Native American Jewelry
The enduring love for nature and all its components comprise the spirit of Native American jewelry. As far back as 12,000 years ago, animal bones have been found shaped like earrings and necklaces.
The Southwestern Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni tribes are renowned for pieces created from silver, 14k gold jewelry, and turquoise. These were the elements available to their ancestors, centuries ago and so they persist today.
Native American jewelry arose from different paths depending on economic and spiritual beliefs. For instance, the Iroquois used beads as a means of trade, and Navajo Indian Jewelry making was a source for economic survival and tribal identity. Other tribes like the Apache, Zuni, and Santo Domingo Indian Tribes wore jewelry to communicate historical successes, spiritual favor, and to gain supernatural powers.
Hopi jewelry can be traced to silversmiths in the 1800s. Today, Hopi Indian silversmiths are revered for the overlay technique, which involves one sheet of silver being etched with a design and the other is soldered onto a second sheet with the design cut out.
Using oxidation, the back layer is darkened, giving the piece a vivid contrast against the brilliant sterling silver.
Navajo jewelry was made popular through the Spanish introduction of 19th-century silversmithing. Although turquoise is the most common gemstone associated with Navajo Jewelry, artists didn’t start setting turquoise into silver until the late 1800s.
Navajo jewelry is best recognized by squash blossom necklaces, another example of Spanish and Native American traders sharing their culture.
Zuni jewelry dates back to ancestral Pueblo prehistory. The Zuni had the sophisticated tools for making jewelry, including antler tools and cactus spine drillbits.
Zuni pieces are set apart by the continued incorporation of spiritual figures within the jewelry pieces.
SJD’s Native American rings are of the finest quality, typically made from turquoise, coral, onyx, tiger-eye, lapis, and a variety of other stones, you’ll find something to fit your unique style. Some of our most popular works are our single stone Navajo rings. This beautiful turquoise stone ring is just one example of the fine craftsmanship that goes into these Native American rings.
Another crowning jewel of SJD is our Native American earrings. We have a vast array of Navajo and Zuni earrings. The Zuni pieces, in particular, are stunning examples of the skill that it takes to create our multicolored inlay pieces. Zuni earrings often feature symbols of Native culture; see this amazing example of art and culture colliding with beautiful Thunderbird multicolor earrings.
People love to get the most from their dollar and you can’t make more of a statement than with Native American bracelets. Typically, larger, more elegant pieces, our Hopi bracelets will make a stunning addition to your collection. Hopi jewelry often uses inlay or overlay techniques press sharp Native American symbols into the piece, giving you an unforgettable work of art.
When most people think “Native American jewelry,” they usually imagine one style. However, Zuni, Hopi, and Navajo jewelry, especially Native American pendants can showcase a wide variety of cuts, styles, and stones. Being one of the most popular online retailers of Native works, we get to show off some unique styles. Check out this New Lander piece from Navajo artist B. Benally.
Finally, our most prized pieces are our selection of Native American necklaces. From stunning stones to beautiful inlay, these necklaces are the highlight of artist skill, time, and commitment. Southwest Jewelry Design’s Native American necklaces come in a variety of styles, including chain, link, beaded, and squash, and liquid silver. Take some time to check our necklaces collection, you won’t regret it.
Come see what SJD has to offer in our Native American jewelry collection!