Carve Tufa Stone by Ric Charlie

Tufa Casting

Native tribes in the Southwest have been creating ornamental jewelry for many hundreds of years. Before the Spanish ever arrived, these tribal artists had mastered the art of heishi bead rolling and lapidary. However, it was not until the 1800s that they learned to work metal from Mexican smiths. The Navajos were the first tribe to cast silver jewelry in the late 1870s and the technique spread to the Zuni and Hopi tribes by 1890.
The Squash Blossom Necklace

The Squash Blossom Necklace

There is perhaps no art form more synonymous with Southwest Native American jewelry than the Squash Blossom Necklace.  The history of this iconic necklace is a fascinating tale of the fusion of cultures and an enduring fashion statement across generations.

1920s Squash Blossom Necklace featured on Vintage Unscripted

1920s Squash Blossom Necklace featured on Vintage Unscripted

We enjoyed this lovely feature on Squash Blossom necklaces at vintageunscripted.com. Check it out and you'll notice one of our gorgeous 1920s Squash Blossoms!
The Turquoise Mineral Group - What's the difference between Turquoise, Variscite, Chalcosiderite, and Faustite

The Turquoise Mineral Group - What's the difference between Turquoise, Variscite, Chalcosiderite, and Faustite

Turquoise is formed by a complex combination of aluminum, copper, phosphorus, water, and other local ingredients that may change the color or add matrix (host rock). Turquoise is found at elevations between 3,000 - 8,500 feet and typically in dry, arid climates. Other, very similar minerals also form under these conditions- and five of these are classified under the Turquoise Mineral Group.
The Native American Bola Tie: FAQ

The Native American Bola Tie: FAQ

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, scarf slides made out of leather or metal pieces, shells, claws, or animal teeth, were popular attire for both natives and non-natives.   Then in the 1920s and 1930s, American cowboys began wearing scarf slides on their neckerchiefs made by Zuni artists that were carved out of sheep bone and decorated with beadwork, the most common design being a steer-head shape.  From there, scarf slides were crafted out of metal and turquoise by Native Americans, and morphed into the bola tie we know today.

Clay to Silver: Southwest Indian Seed Pots

Historically, the world has valued containers as both utilitarian and sacred objects.  The Southwest Indians stored their life giving seeds over the winter in clay pots, and the pots had a small hole to keep the seeds safe from vermin.  The seeds came from their three sacred plants: corn, squash, and beans.  At the beginning of the planting season they would need to shatter the clay pot to retrieve the life giving seeds.

Man in the Maze

The iconic "Man in the Maze" (I'Itoi) symbol is an ancient design originally found on Tohono O’odham baskets. This prehistoric pattern, symbolizing one’s journey through life, also is the seal of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The legend of the “Man in the Maze” helps children understand the meaning of life.

We Buy Old Jewelry!

We love to purchase quality Southwest jewelry! The majority of our vintage pieces are acquired from private collections and individuals just like you. So if you have Native American jewelry that you no longer wear, let us take it off your hands!

Mokume

Mokume-gane is a metalworking process where multiple metals are combined under high temperatures to create beautiful patterns in the metal. Mokume-gane, a Japanese word, roughly translates to "wood grain metal" which is a good description for the patterns this process can create.

Rosarita

Rosarita is a unique material, which derives its exceptionally rich, red color from the process of gold refining. It is a unique by-product of the 1960s and 1970s gold refining processes. Alaskan beach sand was smelted for its gold content and the slag by-product was Rosarita, which is essentially a gold-infused glass.

Avanyu

Avanyu is the water serpent deity of the Pueblo tribes of Arizona and New Mexico, often depicted on San Ildefonso and Santa Clara Pueblo pottery. The Avanyu symbolizes the importance of water to indigenous desert cultures. This symbol is also associated with lightning as shown by the serpent’s tongue. Avanyu appears on the walls of caves located high above washes and rivers in New Mexico and Arizona...

Belt Buckles

Early belt buckles were purely functional, used as a way to attach conchas by connecting the belt leather's end pieces.

The earliest concha belts did not have buckles and were attached by tying the leather ends together. The first buckles were silver copies of harness buckles and were much smaller than the conchas. They were small circular loops with a center crossbar that held a tongue. They were inconspicuous next to the larger conchas.