“Hózhó,” a Navajo word that doesn’t have one meaning in particular, but has been used to describe the fundamental philosophy behind Navajo and Diné belief, roughly translates to “balance” or “living in harmony.” People that are familiar with Native American culture might be aware of how artists within the community take their material from the Earth, clay for pottery, wood for Kachina dolls, and turquoise for jewelry. These pieces are often imbued with beliefs that have stood for centuries.
The art and designs of Navajo jewelry and culture have done much to shape the style of the modern-day Southwest region. All along our home of Arizona, you see Kokopelli, lizard, and snake symbols and even the Man in the Maze symbol when you enter our hometown, Scottsdale. It’s hard to drive through the Southwest without glancing seeing the beauty of Native American culture.
Our beautiful collection of Navajo rings are the perfect gift for both men and women, usually featuring a powerful turquoise stone at the center.
Our Navajo earrings were designed to make a statement. These intricately designed works will go perfectly with any outfit you have in mind.
Looking for something that makes a statement? The Navajo bracelets in our collection will give you a brand new look, effortlessly.
Our Navajo pendants will be the highlight of your collection. These distinct pieces will have people turning their heads when you walk in the room.
Masterpieces, one and all, the Navajo necklaces in our collection are the highlight of what our artists are capable of accomplishing and make for wearable works of art.
The History of Navajo Jewelry
Navajo necklaces, rings, earrings, pendants, and bracelets are the product of thousands of years of a rich and vibrant culture. Sometimes the styles used are as old as the tribe itself and sometimes they incorporate new techniques from other cultures that have made the journey over, leaving a new method for stonecutting or silverwork behind them. Regardless of the history, the result is always beautiful. To truly admire the work that goes into modern Native American jewelry, it’s important to understand their past and why their art is an important part of their cultural identity.
Silverwork is actually a relatively new practice within Navajo culture. However, it quickly gained popularity and was recognized as one of the primary examples of Native American jewelry. Silversmithing is largely contributed to the Spanish when they came to America and traded with the Native tribes, in turn, teaching them this beautiful craft. Native American artisans incorporate the various overlay and inlay techniques to produce pieces that pay tribute to Native culture and belief.
Navajo Turquoise Jewelry
Many people find themselves asking why turquoise is so prevalent in Navajo jewelry. The answer is pretty simple. It was just a beautiful stone that could be found in abundance in the southwest region of the country. Since many tribes adhered to the idea that their art should reflect nature and only use natural elements, turquoise was the perfect choice for their pieces and remains so even today.
There is also a lot of mysticism surrounding the stone because of its unique blue hue. Although the beliefs vary from tribe to tribe, many thought that the stone represented life with its blue glow, symbolizing the life-giving power of water. Some even believed that tossing these stones in the river would bring the rain. The Navajo consider the stone to be a general charm of good fortune.
Features of Navajo Jewelry
Now, this raises the question, how do you tell Navajo jewelry apart from that of other tribes? There are a few common features of Navajo jewelry that most artists, though not all, implement in their work. For example, the Navajo typically use very large silver and stone pieces for their jewelry.
A Navajo artist may go a little larger with either the stone or the silver, giving it a kind of asymmetry. You will either have a large stone, usually turquoise, set in a small setting or the opposite; it’s really up to the artist to decide what looks best with the materials they begin with. The Navajo style is more reminiscent of nature, in that nothing is perfectly symmetrical.
Another aspect of Navajo jewelry is that they will more than likely lean towards a heavy silver construction. If you find a new piece on the market and there is a lot more silver than stone and the base is thick, you probably have a Navajo piece. After all, since Navajo artists use large turquoise stones, it’s going to take a thick setting to keep them in place.
Come see what our Navajo jewelry collection has to offer!