Concho Belt Buckle


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Vintage Navajo sterling silver concha belt buckle with a single natural turquoise stone; initialed J.

The word concho comes from the Spanish word "concha" which actually means "conch" or "seashell" and has become synonymous with round or oval silver disks used to decorate saddles, bridles, and clothing.  Old Mexican bridle conchas used floral and geometric patterns. These decorative elements influenced Navajo silversmiths and gave rise to their contemporary use in jewelry such as pendants, bolo ties, belts and belt buckles.  

Well crafted conchas represent many hours of patient work.  Designs are completed with small repeated elements struck one marking at a time with a home-made die and a hand held jeweler's hammer.  

Museum-quality Navajo or Zuni hand made sterling silver conchas are works of art, highly collectible,  seldom sold and are often worn solely for ceremonial purposes.