Here is an early, 1920’s to the mid- 1930’s Fred Harvey era Native American silver and turquoise cuff. Most likely sterling, though I have not tested it, it is completely hand made with ghost stamping on the inside, evidence of hand stamping and not machine stamping. The most interesting feature is the Nohokis or whirling log used by Native Americans as early as the 1880’s according to Dennis June in his book “Fred Harvey Jewelry: 1900-1955”. Nohokos is a Navajo word and symbol of good luck (32,57). With the rise of Hitler in the 1930’s Americans came to know this as the swastika, and Native Americans stopped using it in their work. This helps to date this cuff as it was a piece of the Middle Harvey Period with the Nohokos being applied on the cuff. In addition, it has a flat-plate shank and not the split -plate shank of the later “Pretty Girl” Harvey styles. These two things as well as the tapered ends of the shank for comfort date the cuff to the Middle Harvey Period, 1920-1935 (118). The width of the cuff is 1/2” at the center and gradually tapers to 1/4” at one end and 5/16” at the other end, just a tad wider and another indicator that the cuff was handmade. The turquoise cabochon is bezel set and measures 14mm by 10mm and has no damage. Color wise, the turquoise looks like Blue Gem with just a hint of a gold matrix to it (Lowry, 53). The cuff weighs 16 grams on my jewelry scale, again heavier than the typical later Harvey tourist or souvenir bracelet. The measurements of the cuff are below to help you know the size of the wrist it will fit:
Interior diameter: 2 1/8” at the widest point
Gap: 1 1/4”
Interior taped end to end: 5 1/8”
Total wearable size: 6 3/8” almost 6 1/2”.
The cuff is adjustable but should only be done by a jeweler who knows where to put pressure so as not to crack the cuff. It is shown on my wrist and fits comfortably; it should fit a small-medium to a medium. The gap is the important measurement; if too large it could fall or if too small, hard to put on. A very early cuff, most likely Navajo, it will make a wonderful addition to your Native American silver jewelry collection.
June, Dennis. “ Fred Harvey Jewelry: 1900-1955. Schiffer Publishing, 2013.
Lowry, Joe Dan and Joe P. “Turquoise Unearthed”. Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2002.
Early Fred Harvey Era Turquoise Cuff with Nohokos
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