Inlay refers to the process of cutting and polishing turquoise, shell, and other traditional stones before combining them into patterns and embedding them with metal. Southwestern Native American artists are especially recognized for their skills in inlay jewelry. There are several different techniques used in inlay design:
A "mosaic" inlay is when the stones are laid in the metal touching one another and are flush with the surface of the jewelry.
"Cobblestone" refers to the stones being uneven in height and size with beveled edges - closely resembling a cobblestone street.
Commonly seen, "channel" inlay indicates the use of metal spacers between the stone.
"Corn Row" inlay closely mimics the appearance of this harvested crop - neatly arranged parallel rows of stone with slightly rounded edges.
A staple addition to your Southwest fashion collection, Carico Lake Turquoise is also a collectible North American Turquoise with an astonishing color palette. Ranging from highly unique electric greens to sky blue; from teal to mossy, earthy greens. And rarely, a nugget with both earth and sky color. The highest grade Carico Lake Turquoise is gem-quality American turquoise. Originally known as Stone Cabin, and then Aurora #8, Carico Lake Turquoise has a colorful history for a dried-up lake bed in a remote part of Lander County. The mine has come to rest with the owner of Sunwest Silver Company, Ernest Montoya.
Native American jewelry artists used coral in a variety of ways. Featured in inlay work, set in rough and natural forms, carved, cut into stunning cabochons, set with diamonds, turquoise, pearls, and almost any combination of the favorite Southwest gemstones. A favorite organic gemstones, red and pink coral are used extensively in Southwest jewelry styles. Red, pink and orange colors can all be found in contemporary and vintage Native American handmade jewelry. Always a great way to add a splash of color to your ensemble.
Exotic sounding Lapis Lazuli is a natural blue stone, the very best of which is found in Afghanistan where it has been mined since ancient times. Once powdered and used to paint illuminated manuscripts and as clothing dye for royals only, today lapis is a staple in the colorful fashion statements of Southwest fashionistas.
Authentic Native American Handmade Turquoise Jewelry
Shop the Santa Fe Style Collection for striking contemporary jewelry, handcrafted by artisans who draw on the rich history of the Southwest.
This collection features trending artists popular in the Four Corners and loved by locals here in New Mexico. The jewelry featured here is a fusion of traditional techniques, passed hand-to-hand across generations, and modern artistry.