Concha Belts

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Concha Belts

The concha belt is one of the oldest forms of Navajo silversmithing and personal adornment. The earliest concha belts, known as First Phase, were made entirely of silver and featured simple stamped designs. The conchas had triangular cutouts through which the leather belt was looped. The introduction of soldering techniques in the late 1800s brought the Second Phase of concha belts with soldered loops on the back of the conchas instead of cutouts. Second Phase belts feature more intricate designs; including Repousse, or “bump-out” designs and often include “butterflies”, or small, vertical pieces of silver separating the conchas. Third Phase concha belts are most easily characterized by the introduction of stone setting, especially with turquoise.

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