Vintage Tim Bedah Navajo 14K Gold Lone Mountain Turquoise Sun Face Necklace
Bearing the original black grease pencil price from the 1970s ($2895) and the handwritten notation of the artist (Tim Bedah, Navajo, 1970) this necklace would have been one of Tim Bedah’s earliest pieces of gold as there is no “stamped” hallmark on the necklace. Gold links, made to resemble natural gold nuggets, lead down on either side to three large panels of stamped gold holding a large amount of stone inlay work. Lone Mountain turquoise is mixed with Brown Jasper and Black Onyx to create the SUN FACE design at the bottom of the piece. The stones are precision cut, invisibly set and rise just a smidgen above the exterior bezel setting. This is definitely a rare piece of solid gold jewelry! Absolutely gorgeous, and if I am not mistaken, possibly a ONE OF A KIND piece by the goldsmith. Hook and eye closure.
Metal Content: 14K Gold
Hallmarks: Handwritten black grease pencil marks of Tim Bedah, Navajo, 1970 as well as CH 14K (stamped mark).
Size: Length of the necklace is about 20" if I am calculating the panels correctly. Width at the links is 3/16"; width on the left/right side panel (at largest section) is 3/4". Center pendant measures 1" wide x 1-7/16" high.
Weight: 38 grams
Final Comments: A talented goldsmith, Tim Bedah was born in 1945 to Edward Bedah, descended from one of the Plains Indian tribes, and Thelma Begay, Navajo. Tim learned to silversmith when he worked at the now-closed Carson's Trading Post in Gallup, NM. In 1976, Tim first learned to work gold while working for Don Mortensen Jewelers. One early highlight of Tim's career was making a gold buckle for singer Wayne Newton. He has won numerous blue ribbons for his work at the Gallup Ceremonial and Santa Fe Indian Markets. Even though he is an accomplished goldsmith, most of his works are traditional in design.
NOTE: In 1970 gold was still around $35 an ounce. Today (11/5/19) it is $1,400 an ounce. So without even having to think much about it, to replace this necklace in today's money would be very, very expensive. Native American jewelers only worked in gold when they had mastered completely the fundamentals of silver not to mention mastering the technique of precision cut stone inlay. A necklace like this, on other sites, seems to command a price of around $6,000 or more.
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Tim Bedah Navajo 14K Gold Turquoise Necklace