It is obviously fine silver; you can tell simply by the feel and the weight of the metal. I tested the metal and it is at least .900 sterling. That led me to believe the blue stones are real sapphire, not glass.
We posted images on several collectors’ websites and forums trying to figure out what it is, I mean, other than a bracelet. It is missing a couple smaller stones, and some of the links are obvious repairs, but other than that it is in excellent condition. There are no marks on it – for instance, no hallmarks to indicate British origin. No maker’s marks, either.
Today we crcked the code – or rather one of the founders of the Superstition Museum cracked the code. Liz told him that we though it might be South American, or possibly Polynesian, judging by the unique figures. The vast differences in dress, however, are confusing.
Jim said the first figure was definitely (American) Indian, possibly Maya, as we guessed. From there he deduced the rest. As he studied the piece, he had an “aha” moment. He said this was most likely a commemorative bracelet honoring Christopher Columbus – dating it to 1892.
He said the third figure was definitely Columbus, making the central, larger bust Queen Isabella. This all would tie in with the intricate design and clasp and link work, making it a Victorian era piece.
We are still no closer to discovering the maker or country of origin, but likely Spain, or possibly Italy who has claimed Chris as their own even though he was Portugese…