Coral Heishi Necklace


Item Number: DR 1310
Pueblo: Santo Domingo Kewa Pueblo
Artist: Unknown
Medium: Coral, olive shell heishi, and sterling silver
Age: Circa 1980s
Dimensions: 28″ in length



This is a lovely necklace of four strands of tiny chunk coral. The coral is separated by very tiny olive shell heishi and is finished with sterling silver cone beads and a sterling silver clasp. Although the artist is unknown, this necklace is finely made. It lies nicely and smoothly around the neck.

Native Americans began to use coral shortly after it was introduced to them by the Spanish in the 16th Century. This beautiful red stone intrigued them. Strands of deep red coral were valued and worn as a form of currency. Documentation of the use of coral for decoration goes back some 30,000 years when it was used to decorate burials. Coral jewelry was made by artisans in most of the great civilizations: the Egyptians, the Mesopotamians, and the ancient Greeks.

Today, coral is one of the most sought-after materials used by Native American artists. Mediterranean coral is now considered an endangered species and cannot be purchased any longer for making jewelry. Coral supplies around the work are very limited. It may not be too long before there will be no coral jewelry produced; the only coral available will be what is already in stores or in private collections

Condition: Excellent- original condition
Provenance: Purchased  from a gentleman in Oklahoma.

Additional information

Weight 2 oz