At the age of 6, Nestoria began learning all facets of heishi, bead work and stone work from her paternal grandparents Santiago and Trinidad Pena. As a teenager in the early 1960s, Nestoria Coriz learned to make silver jewelry working alongside her father, Lupe Pena, in Albuquerque. The design and construction she developed are uniquely her own. She uses the highest grade of stones and shells and all types of turquoise, including Turquoise Mountain, Blue Gem, Sleeping Beauty, Morenci, Royston, Carica Lake, as well as all shades of spiny oyster, gaspeite, Acoma jet, various corals, lapis, abalone, and faustite. She makes her own sterling silver findings (cones, hooks eyes) as well as the silver disks, barrels and beads used in her pieces.