What are The Odds…?

Here’s a “one-in-a-million” story we thought you might enjoy. Eric came home with this necklace today (October 26, 2017) and showed it to me without providing any explanation. I puzzled over it, wondering what famous artist made it, as there was no hallmark. Keep in mind it was fairly tarnished so I knew he must have visited the local pawn shop and found it (which he did) and wouldn’t have purchased it unless there was something special about it (which there was). I didn’t think to take a picture before I polished it. Anyhow, I could see he was bursting with eagerness to tell me. As it turns out, it was pretty special – this pendant was made by none other than Eric himself, with the assistance of uncle Arvid (master silversmith)! Eric said while doing a show in Pueblo*, CO he was unable to sleep one night and since Arvid was teaching him how to make jewelry he thought he would make something special for his girlfriend. He recalls that Arvid helped him assemble and solder the piece once all the elements had been individually fashioned. As near as we can figure, this would have been somewhere in the early 1980’s. Naturally his sweetheart loved it! She was heartbroken one day when she thought she had lost it. It later turned up in a shoe in her closet, much to her relief, which is funny since yours truly also lost a treasured piece of jewelry once upon a time, which later was found in the pocket of a shirt in a closet! Life eventually took Eric and his girlfriend in different directions, but to his knowledge she always treasured the pendant. Sadly she died some years ago of cancer and it can only be assumed that someone in her family had no need of the pendant. It eventually ended up in our local pawn shop where, more than 35 years after its making it was, remarkably, reunited with its maker!


*you may have seen this post on Facebook, stating the show site as Boulder.  This was an error on my part, Eric had said Pueblo but I typed the wrong city.  Eric since confirmed that he was in high school at the time he made the pendant for his girlfriend which dates its making to summer of either 1980 or 1981.

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A note about Sleeping Beauty turquoise

You may have heard that the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Globe, Arizona, closed. Although we had been told by reputable sources, we nevertheless decided to do some extra checking to be 100% certain. Sadly, it is certain — in August 2012, the Sleeping Beauty Mine ceased its turquoise mining operation to focus on copper extraction. Turquoise is a by-product of copper mining, and some of the more famous turquoise varieties such as Morenci, Bisbee, and Sleeping Beauty are a result of this. As copper is the more profitable of the operations, however, some mines now only produce copper. As a result, Sleeping Beauty stones are getting harder to come by and of course prices have gone up significantly.

Sleeping Beauty turquoise is prized for its bright sky-blue color and near-absence of matrix, which make it particularly sought-after by artists for detailed inlay work as well as needlepoint and petit point work. Additionally, much of it is workable in its natural state and does not require stabilization. Perhaps someday the mine will resume extracting this remarkable stone, but for now there are no plans for the foreseeable future to do so. We will continue to look for the best possible deals on jewelry with this stone, but expect that one day it may be as rare as Bisbee or Morenci.

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Happy New Year and may 2017 bring many blessings to you and your family!

Americana Indian Shows would like to thank all of you for your support. Thanks to you, we are entering our 49th year in business! We look forward to serving you in the new year.

The holiday season for us is always a great time to acquire inventory for the upcoming shows. Many of the artists and their friends were out selling jewelry to help with their holiday shopping. This also gives us the opportunity to visit and catch up on their family life and happenings.

Before Christmas, we bought eight pairs of earrings and several bracelets from Mark Roanhorse Crawford and Alethia Crawford. Their pieces are crafted using the tufa stone-cast method, which Mark learned from multi-award-winning Navajo artist Rick Charley. This work requires expert precision and execution, which Alethia and Mark have mastered. Their work is quite a feat considering that at the same time both are working on their degrees at Northern Arizona University. Alethia’s studies in mechanical engineering seem to have quite an influence on their exquisite designs and craftsmanship. Alton Bedonie and his wife Lillian were also very busy creating gorgeous jewelry. They stopped by with six new men’s and ladies’ rings, two heavy link bracelets, and an outstanding heavy lapis cuff bracelet. Alton also made a nice variety of all silver earrings and, as we go to press, is working on a Sleeping Beauty turquoise necklace for us. Another masterpiece from Alton is a large pendant and wide bracelet both in sterling silver with large gorgeous Bisbee turquoise stones. Mary Tom and her brother Nelson Begay came by just before Christmas with some of their beautiful jewelry, which we couldn’t pass up. From Mary came another stunning flower necklace and earring set with Sleeping Beauty turquoise. Nelson made an incredible bolo tie and a beautiful naja pendant.

