularity. Tourist quality jewelry.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
And enter the '60s and '70s, where this jewelry was so popular that they mass-produced it. This is Navajo.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
This is from the '60s and '70s.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
It does have turquoise in it, but the turquoise-- and I did collaborate with people from tribal arts...

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
This turquoise has been colored-enhanced and stabilized.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
So it's not the best turquoise, and it's not the best piece of jewelry.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
A good retail value for both pieces, on today's market, may be $1,500.

GUEST:
You're kidding! Geez, I'd think there was more value in the silver than that!

APPRAISER:
I think $1,500 would probably be a silver value.

GUEST:
I think I'd melt it down and find out.

APPRAISER:
If this piece did not have reconstituted turquoise in it, let's say it was signed by a major Native American designer, it might be $3,000 to $5,000.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
But unless it's a major, major name, it's not going to get into that higher bracket.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
There's just too much of it out there.

GUEST:
Well, I like it anyway, so I'll just leave it in my meditation room.

APPRAISER:
Excellent! (laughing)

GUEST:
Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Rhinestone Rosie
Seattle, WA
Appraised value (2011)
$1,500 Retail
Event
Eugene, OR (June 04, 2011)
Period
20th Century
Material
Metal, Turquoise

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.