The earliest Native Americans had their own styles of jewelry before others came to America. They used the elements around them such as feathers, stones, shells, and bone to make adornments to wear.
In the 1500’s French explorers were some of the first to trade Native American glass beads among other useful items they had never had, for their fur pelts. Native Americans seemed to love using the colorful beads for making jewelry and decorating their clothing with necklace.
It was not until the 1850’s that Native Americans began to acquire the skills necessary to craft jewelry from metals and gems. Prior to this they often used copper and brass wire to fashion jewelry and used coins as buttons.
This is who most Native American jewelers can trace their jewelry techniques back to. In the 1860’s when they returned to the mess they began to employ the new techniques had learned to the crafting of silver jewelry. Their tools were of a crude sort in the beginning and they would use silver coins to melt down for the jewelry and decorate yourself with a necklace.