We currently have several collections of unique and hard-to-find jewelry. There are 12 pieces of Carl and Irene Clark’s micro mosaic jewelry, a 14kt gold and turquoise bracelet by multi-award-winning Navajo artist Al Nez, a 14kt gold and coral necklace and earring set that took a blue ribbon at the 1996 Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial (also by Al Nez), and a pair of earrings and a bracelet in 14kt gold by Ervin Hoskie. There are several older Zuni needle point bracelets and a mint-condition, 1950s Blue Gem turquoise bracelet as well.

From several buying trips to the Zuni area, we have a great selection of necklaces, rings, and earrings as well as stone and shell inlay bird pins by Ruddell and Nancy Laconsello and Harlan Coonsis. Dale Edaakie made a very nice antelope bolo tie (the inlay work is stunning!). Smokey Gchachu and the Seowtewa family created some great new Sleeping Beauty turquoise necklace and earring sets. We have a carved amber fetish necklace by Verna Kashana and a three-strand, carved bird necklace by Andrew Emerson Quam. If you love opal but hate the price, we acquired more Navajo made spider opal pieces, which mimic the look of real opal without the high price or fragility of natural opal. Also, be sure to check out our selection of Italian-made sterling silver chains at wholesale prices. A variety of styles and sizes is a must for any jewelry collection! All in all we have a HUGE new inventory to start 2017 off with a bang!

We carry jewelry by 400+ different artists. Some of the artists whose work will be represented at our Yuma and Riverside shows include Vernon Haskie, Bruce Hodgins, Brian Clark, Gerald Lomaventema, Gibson Nez, Lyndon Tsosie, Charles Supplee, Jack Tom, Alex Sanchez, Justin Wilson, Orville Tsinnie, Mitchell Sockyma, Jerry Whagado, Erwin Tsosie, Patty and Raylan Edaakie, Veronica Benally, Wilbert Manning, Connie Seowtewa, Fadrian Bowannie, Darrell Cadman, Derrick Gordon, Sunshine Reeves, Steven Arviso, La Rose Ganadonegro, Donovan Cadman, Delbert Gordon, Guy Hoskie, Chris Nieto, Charlene Reano, Wilbert, and many more.

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AIS bids farewell to Myron Panteah

image001The Native American arts world lost one of its brightest stars in March (2016) with the passing of Navajo/Zuni artist Myron Panteah. Myron’s exquisite jewelry never failed to bring amazement to those saw it. The void left by his passing will be keenly felt. We were blessed to have known Myron and be counted among his friends; his personable and fun-loving nature was truly uplifting. We miss him so very much.

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Be sure to come by and see what’s new in southwest jewelry and art!

Holiday Greetings!

We’re on the road again, headed your way with a huge inventory stocked with lots of great items for your holiday shopping (and to treat yourself!). We will have a large variety of pins, pendants, rings, earrings, small necklace and earring sets, key rings, money clips, golf ball markers, buckles, bolos, bracelets and more. As we go to press, the buying continues and we’ll be on the lookout for some nice hat bands and a few pair of cuff links as well.

Our first trip out to buy jewelry for this show series was a great success! Among the many treasures found were an intricate Wilbert Manning raised inlay ring (stunning!), an Edith Tsabetsaye spectacular turquoise needle point ring, colorful and fun Santo Domingo necklaces and earrings as well as a beautiful purple spiny oyster shell necklace and several great turquoise and shell necklaces. Mary Coriz made a few new chokers and several of her beautiful multi strand shell necklaces. We have added to our great selection of Zuni inlayed pins with dragonflies, butterflies, birds, flowers and sun face designs. Other not-to-be missed inlay works include a pin/pendant and a bracelet from Ruddell and Nancy Laconsello with Avanyu (the water serpent) on them which we acquired on one of our trips to Zuni. Many artists have started adding a ring to the back of their pins so they can be worn as either a pin or a pendant. We love the versatility of these two-in-one pieces!

