While the tradition of making jewelry out of shells and beads dates to prehistoric times, Native American silver-and-turquoise rings, bracelets, pins and the like are a relatively recent phenomenon, going back only as far as the mid-19th century. Pieces from the 1800s, if you can find them, were usually produced for tribal or religious purposes rather than adornment (the tourist trade came later).
When times got tough, people would take their most expendable personal pieces and pawn them, thus spawning the phrase "old pawn" to describe pre-1900 examples of Native American jewelry made of silver. Although there is a lot of jewelry on the market labeled "old pawn," only pieces from the 1800s deserve that label.
One of the controversial aspects of Native American jewelry is the extent to which non-Native traders influenced its production. These traders frequently coached Native American ...
Silver was the base metal for most of these pieces—squash-blossom necklaces were one of the first styles. For stones, Navajo artisans were the first to use turquoise, which was indigenous to the area but was quickly mined out—the best pieces were labeled with the name of their source mine. It wasn’t long before high-quality turquoise was being imported, while softer, poorer-quality stones were often treated with resin to make them hard.
Other tribes developed their own styles. Shell necklaces and mosaics were a specialty of the Pueblo, particularly members of the Santa Domingo tribe. The Zuni were known for their cluster pieces and use of red coral. And the Hopi produced pins and other objects that suggest textile influences.
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Fashion >> Street Fashion Part IInoho arts district, June 18th
The artists expressed their love for Native American jewelry. It's quite obvious both of the men adore 70's fashion, from the guitarist fringe jacket to the flutist multicolor Jimi Hendrix t-shirt. Both seem to deliver “Freedom of the mind and Freedom...Read more
Silver Eagle Gallery Relocates After 18 YearsNaples Daily News, June 12th
Silver Eagle specializes in authentic Native American jewelry, arts, and crafts. Silver Eagle has an exceptional inventory of handcrafted sterling silver bracelets, earrings, pendants, rings, belts, belt buckles, and necklaces. Silver Eagle also offers...Read more
What's AheadEastsidemonthly, June 11th
Gayle Gertler, owner of Southwest Passage which offers Native American jewelry from the Southwest, echoes Lewinstein's comments. “We have a great base of local shops and a new store opens as quickly as one closes,” adding “I give Steve (Lewinstein) a ...Read more
Mushrush joins Farm TalkFarm Talk, June 11th
Topeka, Kan., on the marketing team. In her spare time, Mushrush enjoys photography, collecting Native American jewelry and spending time with family on their ranch. “I am happy to be back in southeast Kansas and working for Farm Talk,” she concluded...Read more
Scenic, history-rich detour to Lake Powellazcentral.com, June 7th
The post has been restored to capture much of its original appearance and sells authentic Native American jewelry, pottery and rugs. Attached to the post is the Navajo Code Talkers Museum, filled with photos, equipment, tools and weapons used in battle...Read more
Halls' Crown Center department store to grow, Plaza location to closeKansas City Star, June 4th
The shop, which sells wildlife gifts, Native American jewelry, minerals and children's science toys, has seen sales increase since Sea Life and Legoland opened just over a year ago, but not as much as shops and restaurants on the lower levels. “So the ...Read more
Old but not out of fashionEstes Park Trail-Gazette, May 29th
Some dealers set up tables on which they could create jewelry. Some dealers brought traditional Southwestern Native American jewelry. All of it sparcled for the passer-by. Furnature made up a good portion of the offerings. Chairs, tables, dressers and...Read more
Tiffany baroque-style brass clock set to tick past $3000Antique Trader, May 20th
Many artist-signed Native American jewelry items will cross the auction block at Stephenson's, including sand-cast pieces from the 1920s. “These designs stand out because they're very weighty, and you can almost see where each piece was molded in the ...Read more