Not all the gold was melted down and shipped back to the Queen of Spain! Some was hidden away from the invaders and I'm sure some was
stashed away for the trip back home for its boasting power.
Long before the arrival of the Europeans and others, the native people of Latin America had mastered many
metallurgical techniques, including mining, hammering, and casting gold to produce
jewelry, ornaments, masks and other items. In ancient Latin America gold symbolized
power and spiritual wealth but was never used for money. The Smithsonian's National
Meseum of the American Indian has many examples of pre-Columbian gold in its collection.
Our selection of pre-Columbian style jewelry is reflective of this collection.