Identification Guides

Ethnic and European Jewelry

The unusual, modernist fifties jewelry was not the only choice available for someone who wanted silver jewelry. A very different look was available in jewelry made by American Indians, Mexicans, or Danes.

Photo: Doyle New York   Photo: Skinner
Engraved and reverse-painted colored acetate was used with gilt brass to make this necklace by Giorgio Armani in 1995. Zuni silver jewelry designs became distinctive in about 1915. The colored stones—often turquoise, coral, jet, and shell—were set in patterns. Indian symbols like the Knifewing man on this mid-twentieth-century bracelet were used. The Navajo started making silver jewelry in about 1860. It was portable money and gave status. In about 1900 they added turquoise stones and Indian symbols to attract the tourist trade. This bracelet was made in the 1950s.