Native American jewelry began not as ornamentation, but as strong symbol and story of the various nations' peoples. The fact that they are beautiful has drawn other peoples of North America to admire, emulate, and collect these finely made pieces. Native American jewelry can be made from organic materials such as various metals, hardwoods, vegetal fibers, or precious and semi-precious gemstonesor man-made materials like beadwork and quillwork. Metalsmiths, beaders, carvers, and lapidaries combine these materials to create jewelry. Contemporary Native American jewelry ranges from hand-quarried and processed stones and shells to computer-fabricated steel and titanium jewelry.

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