Southwestern Sterling Silver & Coral Cowboy Boot Pendant
Beautiful Sterling Silver Southwestern style Cowboy Boot & Spur. This pendant measures 5/8" tall not including the bale and 3/4" wide including the spur.
Red coral has long been a revered material among Native American jewelry makers in the Southwest. Coral is made from the skeletal remains of minute sea creatures called Coral Polyps. The colonies form reefs and atolls as they grow deep under the sea. Coral jewelry is sought after by collectors due to its beautiful coloring and organic origin. Because if its rock-like hardness and vibrant color, many people consider coral to be a gem stone. Coral was first introduced to Southwestern tribes such as the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi by Spanish and European traders, who had a steady supply of coral mined from Mediterranean coastlines. The coral came in many shades, from deep red to orange and even white. Red was the most common color used in coral jewelry and was referred to as "red gold." It is actually one of the only materials used in jewelry that was once part of a living organism. The most popular varieties of coral jewelry feature red coral, which is more desirable and only found in certain parts of the world. The water temperatures and climate all play a role in how the color and durability of coral is developed. Southwest tribes ascribed spiritual and mythical significance to coral jewelry and believed the held healing powers. Wearing red coral jewelry would create luck, increase fertility, cure illness increase the wearer's lifespan. Wearing red coral jewelry also signified social prominence in some tribes and those who wore multi-strand red coral necklaces were held in high regard among their peers. Coral is used in many forms in jewelry, both as beads and gemstones placed in rings, bracelets and necklaces. As the craft of coral jewelry making evolved, artists made coral jewelry set in sterling silver. Of course, turquoise is the perfect compliment and the two stones are often used together to create detailed and colorful designs. Both stones also hold cultural and spiritual significance and some people believe wearing the stones together compounds their positive energy.