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Concho

Mega berry concho with star. Mega berry concho with star.

A concho (pl. conchos) is an oval or round metal disc (bracteate) used to decorate belts, clothes, bridles, saddles etc. The term concho derives from the Spanish concha (‘conch’ or ‘shell’). Conchos are common in Mexico and throughout the American West. 

Conchos are traditionally made of silver, though cheaper metals may be used and treated to look like silver. They probably originated from hammering silver coins that were strung together on leather. The silver discs are normally stamped with a floral or geometric design and often inlaid with semi-precious stones, usually turquoise.

In the 1870's, Navajo silversmiths began producing conchos for use in their own communities, perhaps after seeing comparable ornaments from Mexico. Navajo and Zuni silversmiths continue to produce conchos today and these have become collector's items.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 9h July 2016).

SA

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 19:23