This vintage ring is not large, yet it is important for historical reasons as it carries a rare and increasingly desirable mark, which is the stamp of UITA. UITA stands for United Indian Traders Association, established in the 1930s to protect the integrity and authenticity of Native made jewelry in the Southwest. UITA 22 identifies the bracelet as belonging to the Dean Kirk Trading post in Manuelito, NM. Dean Kirk was a Navajo trader who opened his own trading post at Manuelito, New Mexico (between Gallup and the Arizona border) in January 1941. By 1951, the trading post specialized in overlay jewelry, and this ring would have been made in that first decade when the post was opened. One of the bench smiths who worked for Dean Kirk was William Yazzie, and while he came up with his own hallmark, which this ring does not carry, his signature design was the curled silver wire, like the four in this ring, at top and bottom. We can't say whether this is a Willie Yazzie piece but given that he was a bench smith there and that this rng is so well made, and such a great piece consider how old it is, I would not be surprised if it were Yazzie's work. Jewelry with the UITA mark is increasingly collectible and valuable. Galleries mark them as high as $1800 for a ring this size.
The ring is a size 6 and the ring face is about 5/8” wide by just over 1-1/2" long. Weighs 7g. The stones are well seated and have no cracks. The ring is superb condition give the age.
An important piece of history.
Please convo with questions, or call (505) 369-6865. Will return your call as soon as possible.
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