The Gorgeous blue and green hues of turquoise have long been prized by the Native American peoples of the southwestern area of the USA. Entire cultures were built on mining aqua and designing sacred and special items from the attractive stone in areas which are now a part of both New Mexico and Nevada. American Indian peoples were making jewelry handmade in usa manually many centuries ahead of the first European settlers turned up. Because aqua was so highly prized, it was widely exchanged and circulated among the Native peoples of the Americas, and also the each of the tribes developed their very own unique names for the striking blue stone. Scientific testing has shown that some old beads seen in central and Latin America were originally dug from the Cerrillos turquoise mines near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
If the Europeans brought the technology of working metals like silver together to the new world, the American Indians who learned the silver smith trade learned eventually begun to add turquoise with the silver to produce their very own special kind of jewelry. A Zuni man named Kineshde is thought to be the first one to add turquoise for the hand crafted silver items he was making in the late 1800s.
Turquoise first came into popular high fashion in the US throughout the early 1890s, but Persian turquoise was the focus in the demand during those times, and only a few deposits of top quality turquoise were known in the united states. Within the following years, a number of good quality deposits previously worked by Native Americans were “rediscovered”, and shortly after 1900 and Americans begun to notice that American turquoise through the Western US was the equal of the in the world. Interest again begun to peak around 1908-1910, and a considerable amount of American turquoise was mined, particularly in Nevada. Most of the Turquoise jewelry produced before 1910 was made by well-known jewelry manufacturing companies like Tiffany’s, and was manufactured in the conventional Victorian varieties of those occasions.
None of this was what we would recognize as Indian style turquoise jewelry. There have been several Native Americans making turquoise and silver pieces with what we now see because the traditional style, however they produced very few pieces along with their very simple tools increased the man hours every piece needed for completion. That era was fundamentally the dawn from the traditional styles for silver-turquoise jewelry. America’s fascination with turquoise and genuine Indian Jewelry really began in earnest during the 1920’s when more and more people externally the southwest begun to see the good thing about this artistic jewelry.
At that time, the Harvey House restaurant chain opened several facilities across the southwest during the great events of popular rail travel throughout the US. Initially, Indian Jewelry was just sold as curios within the restaurants for your patrons touring the west. Earrings and thin, small bracelets stamped with arrows and bows and containing symmetrically cut small oval items of turquoise were the types most sought after. The pieces produced during this time continue to be known as having been made in the “Fred Harvey” style. Heavy Indian Jewelry failed to become popular until after 1925, once the classic squash-blossom necklaces were first brought to the tourist market. The squash-blossom craze lasted until about 1940, whenever they were discontinued in most cases by most Indian artisans for requiring excessive work and a lot of turquoise.
Inside the 1920’s and 1930’s, the concho belt changed from a simple silver belt to a more ornate belt with one to multiple turquoise stones in all of the individual sections of the belt. The tourist jewelry of that era is highly collectable today. It started to be realized that sales of Native American jewelry had significant potential to provide a reliable source of income to tribal members across Arizona and New Mexico. During those years, schools and classes were established at several reservations to exercise boys inside the trade of making Native American style Sterling and turquoise jewelry. In the following decades, many very talented artists became available of such schools. During the years following WWII, many Americans traveled across the country, as well as on their trips with the Arizona-New Mexico area, discovered that local traders had rooms full of this Native American jewelry, in which the traders called pawn pieces. Most of these were jewelry pieces the Indian people created for themselves and pawned for one of two reasons: either they needed money, or it absolutely was considered a safe and secure storage place. Being a pbuvtu of the rise in popularity of these pawn pieces, numerous trading posts sprang up in the Southwest and knowledge of this unique kind of jewelry became a lot more widespread. New jewelry was designed to fulfill the growing tourist demand. People who appreciated the gorgeous American turquoise begun to recognize the typical differences in matrix patterns and color, etc. involving the different mine sources. During this time period, which extended to the early 1950’s, turquoise begun to be named, for sales purposes, following the mine that it was found, including Lone Mountain, Royston, Blue Gem, as well as others.
An increasing number of American Indians continued to handcraft silver jewelry within the 1950s and early 1960’s within the traditional way. Approximately that period their work was generally popular only inside the southwest region in the US, however the increasing level of material available began to enable a bigger audience to see and appreciate this beautiful kind of jewelry art. Nevertheless, it failed to become widely popular across the entire US till the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. At that time the simple and natural splendor of turquoise jewelry became the rage of the American fashion scene. The prices in the old pawn jewelry rocketed upward, along with a craze for Indian turquoise jewelry swelled and boosted demand (and costs) for turquoise to previously undreamed levels.
The increased prices and demand caused the re-opening of many mines and also the import of Indian “style” jewelry created by manufacturers in Mexico, Taiwan, as well as the Philippines. Soon enough, the marketplace became glutted, the buyer was confused by overpriced synthetic, stabilized and plastic imitation materials and through 1981 the availability was high nevertheless the demand vanished. The market collapsed and a lot of the American turquoise mines were de-activate and possess remained closed since that point. Turquoise demand hit a small water mark in early 1980s, but continues to be slowly and steadily increasing in popularity since that point. Most American mines have remained closed, and recently sought after for natural American turquoise is responsible for once again significant increases in prices.