Black Hills GoldBlack Hills Gold jewelry is a relatively new innovation which has become extremely popular in the US since its origin in the late 19th and early 20th century. It's most frequently seen used in jewelry items such as wedding rings/bands, bracelets and earings as well as watches.
The Black Hills region of South Dakota region from which these styles originate is a popular destination with tourists, not least because of the nearby Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
There is a legend that claims: "To one who wears the Black Hills Gold, good luck and fortune will unfold".
What Is Black Hills Gold?The term Black Hills Gold refers - somewhat confusingly - to both the origin and style of a piece of jewelry. Don't confuse Black Hills Gold with black gold, the two are not necessarily the same (although there's no reason Black Hills Gold shouldn't also be black!).
Although you can buy Black Hills gold in almost any style, there are a few particular jewelry designs that are considered typical of the region. For a while in the twentieth century gold manufacturers outside of South Dakota began creating pieces with similar styles and calling them "black hills" gold. Today the term Black Hills Gold Jewelry is protected in the US to ensure that it really does originate from that region.
Origin and HistoryBlack Hills gold originated during the gold rushes of the late 19th century. The area now known as the South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming Black Hills region had for centuries been occupied by the Lakota Sioux native Americans. Their name for it was Paha Sapa which literally means "hills that are black". The tree covered hillsides did indeed appear black when seen from a distance and the region was held sacred by the Lakota.
It was initially planned for the region to become part of the Great Sioux Reservation however before that could come into effect gold was discovered there in 1874. Neither the Sioux nor the US government were prepared to give up the Hills and treaty negotiations collapsed when the US officially opened the region to gold hunters and miners.
An expeditionary force led by Custer took control of the area, paving the way for settlement and the development of the gold industry. One of the pioneers of what we now know as Black Hills gold was S.T.Butler who set up shop in Central City. This modest jeweler's shop eventually grew into the well known brand Landstrom's.