Navajo Jewelry

#1 Navajo Jewelry Buyer Las Vegas & Henderson

Nevada Coin Mart prides itself on being the LARGEST buyer of gold chains in Las Vegas, Henderson, and the greater Las Vegas area. If you want to make money off your preloved Navajo jewelry, we are the place to go for a fast and fair market assessment and instant cash on-the-spot.

History

As the largest indigenous group in the United States today, the Navajo used to be nomadic, so it is likely that they might have picked up their practice of wearing jewelry pieces or adornments (e.g., beaded necklaces, decorated ketoh, and concho/concha ornamentation) from their conquests. These adornments made up of German silver, brass, copper, and to a lesser extent, silver were worn for respect and beauty. Moreover, it was the Spanish from which the Navajo grew to appreciate such adornments.

With the introduction of silversmith through the Spanish and the addition of turquoise through trade, Navajo jewelry was born.

Atsidi Sani

In 1850, Atsidi Sani, also known as the Old Smith, was a well-known Navajo blacksmith who was credited for introducing silver by incorporating it into Navajo jewelry. He admired the silver trappings the Spanish and their horses were adorned with, which got the Spanish teach him how to work silver, after which he began making silver conchos, adornments, and the first Navajo jewelry, which was made in 1865 according to records.

Atsidi Sani found an immediate market for his jewelry from his own people, and he taught his brother how to become a silversmith. Then, they trained other Navajo in becoming silversmiths themselves.

Atsidi Chon

Also known as Ugly Smith, Atsidi Chon is another important figure in Navajo jewelry. He was the first to have incorporated the blue-green gemstone turquoise into his jewelry creations in the 1880s when the Navajo was previously trading for turquoise and turquoise beads from the Santo Domingo Indians of the Rio Grande region. Then, by 1885, Navajo turquoise jewelry was in high demand. Moreover, he taught the Zuni tribe the art of silversmithing.

Navajo Jewelry Types

Basically, traditional Navajo jewelry Types can be divided in terms of the materials used to make jewelry, namely: silver and turquoise.  For Navajo Jewelry buyers in Las Vegas, the main concern is that it is made of these 2 materials.

Navajo Silver Jewelry

For those who buy Navajo jewelry in Las Vegas & Henderson, it is both a passion of work and hobby.  And here is why: Navajo silversmiths began by making plain silver jewelry pieces without stones and were prolific at learning various ways of forming and stomping their silver jewelry. Bracelets and concho belts were the most common pieces of Navajo silver jewelry made in the early days.

Navajo Turquoise Jewelry

Turquoise is particularly significant in Navajo culture, which is clearly reflected in their jewelry, so it is quite helpful to understand why turquoise is a hallmark of Navajo jewelry.

For health and vitality purposes, turquoise simply brings good fortune so would be stored in baskets, hung from the ceilings to ward off evil in the house, and placed around graves. Moreover, turquoise would be carried to battle to ensure strength and protection and would be brought on excursions to promote luck and safety.

Apart from attracting good luck and fortune, turquoise is hallowed among the Navajo, especially, in rituals and ceremonies. In some Native American legends, turquoise is formed when people’s tears seep through the earth after rain following drought.

Turquoise was added into Navajo jewelry making shortly after Navajo had been previously trading for turquoise from the Santo Domingo Indians and after silver had been introduced and improved. Before Navajo eventually expanded their jewelry work into a full-range one, earliest works were concho belts, bracelets, and necklaces

Other Types

Apart from turquoise and silver, other types of jewelry introduced by the Navajo include the four below:

    • Sandcast jewelry is a product of the sand casting jewelry technique, in which sand is used to create a mold for jewelry. As opposed to a more high-shine finish, a matte finish with an antique is created through sand casting, and the mold is destroyed by molten silver, making Navajo jewelry pieces one-of-a-kind. In fact, the Navajo were the first to adapt this technique for silversmithing.
    • Naja pendants are called so because in Navajo, naja means crescent; these jewelry pieces are crescent-shaped and appear either as stand-alone accessories or centerpieces of squash blossom necklaces of Navajo jewelry. What this type’s shape symbolizes is believed to be of Moorish origin and to be adopted by the Spanish to adorn horse bridles and men’s belt buckles. Moreover, earlier naja pendants had simple embellishments and were forged of silver. Then, now, a variety of precious stones are featured in naja pendants.
    • Dating from the 1870s, squash blossom necklaces are among the most popular Navajo jewelry pieces made these days. A defining feature of this type is the squash blossom bead, a tri-petal silver bead, whose shape was inspired by the Spanish design of a pomegranate. Typically, this necklace has six squash blossom beads on either side, hence, a total of 12. Back then, they had been made entirely out of silver until other materials such as turquoise and coral were incorporated into their designs.
    • Concho belts are another hallmark of Navajo jewelry, but their design is believed to have been borrowed from Mexican horse bridles. In the early days, Navajo concho belts were forged from hammered Mexican or US coins, which were then stamped by hand and strung on leather to form the concho belt. During the 1900s, several new features such as buckles, butterfly-shaped spacers, and turquoise pieces were added to basic concho belts. Generally, concho belts have to main types:
      • Leather concho belts feature conchos strung along leather.
      • Link concho belts connect concho belts with silver chain links.

Traditional Designs

Today, the extensive portfolio of Navajo jewelry includes pieces with their signature silver leaves, flowers, and beads, as well as hand stamp work.

Special Precautions in Wearing Navajo Jewelry

The following are a few things to keep in mind so as to not harm your Navajo jewelry, which is considered to be a form of art intended for daily use:

  1. Never expose your silver jewelry to detergents because they can be harsh on many stones used in Native jewelry.
  2. Commercial jewelry cleaners can be very harmful to jewelry with stones that have been silver oxidized.
  3. A professional jewelry cloth or glove must be used to keep your pieces clean.
  4. When storing your pieces, wrap them in flannel and place them in a box to avoid tarnishing and getting them scratched.
  5. For heishi and turquoise-bead necklaces, place them full-length, not bent, to avoid breakage of individual stones.

Who Buys Navajo Jewelry in Las Vegas?

Nevada Coin Mart is the #1 Buyer of Navajo and Native American jewelry in Las Vegas, Henderson, and even the entire state of Nevada.  Bring it in, and we will give you a fair market value for your valuable piece.

For many years, customers that want to sell Navajo Jewelry in Las Vegas have come to us to ensure that they are well taken care of, and to work with experts in this jewelry niche.

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