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Red rock, canyon lands and cloudless skies stretch out before us when we visit the Southwest. Those ancient grounds reverberate with a free spirit that we wish we could take home with us. What we can do is enjoy this revival of Southwestern jewelry to wake up our senses and complement our style. Reimagining the rugged terrain and indigenous presences, these pieces meld a classic western theme with delicate chic metalwork.
1. Drop Necklaces
Skilled metalwork turns what could have been a simple piece into an extraordinary drop necklace design. This Teardrop Necklace from Sevilla Silver uses a process where the silver is hammered to form a unique pattern. The light will catch each facet and angle of the silver’s textured surface to make this necklace shine with like the sun on white sand. The aesthetic of oxidized silver is another popular look in southwestern jewelry. This Oval-Framed Drop Necklace has silver charms that have been oxidized. During oxidation, silver is prematurely tarnished and then polished to reveal dark detailing. The rustic yet delicate look achieved is stunning.
2. Turquoise Cuffs
Arguably the most iconic feature of southwestern jewelry is the use of turquoise gemstones. It’s color can range anywhere from greenish-blue to bright blue to apple-green to sky blue, and it can also have veins of other colorful minerals running through it like in this Silver Turquoise Cuff Bracelet with golden Pyrite flakes. One of our favorite ways to style this semi-precious stone is as a cuff. The cuff bracelet is traditionally etched with meaningful designs or symbols to the wearer to tell a story or help preserve a culture. This Turquoise Ring and Cuff Bracelet by Chaco Canyon features a symbolic dreamcatcher design beautifully decorated with bright blue turquoise stones.
3. Native Hoops
The portrayal of nature is a big theme in southwestern jewelry. Silver is one of the most common mediums used to express these designs. These Twisted Hoop Earrings are a great example of how a metal can be made to appear as flowing water, or blistered rocks that have been worn smooth by the wind. Capturing the colors of nature too are these “Feather” Hoop Earrings with gemstones of turquoise chips and orange, purple and red spiny oyster shell beads.
4. Motif Rings
Soaring canyons, expansive plains, and deep valleys characterize the southwest and significant statement jewelry is crafted to match it. This Turquoise Tri-Tone Ring by Studio Barse has layers of intrigue with its faintly paisley design, copper and silver bands sitting on bronze, and the finishing ovals of turquoise. With so much of the unseen world hiding over the next cliff face we can wear this motif ring to imagine the possibilities.
What inspires you most about the Native American culture?