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A very beautiful and very historic Navajo ingot-silver

cuff bracelet, hallmarked “UITA 6”, c. 1930’s



Beginning in 1931, The United Indian Trader’s Association, a volunteer organization of leading Southwestern Indian traders, created and enforced a strict set of quality standards for the making and selling of Navajo and Pueblo jewelry in the trading posts of its various members. UITA’s distinctive hallmark of its initials UITA with an arrowhead in the middle followed by the numeric designation of the trading company it was made at or for was a guarantee of the highest quality Native jewelry; completely handmade using solely traditional methods of craftsmanship and use of only the finest, traditional materials.  Since the UITA traders were the most important of their day they were well-equipped to set and enforce such high standards and as a result, the finest jewelry pieces made under UITA’s auspices are some of the very finest Navajo and Pueblo pieces of the 20th Century.


This exceptional bracelet is a perfect example; it is very finely formed of heavy ingot coin-silver, most likely from a hammered out coin-silver “slug” and most beautifully decorated with perfectly applied elegant stampwork, this piece is a true Navajo classic. The bracelet measures 3/4” in width all the way around. The inner circumference is a hair under 6” and the gap between the terminals is 1 1/8” for a total interior circumference of slightly less than 7 1/8”. It weighs a substantial 71 grams or 2 1/2 ounces and it has a wonderful weight and feel on the wrist. The bracelet is in excellent original condition with a fine, soft patina from age and use and it is properly hallmarked “UITA 6” on the interior of both terminals.

Not only is this bracelet a classic but the trading post it was made for and sold at is a classic too: “UITA 6” is the  numeric designation assigned to the historic and still extremely remote Borrego Pass trading post, set in the high pinon-juniper studded hills about 50 miles south of Chaco Canyon in Northwestern New Mexico. The post first opened in 1927 and was named after the nearby Borrego Pass, an ancient water gap across the Continental Divide. Borrego Pass Trading Post was operated by several influential traders over the next fifty-plus years, including Ben and Anna Harvey, Bill and Jean Cousins and Don and Fern Smouse.


This bracelet is a completely classic and historic piece of traditional, Navajo silversmithing made in a classic

and historic way in a classic and historic place; a unique combination that’s pretty hard to beat.



Price $2,100



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 "Borrego Pass Trading Post, 1949,” photo source and copyright: Farmington Museum (1995_16_7).

New Mexico Digital Collections. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.