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Yah Ah Tey!
updated: Feb 24, 2013, 9:21 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

I have inherited some very nice (I think...) Navajo turquoise jewelry. I am not a jewelery person.....so I would like to have it appraised and sold.

Can anyone suggest which jewelers in the area would be interested in the Navajo style.....and would treat me fairly?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 378277P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 09:52 PM

Mike Haskell on San Ysidro Road in Montecito. He's been in the antique American Indian art business for a long time and is very familiar with market values. Know that an appraisal for insurance purposes will not be what you can expect to sell the pieces for; dealers typically will keep 40% of retail price so they can make a reasonable profit on sales.


 COMMENT 378298P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 11:45 PM

Haskell is okay, I guess. The only name I ever hear when it's to do with gems and appraisals is "Armando" at Peggy's Antiques in Carp. Even the other jewelers recommend him.


 COMMENT 378299P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 11:52 PM

Yes, Haskell is well-known for his interest, I mean business, in American Indian jewelry, rugs, baskets, etc. Do get other opinions! He might give you best price, but put the work into getting various appraisals so that you have more knowledge and can really get best price. Do some research for dealers; maybe there's someone in SY valley? LA? SB? Take your time if you can.


 COMMENT 378300P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 11:59 PM

I'm curious. Are you familiar with squash blossom necklaces? Colors or grades of turquoise? Any idea how old they are?

A family member started collecting in the early 70's; before the fad hit. I will never see pieces like that again. Squash blossom necklaces that weighed 3-6 pounds. They were stunning; I haven't seen turquoise like that since. And amazing old beautiful authentic rugs, bracelets, rings, sand-cast silver necklace with no stones.... Jewelry made before it was done only for the jewelry and tourist trade.

Google Images for "squash blossom turquoise necklace"
I think it's pretty easy to tell the old from the new jewelry.


 COMMENT 378305P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 12:21 AM

According to Antiques Roadshow, not all of the old Squash Blossom necklaces are of great value. I was surprised at the low value one Squash Blossom necklace, a truly unusual and fascinating one, was accorded.

300P is right. Do your homework. Everyone now is desperate to make a living. Don't allow yourself to be bamboozled.

Read up on "Pawn" pieces. If you have any of those, they are old and probably have more value.


 COMMENT 378314 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 06:28 AM

Marlene Vitanza at Peregrine Gallery on Coast Village Road would also be a very good choice


 COMMENT 378316P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 06:31 AM

Gillio's might be able to help with this.



 COMMENT 378321 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 07:15 AM

I second Marlene Vitanza at Peregrine Gallery on Coast
Village Road.


 CALTEX agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 07:30 AM

Pat at Patco .... Honest, reliable ....


 COMMENT 378328 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 07:32 AM

some may even be museum quality pieces if they are old enough and authentic. You should also check eBay to see what people are selling and at what prices.


 COMMENT 378344P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 08:11 AM

What do jewelers typically charge for an appraisal? Is it a flat fee, based on the item's value, or ...?


 COMMENT 378365 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 08:48 AM

Mike Haskell is an authority on this subject. I have sold him a number of items, not jewelry though, and he is fair. He will tell you exactly what your item is.Vitanza will give you the lowest price possible then put a huge retail price on the item. Definitely get several price quotes. You might need to go to LA for other dealers. Don't hurry this process.


 COMMENT 378368P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 08:51 AM

Appraisals are usually a percentage of the appraised value.

I would take your time on this if it's possible. First, as turquoises from some mines and areas may be more valuable than others, you need a certified gemologist who is familiar with different turquoises to identify the origin of the stones in your jewelery. The silver maker will also be very important in determining price. There should be hallmark or signature on your pieces. Some silver artists are very collectable. Use a good maginfier to look for the marks. That's where a turquiose expert can help.
Here is a link on appraisals, gemologists that might be enlightening. http://www.yourgemologist.com/appraisals.html

I'd search that to find some names. If you are serious about getting top dollar, this will take some time and detective work. You may also find out more about your family in the process!

Pick up a copy of Cowboys and Indians magazine which features many high dollar retailers in Western art, jewelery and apparrel. Bear in mind, unless you sell to a collector, you will be getting wholesale price from a dealer. I would urge caution on using ebay for getting "ideas" on pricing. Old turquiose is rare, and should not be found easily on ebay. Visit some dealers and just look at jewelery before you spill the beans about having something to sell.

Lastly, if this is family jewelery, I hope you keep some if possible, or pass it on to other family members who would enjoy wearing it.


 COMMENT 378369P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 08:53 AM

Years ago I had Haskell in my home to look at a painting. He wasn't interested in it but saw an old Navajo trade blanket I kept and offered to buy it. I declined but went on line and looked it up as best able and was stunned that his offer was about 10 cents on the dollar of value. I would be very suspicious of his valuation if he is buying.


 COMMENT 378393 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 09:25 AM

ADOBE TRADERS/Sagunto St. Santa Ynez....expert appraiser, great little business there.


 COMMENT 378417P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 10:07 AM

368P: A percentage of value seems like a built-in conflict of interest: the more they appraise it for, the more they get. How can you be sure it's a true appraisal?


 COMMENT 378525 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 01:03 PM

Peregrine Gallery on Coast Village Road.


 COMMENT 378581 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 03:30 PM

Please, please, please do your research before going to ANYONE (least of all Peggy's Used Treasures in Carp) with this jewelry. It is worth a LOT of money and people will try to underestimate it so they can set up a buy.

I would be very, very careful esp in this area about making sure you protect the full value of whatever this is worth.


 COMMENT 378662 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 07:13 PM

'appraisals are ussually a percentage of the appraised value'
As an appraiser for the last 40 years I can tell you that this is not the norm. In fact, most if not all appraisal organiztions feel that it is unethical to charge percentage of the value


 COMMENT 378668P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 07:44 PM

Re Adobe Traders in SY, they may be fine on jewelry, but I know they put an extraordinarily high value on a painted hide that other experts assured me was a fake.


 COMMENT 378672 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 07:51 PM

Another vote for Pat at Patco.... Honest as the day is long... Will try to help without makin a buck, if he doesn't know the answer, he will tell you so instead of trying to make something up or give you a low bid...

(Been working with him since taking jewelry classes at SBHS with Janice Lorber in the late 80's and never been wronged.... Thanks Pat!)


 COMMENT 378748P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-26 08:04 AM

Thank you, Burntthistle -- I'm relieved to know that!


 COMMENT 378774 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-26 08:35 AM

Take your jewelry to the next gem show at earl warren. You will get lots of opinions there!


 COMMENT 378778 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-26 08:42 AM

"Yes," to Pat at Patco. A big fat "NO" regarding the rest of the parties mentioned - - they cannot be trusted to give you the fair value for your jewelry that you deserve. Please believe me, I know what I am talking about!!


 COMMENT 379294P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-27 11:08 AM

368P here. Good to know this is no longer the norm. It has been about 30 years since I needed an antiques appraisal and all the big firms I contacted in SF wanted a percentage. I wondered about the ethics of that too, but was told at the time by several (3-4) that this was the norm. I ended up keeping my piece, as it had a family connection.


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