I’ve seen the term Southwest Jewelry get thrown around online a lot and used interchangeably with Native American Jewelry. This can be kind of confusing for people looking to buy Southwest jewelry or maintain your home with Southwestern décor. I have come to understand that that the term actually covers everything cultivated from the Southwest style as we know it today, including Native American. This goes into everything from jewelry to architecture. However, if you want your home décor and fashion to be completely cohesive with the Southwest style, there are certain pieces that are commonly associated with the region.
What Jewelry Pieces Most Exemplify the Southwest
Going online to any store or directly to a tradeshow, you are more than likely to see these jewelry pieces if they use the term Southwest jewelry in their advertising.
Turquoise is a natural material common to the Southwest and used by Native Americans to make stunning jewelry.
Beaded and silver necklaces are another common item you’re likely to find while searching for Southwest jewelry. Both necklaces usually incorporate some type of turquoise to convey the raw beauty of nature.
Heishi/Heishe beaded necklaces and earrings are pieces you’ll easily be able to recognize. These beads have an elongated and tube-like structure. The material of the bead depends on the artist and can be made of turquoise, coral, lapis, and even malachite.
Native American jewelry is iconic of the Southwest style and has impacted the west as a whole in a variety of ways that go far beyond fashion. For this reason, you’re likely to see jewelry that reflects the culture and values of the popular Native American ties. This can be any type of jewelry from rings to necklaces.
You can’t forget about the bolo tie. This unique piece of jewelry usually incorporates beautiful silverwork with a precious stone, like the ones mentioned above. This piece is what most people think of when picturing the Early American settlement of the West.
Southwest jewelry incorporates more than just Native American culture. It’s an eclectic style of Early American and Native American culture spanning over thousands of years to form one beautiful style of jewelry.