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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

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Vintage Navajo Kingman Turquoise Sterling Silver & Leather Bowguard Ketoh Bracelet
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Vintage Navajo Kingman Turquoise Sterling Silver & Leather Bowguard Ketoh Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $900- $1,400
$75019 Bids
Vintage Zuni Mediterranean Coral Cluster Cuff Bracelet
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Vintage Zuni Mediterranean Coral Cluster Cuff Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$70017 Bids
Vintage Navajo Turquoise Hat Band
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Vintage Navajo Turquoise Hat Band
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $700- $1,000
$55013 Bids
Ray Delgarito Navajo Pink Conch Cuff Bracelet
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Ray Delgarito Navajo Pink Conch Cuff Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $400- $700
$35012 Bids
Mathew Jack Navajo Turquoise Coral Acoma Jet & Opal Micro Inlay Night Sky Intricate Necklace
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Mathew Jack Navajo Turquoise Coral Acoma Jet & Opal Micro Inlay Night Sky Intricate Necklace
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$70012 Bids
Mary Ellen Turquoise Lapis & Spiny Oyster Mixed Stone Lariat Necklace
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Mary Ellen Turquoise Lapis & Spiny Oyster Mixed Stone Lariat Necklace
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$45011 Bids
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A Benjamin Becenti Navajo silver and stone storyteller concho belt
Mar 12, 10:00 AM PDT
A Benjamin Becenti Navajo silver and stone storyteller concho belt
by John Moran Auctioneers
Est: $600- $800
$80011 Bids
Ella Linkin Navajo Royston Turquoise Cluster Ring
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Ella Linkin Navajo Royston Turquoise Cluster Ring
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $400- $700
$25011 Bids
Vintage DM Begay Navajo Sterling Silver and Turquoise Concho Belt
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Vintage DM Begay Navajo Sterling Silver and Turquoise Concho Belt
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $200- $2,000
$70011 Bids
Signed Native American Sterling/Lapis Cuff
Mar 03, 10:00 AM MST
Signed Native American Sterling/Lapis Cuff
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$15011 Bids
Santo Domingo Turquoise & Spiny Oyster Choker Necklace
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Santo Domingo Turquoise & Spiny Oyster Choker Necklace
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $300- $500
$35010 Bids
Leo Feeney Anglo Southwest Artist Turquoise Peridot Citrine & Garnet Ring
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Leo Feeney Anglo Southwest Artist Turquoise Peridot Citrine & Garnet Ring
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $400- $700
$20010 Bids
RB Navajo White Buffalo Earrings
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
RB Navajo White Buffalo Earrings
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $200- $400
$25010 Bids
Elisabeth Guero Vintage Navajo Royston Turquoise Large Cuff Bracelet
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Elisabeth Guero Vintage Navajo Royston Turquoise Large Cuff Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$30010 Bids
Navajo Freeform Mediterranean Branch Coral Cuff Bracelet
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Navajo Freeform Mediterranean Branch Coral Cuff Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $800- $1,200
$3009 Bids
Vintage Navajo Plain Silver Squash Blossom Necklace
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Vintage Navajo Plain Silver Squash Blossom Necklace
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$1759 Bids
Vintage Navajo Nevada Turquoise Row Cuff Bracelet
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Vintage Navajo Nevada Turquoise Row Cuff Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $400- $700
$1509 Bids
Navajo Spiny Oyster Cluster Cuff Bracelet
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Navajo Spiny Oyster Cluster Cuff Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $900- $1,400
$4009 Bids
Navajo American Indian Sterling Turquoise Bracelet
Mar 13, 12:00 PM EDT
Navajo American Indian Sterling Turquoise Bracelet
by MiddleManBrokers
Est: $1- $1,000
$259 Bids
Vintage Navajo Turquoise Coral & Petrified Wood Cobblestone Inlay Bolo Tie
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Vintage Navajo Turquoise Coral & Petrified Wood Cobblestone Inlay Bolo Tie
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $700- $1,100
$1759 Bids
Native American Turquoise/Jasper Heshi Necklace
Mar 03, 10:00 AM MST
Native American Turquoise/Jasper Heshi Necklace
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$1709 Bids
Paul Livingston Sleeping Beauty Turquoise & Silver Coin Cuff Bracelet
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Paul Livingston Sleeping Beauty Turquoise & Silver Coin Cuff Bracelet
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $700- $1,000
$3508 Bids
banded slate pendant
Mar 16, 10:00 AM EDT
banded slate pendant
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1258 Bids
Damian Cotton Navajo Bumble Bee Jasper Necklace
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Damian Cotton Navajo Bumble Bee Jasper Necklace
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $300- $600
$1258 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Indian Jewelry


Billy The Kid Auction House

Billy The Kid Auction House

Davis Brothers Auction

Davis Brothers Auction

Imperial Auction

Imperial Auction

R&H Auction

R&H Auction