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Turquoise & Tufa

Vintage Silver Thunderbird Turquoise Ring Bell Trading Post

Vintage Silver Thunderbird Turquoise Ring Bell Trading Post

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In this cool little silver thunderbird ring set with turquoise is a whole story about the Bell Trading Post founded during the Great Depression in Albuquerque, New Mexico along the recently completed Route 66.

Bell Trading Post was established by Jack Michelson and his wife in 1932. They hoped to follow Fred Harvey's model of employing Native American artists to make jewelry for tourists. Harvey's customers came mostly by train, and the Michelson's customers would arrive by car on Route 66. Both Harvey and the Michelsons used special machines so that their jewelry could be fabricated in multiples rather than painstakingly handmade. 

During the height of the Great Depression, Bell Trading Post used copper and nickel silver for some creations in order to save money. 

By 1962, the Michelsons filed their first trademark and used that new trademark to hallmark their jewelry for the next decade until Bell Trading Post became Sunbell Trading Post.

This little Bell Trading Post thunderbird ring was created circa 1965 and it's hallmarked with the second Bell Trading Post mark, Bell's first trademark. The ring is also sterling silver rather than nickel silver. 

All this to say, with this ring you have a charming jewelry adornment but you also have a cool token from the post Fred Harvey Southwest Native American tourist jewelry trade.

This sweet treasure is a size 6.


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