Turquoise Tortoise Art Gallery in Sedona Arizona - One of the finest Sedona Art Galleries featuring contemporary Native American and Southwestern art



Making the finest Native American jewelry available to a wide audience is how Turquoise Tortoise Gallery began. While it now offers a broad spectrum of Native American art, it is Native American jewelry that continues to beat at the heart of this renowned gallery. Founded in 1971, the gallery shares solid relationships with the primarily Navajo jewelers it features: over half have sold their work through the gallery for more than two decades. Second and even third generation silversmiths are now represented.

While the gallery will always carry traditional turquoise jewelry and silver pieces, contemporary trends in Native American jewelry are also featured. The relatively new style of inlay work is displayed widely as are pieces with 14k gold worked into their designs. While traditional jewelry-making methods, like stamping and channel work, can be seen in the newer styles it is a wider palette that most distinguishes these pieces. Green stones such as Carico Lake turquoise and gaspeite are in evidence as are the purple tones of sugilite and the spiny oyster shell. Spiny oyster shell (traditionally traded from coastal tribes) also offers orange tones close to the look of coral, a stone which also takes a prime spot at the gallery. Lapis, blue & green turquoise, jasper, tigers eye and other stones round out the many hues Native American jewelry now offers.

Some of the well-known jewelers whose work the gallery offers include David and Alice Lister, their daughter Dee Nez, Jack and Mary Tom, Bryan Yellowhorse, Tommy Jackson, Ric Charlie and the Native American group of jewelers called Supersmiths. Turquoise Tortoise Gallery is excited to be a way-station for the very best.

Please call 928-282-2262 or EMAIL our gallery for pricing and availability for any of these pieces.


Click on an image to see a larger view with description and price.

Stamped Bear Pendant w/ Torque NEW

Mark Roanhorse Earrings & Pendant  NEW

Ranger Sets  NEW

Royston Turquoise Cuff & Pendant  NEW

Spirit Bear Cuffs  NEW

Storyteller Cuffs  NEW

Turquoise & Sterling Jewelry by
Bruce Eckhardt & Guy Hoskie NEW

Freshwater Pearls Set SOLD

Bluebird Kingman Turquoise Cuff
Spiny Oyster Cuff

Bolos, Belts, & Buckles

Watson Honanie Cuffs  SOLD

Royston Turquoise Cuff  SOLD

Pilot Mtn. Turquoise Pendant SOLD


A Brief History of Native American Jewelry in the Southwest

Contemporary and Traditional native American jewelryArcheological evidence shows that turquoise found in Hohokam excavations in southern Arizona dates back to 200 B.C., even though turquoise, as a mineral deposit, is found in only a limited region of the American Southwest. Other stones were used as well, with trade bringing in material such as spiny oyster from its only source: off the coast of Baja California. Evidence is abundant that prehistoric Indians turned mined turquoise into jewelry – drilled beads and other ornamentation – with prehistoric mining operations uncovered in New Mexico, Colorado and the Kingman and Morenci regions of Arizona.

Descendants of the Anasazi, Mogollon and Mimbres exist in today’s Hopi and Pueblo people, and with the Diné (Navajo) arriving after the 14th century, and being greatly influenced by the existing Pueblo cultures, the ancient ways carried on. Later, as contact with the Spanish grew, their elaborate style of personal adornment bore influence as well, as did certain Moorish-inspired jewelry designs. Speculation remains as to what extent specific influence was felt: while designs of pomegranate blossoms may have influenced the well-known Diné (Navajo) Squash Blossom necklace, the Diné word for the “squash blossom” bead is yo ne maze disya gi, which simply means “bead that spreads out.” Whether as spoils of conflict or successful trade, German silver, copper and brass found their way into Native American jewelry as well.

By the mid-1800s the Diné (Navajo) had learned silver making and these techniques traveled throughout the region. Silver coins were melted as were silver tea pots and candlesticks when special orders from traders came in. The Zuñis, by the time they learned silver making, were already skilled metalworkers and, from prehistoric times, skilled lapidaries.

Today, at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery, third generation Diné (Navajo) jewelers, David and Alice Lister, carry on silver-working traditions with David making his own stamp dies and Alice doing much of their lapidary work. Their daughter, Dee Nez, has made her own jewelry since a teenager; Alice’s grandfather, Many Arrows, had used silver coins for silver-working in his day. Jeweler Danny Romero, a Yaqui artist, was one of five jewelers honored by President Reagan at The Night of The First Americans in Washington D.C. His intricate inlay work involves cutting hundreds of different stones into precise shapes to create portraits set in silver or gold. Native American jewelry-making continues to evolve, as it always has, representing some of the finest craftsmanship today.

Unmatched craftsmanship by many of the finest Native American jewelers working today makes the Turquoise Tortoise Gallery a destination gallery for anyone with an interest in Native American jewelry.

Member of the Sedona Gallery Association [Sedona, Arizona]

Contact us at mail@turquoisetortoisegallery.com

Native American Art Gallery Site Maintained by agategrrrl.com

The content of this Sedona Native American art gallery site is exclusively owned by Turquoise Tortoise Gallery [Sedona Arizona].

All artwork is the sole property of each respective artist. Any reproduction or other use of the art gallery images contained in this Contemporary and Traditional Native American art website without written permission of the respective artists is expressly prohibited. Native American Artwork prices may vary according to art market value. Turquoise Tortoise Gallery is one of the finest Sedona art galleries featuring contemporary Native American art, turquoise jewelry, and Southwestern art.