Almost every indigenous people of the Americas used turquoise in their jewelry. For some Native American tribes, the tradition goes back over a thousand years. Native American jewelry with turquoise was used during the trade for supplies needed, was thought to bring good fortune, it was used in ceremonies in masks or weapons, it was thought to give strength and healing.
Southwestern jewelry makers copied the practice and in the 1970s had trouble filling the demand for turquoise jewelry. By the end of the seventies, the trend began to trickle off as most fads do.
The buyers of that day didn’t have access to the internet and jewelry shopping tips were not readily available. Many purchasers would pay the same dollar amount today that they did for their turquoise jewelry back then.
Considering inflation, it wasn’t a good investment of their finances. Collecting jewelry from the late 1800s to the 1940s would have been the better investment for that period, but no one knew.