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Native American Jewelry and Artifact Information
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About Sterling Silver Overlay

Native American Navajo  Sterling Silver Sunface pendantOverlay pieces are made of two layers. The bottom sterling silver layer is a solid piece. The top sterling silver layer has a cutout design. The cutout is placed over the bottom layer and the two pieces are "sweated" together, that is heated so that they become one.

The bottom layer (background to the cutout) is usually accented. The Navajo silversmiths oxidize the bottom layer which darkens it, like the sunface pendant by Charlton Lindsay shown at right.

 

Hopi Sterling Silver kokopilli belt buckle

 

 

 

 

Hopi silversmiths etch the background (texturize it) with hashmarks before oxidizing it, like the kokopelli maze buckle by Joe Josytewa shown at left.

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