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SANTA FE  NEW MEXICO

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A historic Navajo ingot-silver split-chisel ring set with a turquoise stone, UITA, circa 1930’s



This ring is an early Navajo "revival-period" piece. It was made sometime in the 1930's under the auspices of the United Indian Trader's Association, known as UITA. UITA was a voluntary organization founded in 1931 by a group of Indian traders dedicated to creating a means for guaranteeing that only the finest-quality Indian handmade silver jewelry would be sold in its various member's Trading Posts. This jewelry was generally supposed to adhere to traditional methods and styles based on the early designs of the "classic" period of Navajo jewelry (1870-1900), and this ring does exactly that, it is a "revival" of an earlier style of relatively plain, ingot-silver, “split-chisel” ring with a simple, single turquoise stone set in a finely-serrated silver bezel.


Before it could be sold, each UITA-inspected and approved piece of jewelry was stamped with the coveted UITA trade mark (The capital letters U I T A with an upright arrowhead design in between the "UI" and the "TA") and also with the specific numeric code which was assigned to each particular member trading post. In the case of this particular ring, the stamp is UITA6, which was the numeric code assigned to the beautiful, remote and historic Borrego Pass Trading Post in far Western New Mexico which was owned and operated by Trader Don Smouse and his family which means that this piece was most likely sold there sometime in the 1930’s which is a fascinating and wonderful piece if documented history. The ring is a size 6-6 1/4 and measures approximately 7/8” height and 5/8’ across the face. It weighs 5.1 grams/.18 ounces. The ring is properly marked “UITA6” on the interior and is in excellent original condition.



Price $185



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