Published on October 18, 2011 by Amy
Native American jewelry is as varied and as unique as the tribes that design it. Each individual Native American tribe has its own style of jewelry making that dates back to their original origins. Native American jewelry has always been popular with non-Native Americans as well as Native Americans.
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The Navajo Indians are well known for their beautiful Native American jewelry, which today consists largely of silver, though their jewelry can also consist of copper and brass. Once a fairly nomadic tribe, the Navajo Indians settled in the American southwest after a short internment in an Indian reservation. Once settled, the younger Navajo Indians began concentrating on learning the art of designing their unique Native American jewelry from their elders.
Most people think of turquoise when they think of Native American jewelry, and although turquoise is common in their jewelry, it can also be made of silver, gold, and other gemstones, or a combination of any of these. Uniquely designed and highly coveted by many people, antique Native American jewelry can bring a very high price from collectors. Many tribes are still designing Native American jewelry today, and there are Native American jewelers whose pieces are shown in galleries and sold in fine jewelry stores around the world. Some jewelry shows are focused specifically on Native American jewelry, and the demand for it has not decreased in hundreds of years.
When looking for Native American jewelry, be aware that there are many “copies” out there that were mostly factory-made by non-Native Americans. It is best to find a reputable dealer or buy directly from a Native American designer to ensure that you are getting authentic Native American jewelry. Some research into the different styles of Native American jewelry by the different tribes can help you decide what type of jewelry you would be most interested in. Visiting galleries and shows that focus on Native American jewelry is another way to find out the variety of styles that are available.