The Navajo Concha

This Is the circular or ovate stiver metal plate that gives the belt lis name. The Spanish word "concha" means shell.


A piece of 18 gauge silver sheet is cut to 2'/ยป x 2Vj Inches. The center is marked and the rosette Ib stamped In the center ol the rectangular piece ol silver by using a male and female punch and die and a very heavy hammer.

An oval outline is drawn around the rosette by measuring equally from the ends ol each segment.

The oval is cut along the outline by using either a jewelers saw or a pair ol tin snips.

Several dies are selected for the appropriate design and stamped into the silver as shown.

it takes 8 conchas and 9 spacers or butterflies and a buckle of this size to make a 30-inch belt.

Scallops are filed around the edge ol the concha outlining the stamped design.

A copper belt loop or hasp Is made by cutting 16 gauge copper sheet In strips 1/4 Inch wide and forming around a piece ol old 1-lnch file. The hatpa are soldered onto the back ol the conchas perpen-dicular to the long axis.

Stones are selected, bezels made and soldered onto plates which are trimmed and soldered onto the center of the rosette.

The conchas pictured here are only a few of the many hundreds of designs possible. Almost every concha belt seen displays a different design confirming the imaginative ingenuity ol the Indian mind.

Each stone is set into the bezel and the concha butted and polished.

Stamps and Dies, courtesy ol Tucker Tool Co., Prescolt, Arizona

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