Copper was an important trade item for the Cherokee
Indians, well before the arrival of the Europeans. Their
villages were near large copper mines, and therefore,
knew how to mine copper and to work it using a cold-
They used copper to make Indian jewelry designs, arrow
points, tools, and cooking utensils.
When Europeans arrived on the continent, the Cherokee
traded copper for the items they needed, such as those
made of silver, iron and steel.
Silver jewelry smithing replaced the “cold hammer”
method of making metal jewelry, and the colorful and
durable Czech seed beads brought by the Europeans
became an important ingredient in Cherokee jewelry.
Cherokee Indian jewelry makers today usually
incorporate colorful seed beads into necklace designs.
Among today's native jewelry makers are Andrea and
Mary Tidwell, who make traditional Cherokee beaded
necklaces. (Available in our online shop).