Dan Martinez Turquoise Concho belt

Item No: 22641

$ 1,115.00

  • This handcrafted sterling silver concho belt created by Navajo silversmith Dan Martinez features blue turquoise at the center of each concho.

    With the craftsmanship and artistry collectors have come to expect from Martinez, this brown leather concho belt is a lasting piece of wearable art.
  • Dan Martinez is an accomplished Navajo silversmith who is most known for his extraordinary sterling silver concho belts. In his work he is inspired by Navajo jewelry traditions and styles of the early 20th century.
  • Jewelry has been made and worn in the Southwest since prehistoric times. For thousands of years Native Southwestern people made mosaic inlay and beads of turquoise, shell, bone, or stone. Metal arrived with the Spanish. Native Americans acquired metal ornaments through trade, but it was not until the middle of the 19th century that Navajo and Zuni artisans learned the craft from Mexican blacksmiths and silversmiths. Their early silver jewelry creations were plain, with simple engraved, stamped, or punched designs. Turquoise was first used in silver around 1880.

    By the turn of the 20th century, silversmithing was widespread across the Southwest, and Native artists were making more sophisticated pieces like concho belts, and squash blossom and naja necklaces. The Navajo soon became known for their use of silver, emphasizing silver-heavy designs with only a few gemstones, while the Zuni focused on stone work, featuring finely cut clusters of gems in complex patterns. The Hopi and Pueblo tribes also developed distinctive jewelry styles in the early 1900s. Today, silver jewelry is an iconic image of the Southwest.

    Read our Native American Jewelry Collector's Guide.
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