Heishi and Stone Necklaces

Hello and welcome to the wonderful world of Native American Jewelry and Artifacts and other things I am passionate about. I am the manager of the webstore  www.horsekeeping.com

Heishi Season is Upon Us

Heishi necklaces are a perfect combo with summer weather, tank tops, V neck t-shirts…and there is nothing quite like a turquoise choker to highlight a tan !

There are so many wonderful colors and forms of stone and shell heishi, nuggets and beads, single strand to 25 strands, various lengths and of widely divergent styles that choosing a stone necklace can be somewhat overwhelming.

To help you make a good choice, I’ve organized stone necklaces into “Shop by Length” and “Shop by Style” so you can browse either way. In addition, I’ve written an article “How to Choose and Wear a Necklace

How to Choose and Wear a Necklace

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Heishi ChokerThere are so many wonderful Native American necklace choices, from heishi to silver beads, that choosing one can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why I am going to try to make your selection process a bit easier with some gentle guidance.

Heishi ChokerThe best way to choose a necklace is to measure a necklace you already have that fits like you want it to and is suitable for the way you want to wear it.

For example, if you are shopping for a choker that you want to wear around your neck (as opposed to on top of a shirt or blouse), the Heishi Chokermeasurement you will use will be a bit more critical because you want the choker to fit your neck and hang just the way you like it. Two people with the same neck size might choose two different size chokers. Some people like a choker very high and rather snug so might choose a 16″ choker while others don’t like the feel of a tight fit and like a bit of a drape to their chokers so might choose an 18″ choker. So get out your favorite necklace or take a piece of cord and test it out in front of a mirror. Wear it around for an hour or so to be sure that size is comfortable.

Most adult women wear chokers in the 16-18 inch range. We try to keep Heishi Chokera good selection in that size range in our store.

Men usually wear chokers in the 18-20+ inch range. For some reason, that size range is difficult to find in Native American jewelry so we’ve had to special order a group of those for our male customers.

The 21-22 inch necklaces can either serve as a choker or a necklace, depending on your size and wearing preference.

Heishi ChokerIf you are looking for a necklace, one that drapes longer or that you can use over your clothes or as a necklace to hang a pendant on, then you will want to put a necklace or test cord under your collar and decide where you want your necklace to hang. The choker or necklace that is perfect during the summer won’t fit over your turtlenecks and shirts in the fall and winter – so for over clothing, you’ll need to purchase one 1-3″ longer depending on the thicknessHeishi Choker of the fabrics you usually wear.

Most women’s necklaces are in the 21-30 inch range. The length you choose will depend on your height (the length of your upper torso) and your personal preference for drape.

Heishi ChokerMany necklaces can double as a place to hang a pendant so if that is your goal, be sure the fastener on the end is not too large so it will fit through the loop on the back of the pendant or through the or pendant bail. Heishi ChokerIf you are using a pendant with a Shepherd’s Hook, this won’t be an issue.

Native American made necklaces are priced according to the artist’s reputation, skill and ability and the materials they use. It is also based on the length of the necklace, so in effect, you pay by the inch ! But most importantly, you are paying for art – wearable art is priceless.

Heishi ChokerOne final piece of advice that we have learned first hand. When it comes to Native American jewelry, if you see something you like, you should purchase it because it may very likely not be available again. Unlike manufactured jewelry that is machine made and available in large quantities, Native American jewelry is make one piece at a time and although a Heishi Chokerparticular artist might make a dozen of a particular necklace in one year, the next year, he or she might make none.

The Santo Domingo, Navajo and Zuni artists are constantly creating new ways of using their traditional materials and designs to make beautiful jewelry. We have often had the opportunity to purchase, let’s say 5 or 6 of an item, but for one reason or another, we only took one or two but then when we tried to get more, there just were not any available! So it you like it, buy it !

If you have any questions, contact me at // orders@horsekeeping.com.


8 thoughts on “Heishi and Stone Necklaces

  1. Great information. I have always had a hard time finding just the right length and type of heishi. Thanks. Do you take custom orders?

    • Thank you ! How exciting to get my first visitor !
      As far as custom orders, I’m sorry we do not take custom orders. Here’s why. We make several buying trips each year and we choose items we feel would be good for our web store. The Native American artists seem to prefer to deal in person, not through the mail or by phone. They purchase their materials (silver, stone), then make their beautiful creations, then take them to a market somewhere to sell. They hope for a quick turnaround for their investment so are not really set up to take a single order for a specific item and then ship them through the mail. However, please send me a description of what you are looking for and I will put it on my “shopping list” so that on our next buying trip, if I see something that sounds like it might work, I can purchase it for you. Thanks for writing. Paula

  2. Pingback: Native American Jewelry – Belt Buckle Wanted « Native American Jewelry Tips

  3. what superb craftsmanship. I am Maori from New Zealand and I can’t help but notice the similar motifs and design forms utilized by both cultures. It seems over that great distance and span of time our cultures were following a similar path of art and craftmanship.

  4. This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing
    this one. A must read article!

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