Navajo jewelry is widely recognized for its bold designs and unique use of silver inlaid with gems. Many pieces feature turquoise, whose vivid color is believed by the Navajo to represent health and good fortune. The art of jewelry-making among the Navajos dates back to the 1870s when they learned silversmithing and stamping from the Spanish. Already talented in the art of molding turquoise into beads, they began combining the two crafts.
Though initially reserving the turquoise jewelry for special ceremonies and rituals, the Navajo eventually leveraged the advancement of silversmithing tools and techniques to capitalize on the increasing desire for Native American jewelry. Though more modern jewelry does not feature turquoise as much as in the past, traditional Navajo jewelry is still available today.