Before we returned home from the last show series, Tamara purchased two new necklaces from Mary Tom and an award-winning work from Nelson Begay (Mary Tom’s brother). Mary created a beautiful graduated bead necklace featuring her hammered beads alternating with her smooth, polished rondelle beads and a gorgeous onyx and silver necklace. Nelson’s impressive reversible squash blossom necklace took a 2nd place ribbon at Santa Fe Indian Market so we just had to have it! Eric later came across a magnificent inlay bolo by Ervin Tsosie that took a first place ribbon at Gallup Ceremonial in August. Be sure to come by and see these gorgeous works of art!

Alton Bedonie and Kee Yazzie have already been by and we picked up some great pieces from them, one of which is a beautiful multi-stone, multi color necklace by Alton (which we helped design). We still have many artists to see as we go to press, including Myron Panteah, Bruce Hodgins, Jack Tom, Steven Arviso, Sunshine Reeves and many more so we expect to add more stunning one-of-a-kind pieces to an already impressive inventory.

See you at the show!


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Michelle Sands: June 17, 1967 – September 10, 2015

Michelle SandsIt is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to a beautiful member of the Americana Indian Shows family. On September 10, 2015, Michelle Sands lost her 4 ½-year battle to cancer.

We will cherish the many memories we have of her and will miss her so much.

Her determined fight was an inspiration to those around her. That she could think of and give to others during those tough years is a lesson from which we can all learn about how we treat each other and how to better live our own lives.

Michelle was a genuine and loving person who took a special interest in everyone she met. When told last December that her cancer had returned, she went for a walk to clear her mind and when she didn’t return to the CTRC the medical staff became concerned and began searching for her; they found her comforting another patient who’d just received the same news. Unable to continue her job, she instead kept busy crocheting hats for patients undergoing chemotherapy at the Cancer Treatment and Research Center of San Antonio, TX. Michelle even continued traveling with AIS, helping as she could and inspiring us all with her positive attitude through it all. We were so blessed to have had her in our lives.

Rest in peace, Michelle. We love you and miss you.

Michelle requested that there be no flowers; instead contributions are welcome and may be made to:

Office of Development
MC 7835 UT Health Services Center
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229-3900

Please note on memo line: In Memory of Michelle Sands – Cancer Research

A memorial service will be held at the Community Bible Church in Bulverde, TX, and is open to all:

Saturday, Oct 24, 2015
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Community Bible Church Spring Branch/Bulverde
7100 US-281
Spring Branch, TX 78070

We invite you to share your thoughts and memories of Michelle on her guestbook.

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Hopi carved pieces from award winning artists

We have a very nice selection of Hopi carved pieces, many from award winning artists. Recently I picked up a few mid-size kachinas from Raymond Chee to add to the remaining miniatures from our last cycle. On consignment is a great Ahola and Eototo set carved by Leon Dallas as well as a wonderful Sun Kachina. Jeremy Lanza has brought in a couple of mid sized pieces which are very reasonably priced for their size. We have many others, including work from Laurence Dallas, Sterling McRay, Duwayne Chee, Wayne Poleahla and many others.

Marvin Toya has carved up another batch of small alabaster pieces, giving us a splendid selection of stone sculptures from which to choose.

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Spectacular rugs from the Teec Nos Pos, Ship Rock, and Farmington areas

We picked up some spectacular rugs from the Teec Nos Pos, Ship Rock, and Farmington areas. We have another beautiful Teec Nos Pos rug by Sara George, several great colorful Burnt Water weavings and a very nice Chief pattern style weaving by multi award winning weaver Janice Van Winkle. Additionally, you’ll have a rare opportunity to add to your collection a very fine Della Woody Yei Bi Chei tapestry weaving we obtained recently from a close family friend. This tapestry has a weft count between 100 and 120 depending on the color of the wool that was used. It is a magnificent piece of work! As we go to press, I will also be picking up rugs from Bill Malone in Gallup before we head your way. In all, we will have a very nice selection rugs as well as some Navajo pillow sets by Sally Arviso.

