We were saddened to hear of the recent death of legendary Navajo silversmith Tommy Singer. Although he is often credited as being the inventor of chip-inlay jewelry, he developed many other signature styles over the years and was prolific and successful in his chosen career. Those who knew him said he was a friendly and generous man.
You will be seeing his pieces go up in value – the prices will settle a little in time, but some dealers may be inflating prices over what should be considered reasonable. What is also bound to happen is that misinformed or unscrupulous sellers may be offering items for sale that are not Tommy’s. I recently saw a large pendant listed at an online auction that looked nothing like Tommy’s work and was unsigned, yet the seller had it listed as a “Tommy Singer” piece. It’s entirely possible that an artist may forget to sign a piece, but Tommy was unusually thorough, even adding small separate tabs of brass or silver to identify beads he’d made. More telling, the pendant did not look remotely like any of the signature styles that I’ve seen Tommy Singer make. It looked more to me like the work of a Navajo artist named Emma Linkin. She’s a fine artist, one of my favorites, but her work should not be sold as Tommy Singer’s.
In conclusion, use common sense. Try my technique of looking at the hallmark AND the style, and you’re sure to find a beautiful piece of Tommy Singer jewelry that you’ll be comfortable buying and enjoy wearing. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding Tommy Singer jewelry. We do have some pieces of his in our store available for sale, as well as listed on eBay. Rest assured that we will not be raising the prices higher than we’d originally set them.
A few examples of Tommy Singer’s hallmarks: