Near the end of the 19th century, and through to 1930, the tourist trade in the Southwest saw considerable growth. Indian-made jewelry was one of the more popular commodities that the Anglo tourist purchased and brought back home, as it was a wearable token of their travels and of their experiences in the Southwest. However, as traders quickly realized, the Anglo taste in jewelry differed greatly from that of the Native Americans, such as the Navajo Indians. Whereas the Navajo would appreciate heavier, "bulkier" pieces, the Anglo tourist would prefer lightweight examples with smaller elements of ornamentation and stones.
When one refers to "Fred Harvey era" jewelry, one is generally speaking about this genre of lightweight and mass-produced jewelry that was made for sale to the Anglo tourist along the Santa Fe railroad lines, in hotels and retail shops run primarily by the Fred Harvey Company. The name, Fred Harvey, is a quite famous one in Southwestern history.
Today, Fred Harvey era jewelry is widely collected and sought after. Easy to wear, and generally with a fair amount of ornamentation/stamping, Fred Harvey jewelry is an enjoyable genre of Indian jewelry that takes us back 100 years and can leave us wondering, "how would I have felt if I purchased this item along the Santa Fe railroad in 1910?"