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Things are looking very good for Native American jewelry in 2015

Spring fashions are out and things are looking very good for Native American jewelry this year. It seems people are catching on to the beauty of Native American handmade jewelry and are eager to support American-made products. Look around and you’ll notice the renaissance of turquoise jewelry in fashion magazines, on TV newscasters and in Hollywood. The March and April issues of Cowboys and Indians feature lots of great jewelry. Models were sporting multiple silver bead necklaces in combinations with strands of turquoise of other multi strand necklaces. Big, beautiful cluster style turquoise and spiny oyster shell necklaces as well as gorgeous concho belts were also featured. March’s issue showcased pieces by Daryl Dean Begay, Leon Martinez, Guy Hoskie, Sunshine Reeves, Aaron Anderson and Alton Bedonie — all artists whose work we carry! It was great to see their work featured in the magazine, although Alton’s spiny oyster shell and silver bracelet was mislabeled as “Anthony Bedonie.” Because of this typo, Cowboys and Indians promised to feature one of his pieces in another issue this year (and correctly identify him).

After a tough winter, we’re happy to herald the arrival of spring with necklaces, earrings, bracelets and more in a celebration of cheerful colors such as orange, red and purple spiny oyster shell, coral, sugilite charoite, lapis, white buffalo, onyx, gaspeite, boulder turquoise and more. Of course we will also have a vast array of all the beautiful shades of turquoise, from pale barely-there blue to bright, intense blue as well as varying shades of green!

In anticipation of warmer weather, there will be a great selection of shorter neckwear as well as an excellent selection of silver bead necklaces and multi strand necklaces. We have asked Alton Bedonie to make some choker length necklaces using lapis, spiny oyster shell and turquoise and are looking forward to seeing what he comes up with. We are hoping to have at least one of each color by the time we leave for this series. Gerald Lomaventema came by and we were thrilled to purchase two bracelets, a necklace, two pair of earrings and a buckle. Gerald won the Best of Jewelry award at the 2014 Santa Fe Indian Market, and his work has been in demand. He uses a very difficult method of jewelry making by combining tufa cast with overlay work. As his work has been in short supply, we were happy to be able to secure some of his pieces this time around. During one of our buying trips to Gallup we met with Steven Arviso and purchased some of his super cool bracelets. He calls his heavy wide bracelet the “optical illusion style.” This bracelet actually looks like it is getting wider as you rotate it. A must see — it’s mesmerizing!

For this series, we also obtained some great Zuni jewelry, including a magnificent pair of earrings by Connie Seowtewa showcasing her exquisite petit-point work. In fact, we added lots of great new styles of Zuni jewelry this time! Navajo artists from Stone Weaver have also been very busy and we have a nice new selection of their jewelry as well as great new works from Bruce Hodgins, Mary Tom, Kee Yazzie, Nelson Begay, and Myron Panteah.

I think this is going to be a banner year for southwest jewelry!

See you at the show!


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Navajo rugs and sandpaintings for our 2014 holiday shows

Navajo Rugs

At the end of the summer, we picked up some spectacular rugs from the Teec Nos Pos trading post, so we have a great selection from this area for our holiday series. We will also be picking up rugs from Bill Malone in Gallup before we head your way and plan to have a nice selection of the smaller weavings as well, which are great to put on tables or use for display with pottery or kachinas. These smaller weavings also make great gifts. Another popular item is the Navajo pillow set made by Sally Arviso. We have requested more from her and are hoping to have at least two or three sets by show time.

Sand Paintings

On our buying trips to the Ship Rock area, we obtained several very nice and finely detailed sand paintings with excellent matting work. We also picked up a nice selection of smaller sand paintings, as well as some of the small boxes with sand-painted lids. These make great accent pieces and very nice gifts too.

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