Hopi life and religion are reflected in their jewelry. Designs have a religious or secular meaning and can be highly symbolic or realistic. Designs are usually based on ancient sources such as potsherds, petroglyphs, or Katsinas.
The overlay technique is characteristic of most Hopi jewelry. The design is cut out of a flat piece of silver; the background is textured and oxidized to turn it black. Often stones such as jet, coral, or turquoise are used to add emphasis to the outstanding silvercraft produced by the Hopi.
To insure authenticity, Hopi jewelry is marked by the artist's clan, signature, or village. The Hopi Arts and Crafts Silvercraft Cooperative Guild located on Second Mesa is a non-profit membership organization that helps members promote their arts and crafts. The Guild has been instrumental in training individuals who now sell their own work in private shops located throughout the mesas. Jewelry sold through the Guild is marked with the sun symbol and the clan mark of the individual artist. Further information can be obtained by contacting this organization.