The Mexican peso had a higher silver content, so it was the preferred coin to use. By the late 1890’s the silver and turquoise jewelry the Navajo made was used for barter with the traders that would come to the reservations. This practice was stopped after 1950, but does still continue outside the reservations.
The older Native American jewelry had a look of crudeness that the collectors today look for. As the newer and better tools became available, the quality and design of Native American jewelry gradually improved and became the beautiful hand crafted jewelry that it is today.
Much of this jewelry is widely available in the South west itself as well as jewelry stores all over the country and on the internet. Rings, cuff bracelets, pendants,necklace and earrings are all items commonly made from turquoise and silver.