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A good friend of mine found this exquisite silver colored metal bracelet in a thrift store being sold very inexpensively. I've collected many types of vintage Sterling Silver necklaces, rings and bracelets over the years and most all of them at a minimum have the words Sterling or "925" which give evidence that they are truly Sterling Silver. This one has only the maker's mark "JM" which I believe indicates that it was made by the Navajo artisan James Mason. I found only a few other Silver bracelets made by this artist and am now curious whether this is indeed Sterling and if so why it wasn't marked as such. I'm likely going to purchase this from my friend and will likely not sell it but would be interested to learn whether this is indeed Sterling Silver.
Well, It may be silver plate, or the bracelet might have been worn - A LOT! In which case, if there was a marking, it could have worn off. I've got a few old rings that have only a "shadow" of a mark, very hard to see.
Solutions would be to get the testing acid - the set that is used for gold usually includes one for silver as well, and the testing stone you will need also. Or, take it to a local jeweler and see if they could test for you. It's very pretty!
I'd looked at the bottom of this bracelet with a magnifier and doubt that there had been any other marks on it besides the "JM." The JM punched onto it is very legible which leads me to believe that this was the only mark used by the artisan. I believe that all of the other samples of vintage Sterling Silver jewelry I'd found over the years had either "925" or "Sterling" stamped onto the metal.
I decided to purchase this bracelet for myself based solely on its' design and the beautiful turquoise samples that it contains. I'm not concerned about the metal used by the artisan but would believe and hope that it is Sterling Silver.
This is not a bracelet, it's a Mans' Cuff. The turquoise is called "popcorn turquoise" and is mined in Arizona. Some people like it. This style cuff is made by many Native Americans and retails (new) for $690. to $900.
JM (Jim Mason) signature examples on line show the word Sterling above his initials or below them. However he made/makes cuffs like yours. Age of yours unknown.
Another JM silversmith is Jackie Manygoats. Example JM shows the J being part of the leg of the M, but other examples show J.M. and also written by a pointed tool J M. I didn't see any large cuffs like yours.
A lot of NA jewelry is not marked. Have it tested by a jeweler or pawn shop.
About using the signature JMhttps://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn/CR-pendant-turq-teardrop.htm
Thank you Tom; I checked again on eBay for "man's cuff" and had never heard that term used before. Almost every eBay listing for this type of item also used the word "bracelet" likely so that members could find these items. My friend told me that she had thought of me when she purchased this and she realized that it was too wide to fit her wrist. I didn't need another piece of jewelry but gave her 4x what she'd paid for this; it was part of an estate sale.
Congrats!! I lived with a Navajo family for a few weeks when I was in high school,great experience and I learned about"pawn Jewelry" such as this authentic Navajo cuff. These pieces were often sold for a fraction of their value by the owners in need of cash. Gorgeous piece !
The woman who had purchased this cuff told me that she had thought of me when she bought it. I offered to trade her one of my thrift store finds which I felt was equal in value to this cuff but I had to talk her into accepting a fair price for this gem. I'm wearing it now and not yet 100% attached to it but it may be one of those pieces of jewelry that "grows on you." I only wish that the artisan had signed a full name on it but it is what it is.
Mark, the difference between a cuff and a bracelet is that cuffs are open and do not close, the metal is malleable and is opened to fit the wrist, bicep, ankle or elsewhere, then squeezed to lock it in place. A bracelet closes with a clasp, hinge, elasticity, or chain. FYI a bangle is one size, enclosed only, and doesn't open.
Mans' designates gender. Men wear the big, bulky cuffs. Ladies' cuffs are smaller and more petite.