Vintage Jewelry: Native American Jewelry, Old Pawn Jewelry

Chris Rodriguez

Native American Vintage Jewelry

Native American jewelry is a collectible sub division of vintage jewelry.  A lot of native jewelry found in Colorado is from the southwest region of the USA.  Tribes in the southwest have craftsmen and women creating beautiful designs.  Native Americans wear their designs with pride.  Often the jewelry was made with turquoise, coral and silver.  Natives wore it to promote good health and display a form of portable wealth.  As a result of financial hardship, a family may have had to pawn a piece to make ends meet.  Some jewelry was never recovered out of pawn. Hence the terminology “Old Pawn” jewelry.

Most native jewelry comes from a region or specific tribe.  Tribes are proud of their designs and methods, and pieces are sometimes classified by the tribe that they are made by.  Tribes have distinctive traits when it comes to design. Furthermore, artists use different methods to create a unique look.  While an artist may be from one tribe, they may use methods from another.  In addition, artists usually sign their designs on the back.  Rings, necklaces, earrings, and belt buckles are a few of the items Native Americans make.  The Colorado Antique Gallery has a large selection of Native American jewelry.  Check the front desk for directions to the booths with different selections.