History of Native American Indian Jewelry, Southwest Jewelry and Native American Dolls
Native American jewelry
Native American Indian Turquoise Jewelry dates back to 200 B.C. according to an excavation that was done in Southern Arizona and even early from excavations done in Mexico and South America. The handcrafted Native American Turquoise of today has changed significantly in many ways mostly due to the Spanish dominance the come to the area and the introduction of sterling silver.
In the 1850's a Navajo, Atsidi Saani is said to be the first Navajo silversmith. He learned the blacksmith trade and experimented with silver in the 1860's after the U.S. captured and marched the Navajo people in captivity to Fort Sumner in Eastern New Mexico in 1864 to teach them agriculture and change their ways. It is said that several other Navajos learned silversmithing at that time as well.
Turquoise started to first apear in Navajo sterling silver jewelry in 1880. Up to that point Turquoise had not been used in jewelery for hundreds of years. It's now included in much of the Native American jewelry including necklaces, rings, braclets, money clips, buckles and more.