ADA Accessibility Notes
Winfield Trading: Treasuring past tradition to enrich the future.
Winfield Trading is quickly becoming one of the premier places to go for Native American jewelry, arts, and crafts in the Four-Corners area. Winfield Trading offers three generations of knowledge dealing with turquoise and Native American arts and crafts. Beginning with grandfather, M.C. Winfield, father, Robert Winfield, and now the youngest son, Justin Winfield, this family has grown with the industry for over 60 years.
Winfield Trading began as a wholesale trading post. Today, Justin Winfield and his wife Rebecca are carrying the Winfield family history into the 21st century. In 2009, with the completion of a modern 6,000 foot gallery located just across the street from the original trading post, Justin and Rebecca are devoting their lives to the preservation of Native American culture and tradition through Indian arts and crafts. From quality hand-crafted jewelry to exquisite Navajo rugs, sculptures, baskets, pottery, kachina dolls, paintings, and fetishes, you can find all you need at this family-owned business. Winfield Trading is also home to the largest selection of Lone Mountain Turquoise stone and jewelry in the industry.
Nestled against the pine and pinon trees in the high desert of New Mexico, located between the Zuni and Navajo reservations, the Winfield's gallery is a treat for any visitor. This modern trading post moves into the future while keeping in mind the valuable Native American principles and teachings of the past. As one explores the beautiful new gallery they will notice that the Winfields give artisans special discounts when using recycled silver; one may also notice giant satellite dishes that have been recycled, painted by area craftsmen and artisans to resemble local, indigenous baskets and pottery. “Our commitment is to the preservation of our past as well as our future.” says owner Justin Winfield, who is currently looking at plans to power the trading post completely with solar energy.
This modern trading post also has an exceptional history. The Winfield family has been supplying native craftsmen with silver, turquoise, and various other materials for nearly 60 years. In turn, they have also been purchasing final products from these craftsmen. Apache, Cheyenne-Arapaho, Hopi, Navajo, Santa Domingo, and Zuni are just some of the local tribes that deal directly with the Winfields.
The Winfield's love affair with turquoise and native arts and crafts began with grandfather, M. C. Winfield, who started mining turquoise in 1951 at the Villa Grove Mine in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. He would sell the loose stone to local Native Americans, such as Santa Domingo, Navajo, and Zuni, who would then use the semiprecious stone to make beautiful hand-crafted jewelry. During times when money was tight, frequent trading occurred; loose stone from the mine was exchanged for available hand-crafted native jewelry.
M.C. Winfield and his wife had two children. His son Robert began mining turquoise with his father almost as soon as he was able to walk. Robert helped his father mine for nearly 30 years. During this time, they worked the Villa Grove, Carico Lake, Red Mountain, Smokey Valley, and Lone Mountain Mines. In fact, M.C. Winfield is best known for his 27-year stint owning and operating the Lone Mountain Mine. Known for producing some of the highest grade turquoise in the world, the Lone Mountain Mine is located in Esmeralda county, Nevada. Upon his ownership, M.C. Winfield converted operations from underground mining to a small open-pit operation.
Although it comes in a variety of shades of blue and green, Lone Mountain turquoise is best known for it's beautiful blue spider web. It gives Lander Blue, the most valuable turquoise in the world, a run for its money. Making it even more valuable is a rare occurrence of "fossil turquoise" found in this mine. This “fossil turquoise” is actually a turquoise cast of plant fossils. The fossils dissolve over time leaving cavities that are filled with turquoise deposits.
Because of its durability (hardness without being brittle), color, and variety, native craftsmen preferred working with Lone Mountain stone over most other turquoise. The Winfields were among the first major suppliers of this high-grade stone to native craftsmen in the Gallup, New Mexico area.
Robert moved to Vanderwagen, NM with his wife Michelle in 1972. Together, they started Winfield Trading Company, a traditional trading post aimed at providing the best in Native American crafts to the public and the best turquoise to native craftsmen. They have two sons, both of whom helped with the family business starting at a very early age. The youngest son, Justin Winfield, recently inherited the family business. As for the mining career of M.C. and Robert Winfield, it ended in 1987 with the closing of the Lone Mountain Mine.
From Apache to Zuni, this is a wonderful place to visit to see, learn about, and shop for all indigenous crafts. Located only 20 miles south of Gallup on scenic Highway 602, this is also a fantastic stopping point on your drive to either the Zuni Pueblo or El Morro National Monument. Just follow the billboards and keep an eye out for our hand-painted satellite dishes. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Open Year Round