Historic Use of Turquoise in Native American Jewelry

The Museum Shop sells a wide variety of Native American Jewelry with the highest quality turquoise which comes from mines throughout the southwest.  Turquoise has always been used by the southwest indigenous peoples.

“As humans have done since the dawn of time, the ancestors of the Pueblo and Navajo people created jewelry from natural materials. Stone, shell, bone, and even pottery fragments were fashioned into personal adornment, but by far the most treasured material was turquoise. Mined from various southwestern sites—especially in the Cerrillos area south of Santa Fe, NM—turquoise was utilized in all forms of jewelry. It was a valuable item of trade and traveled a route from northern New Mexico through southern Arizona to Mesoamerica, with shells [such as spondylus] from the Pacific Ocean following the same route in reverse.

Jewelry was not only highly valued for personal adornment but also important for religious and ceremonial purposes. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings were worn for ceremonial dances and often buried with the deceased.”

– From “Reassessing Hallmarks of Native Southwest Jewelry” by Pat and Kim Messier.


         turquoise buckle curtis pete     Native American Turquoise Cluster bracelet      Curtis Pete Royston Pendant