By definition, “old pawn” (sometimes called “dead pawn”) is American Indian jewelry that was pawned and then never reclaimed. Most commonly associated with Navajo jewelry, the pieces were generally created for personal or family wear, but were pawned out of necessity (or sometimes for safe keeping). The pieces could be reclaimed for the pawn price plus 10%, and those that were not then became available for sale, and are now among the most highly collectible pieces of American Indian jewelry.
Pro Tip: One way to differentiate vintage from more recent jewelry is to determine if it is made of “coin silver”, which essentially means melted down U.S. coins that were minted between 1820 and 1965.
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