Loading Spinner

American Indian Jewelry

The history of American Indian jewelry dates back thousands of years, but throughout its longevity its designs share a richness of materials and a shared thread of narrative. American Indian jewelry tells a fascinating story of its creator, its tribe, and its era, all wrapped into one spectacular piece.

While the earliest examples of American Indian jewels can be traced to the tribes of the Pacific Northwest, it was around 8,000 B.C. that a profusion of jewelry designs emerged in the American southwest. Originally created with shell beads, jewelry soon adopted new precious metals and materials. The introduction of copper and silver, combined with beads and pendants crafted from coral and turquoise, allowed American Indian artists to both diversify their designs and create striking jewelry pieces.

Different tribes came to specialize in various media as well. The southwestern Navajo Indians, for instance, mastered silversmithing and the use of turquoise in their designs, while the Eastern Woodlands Indians excelled in the creation of beautiful and highly polished beads made from clam and sea snail shells.


Quick Facts

  • The oldest documented American Indian jewelry dates to approximately 10,000 B.C. The find consists of four bone earrings that were located near Fairbanks, Alaska
  • The first examples of copper jewelry date to around 3000 B.C. and can be traced to the Great Lakes region, an area that is rich with copper deposits
  • Though used in American Indian jewelry for millennia, turquoise inset into or mounted on silver is a relatively modern adaptation of American Indian traditions. It was not until the 1870s that such a combination was conjured by American Indian jewelry designers

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Sterling Silver Zuni Effie C. Snake Necklace
Oct 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Zuni Effie C. Snake Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$16014 Bids
Ray Bennett Mediterranean Coral Squash Blossom Necklace
Nov 06, 10:00 AM MDT
Ray Bennett Mediterranean Coral Squash Blossom Necklace
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $4,500- $6,000
$45012 Bids
RARE! Native American 14k Gold & Sterling Silver Turtle & Fetish Squash Blossom Necklace
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
RARE! Native American 14k Gold & Sterling Silver Turtle & Fetish Squash Blossom Necklace
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$25012 Bids
Navajo Silver Turquoise & Coral Concho Belt
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Navajo Silver Turquoise & Coral Concho Belt
by Showplace
Est: $600- $800
$70010 Bids
Native American Effie C Sterling Snake Earrings
Oct 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Native American Effie C Sterling Snake Earrings
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$2310 Bids
Joe Tso Pilot Mountain Turquoise Large Freeform Bracelet
Nov 06, 10:00 AM MDT
Joe Tso Pilot Mountain Turquoise Large Freeform Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $700- $950
$2259 Bids
Southwest Native American Silver Multi-Stone Belt
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Southwest Native American Silver Multi-Stone Belt
by Showplace
Est: $800- $1,500
$7508 Bids
Southwest Sterling Silver and Malachite Ring
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Southwest Sterling Silver and Malachite Ring
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$408 Bids
Lonn Parker Native American Sterling Silver Jewelry Suite
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Lonn Parker Native American Sterling Silver Jewelry Suite
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$608 Bids
Native American Zuni Style Sterling Turquoise
Oct 23, 11:00 AM EDT
Native American Zuni Style Sterling Turquoise
by Gulfcoast Coin and Jewelry
Est: $350- $400
$4268 Bids
Native American HSB Signed Navajo Sterling Silver & Coral Cuff Bracelet
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Native American HSB Signed Navajo Sterling Silver & Coral Cuff Bracelet
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$908 Bids
Vintage Turquoise Small Squash Blossom Necklace
Nov 06, 10:00 AM MDT
Vintage Turquoise Small Squash Blossom Necklace
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $450- $600
$2757 Bids
Old Pawn Nevada Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace
Nov 06, 10:00 AM MDT
Old Pawn Nevada Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $800- $1,200
$4507 Bids
Tyler Brown Lapis Cluster Bracelet
Nov 06, 10:00 AM MDT
Tyler Brown Lapis Cluster Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $1,300- $1,750
$3507 Bids
LARGE Native American M Slim Artist Signed Sterling Silver and Turquoise Pendant w/ Necklace
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
LARGE Native American M Slim Artist Signed Sterling Silver and Turquoise Pendant w/ Necklace
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$607 Bids
Santo Domingo Pueblo Turquoise Coral Shell Necklace
Nov 06, 10:00 AM MDT
Santo Domingo Pueblo Turquoise Coral Shell Necklace
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $800- $1,200
$1507 Bids
Vintage Nevada Turquoise Ring
Nov 06, 10:00 AM MDT
Vintage Nevada Turquoise Ring
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $125- $200
$1507 Bids
Native American Denipah Signed Silver Ring
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Native American Denipah Signed Silver Ring
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$407 Bids
Kingman Nugget Turquoise Leather Bracelet
Nov 06, 10:00 AM MDT
Kingman Nugget Turquoise Leather Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $400- $550
$1757 Bids
bp parity badge
Rare Native American Type Gem Stone Necklace
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Rare Native American Type Gem Stone Necklace
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$457 Bids
Joe Tso Pilot Mountain turquoise Bracelet
Nov 06, 10:00 AM MDT
Joe Tso Pilot Mountain turquoise Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $500- $650
$1256 Bids
Native American Navajo Sterling Silver Ring
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Native American Navajo Sterling Silver Ring
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$256 Bids
Joelius Draper Menassa Turquoise Bracelet
Nov 06, 10:00 AM MDT
Joelius Draper Menassa Turquoise Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $400- $600
$756 Bids
Vintage Native American and Turquoise HIGH QUALITY Sterling Silver Rings
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Vintage Native American and Turquoise HIGH QUALITY Sterling Silver Rings
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$706 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Indian Jewelry


Billy The Kid Auction House

Billy The Kid Auction House

Fidelity Estate Services

Fidelity Estate Services

Greenwich Auction

Greenwich Auction

Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery