Native American silver jewelry has been popular for many decades because of its unique beauty. To add to its beauty, Native American silver jewelry is often embellished with turquoise, coral or other semi-precious stones.
History of Native American Silver Jewelry
The creation and use of silver jewelry is not unique to the Native Americans, nor is it a long history. The history of Native American silver jewelry has only been since the 1850’s. The idea of creating silver jewelry was borrowed from Mexicans silversmiths. The Navajo tribe of Native Americans would trade cattle for the shiny silver trinkets made by these Mexican silversmiths. After learning the process themselves, the Navajo tribe would begin to trade their silver creations for livestock from the Zuni tribe in the early 1870’s.
The Zuni started trading with the Hopi tribe at around 1890. In time, all the Native American tribes would learn the trade themselves and begin to create beautiful Native American silver jewelry to sell or trade.
Types of Native American Silver Jewelry
Native American silver jewelry includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. Turquoise is a very popular stone found in most Native American silver jewelry, but coral, jet, and shells are used as well. Sterling silver is the type used in most of the Native American silver jewelry pieces. Some Native American silver jewelry is intricately designed with scrollwork and inlaid with stones, while other pieces are simply designed.
Other Types of Native American Jewelry
Native American silver jewelry is beautiful and highly collectible today. Although the Native American silver jewelry history is not a long one, their total jewelry-making history is very impressive. Some remnants of North American jewelry have been found in excavations of prehistoric ruins. Most of their ancient jewelry was made of shells such as conch, clam, mother-of-pearl spiny oyster shell and abalone. Some of the beading techniques were complicated and tedious, but the end result was beautiful. The same is true of Native American silver jewelry today.
The Affordability of Native American Silver Jewelry
Some pieces of Native American silver jewelry are relatively inexpensive. This is great for someone who loves the look of Native American silver jewelry, but does not have a lot of money to spend. Some of the more intricately designed pieces of Native American jewelry can be expensive, which means there is a price for every budget.