• Solid Sterling-silver Navajo dead-pawn concho belt with 13 thicker-gauge hand-stamped conchos, by Leonard Maloney. #1837


    Here is a real concho belt.  We cringe seeing some of the so-called concho belts today.  A lot of them aren't even Sterling silver.  If it's nickel silver it ain't worth a dime in our book.  And paper-thin Sterling conchos won't get it either.  Originally, the Navajo concho belt served a utilitarian purpose on the ever-burgeoning American frontier.  When early trading posts began to appear, the Dine' ('Navajo' is the name given the Dine' by the white people) had no currency.  But they desired the commodities offered by those white traders, so the Dine' wore extra-long concho belts—the end sometimes dangling to the wearer's knees.  Each concho was fashioned from roughly an ounce of silver.  Then, as now, each concho was made to slide off the leather belt—one at a time.  So if the wearer wanted sacks of beans or flour or planting seeds, he or she would slide a silver concho off the end of the belt to pay.  Want more goods?  'Gotta slide-off additional ounces of silver.  The concho belt was essentially a money beltnot a tourist trinket.  The traditional one above is 40.5-inches end-to-end.  The wearer punched only one hole in the leather at the 35-inch mark.  New holes can be punched up to about 39-inches (or less).  These conchos can fit inside most belt loops (barely), making it much more useful than larger ones.  This concho belt not only looks good, but it can hold your pants up too!  The leather is thick as well, not jokingly thin and flimsy. Oh, and it weighs 14.25-ounces.  You'll be in high cotton wearing this beauty.  Hallmarked "LM."  Free shipping within the U.S.