Guatemala's Ethnic Jewelry is based on Glass Trading Beads, Silver Coins, Pre-Columbian Jade and Amber, Coral, shells and even silk. They all will be combined into magnificent "Chachales", the Mayan Shells and even Silk Necklace.
Chachales can be distinguished by areas as each Maya Ethnic Group has a special way of combining them into their outfits.
Wealth can sometimes be determined by the materials used; a piece featuring lots of coins and charms will show prosperity. Most of the pieces are inherited within the family, from generation to generation; so not all women can afford to wear jewelry.
Silver Coins from Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Chile are common in Guatemalan Chachales as those were the only currencies allowed during Colonial Times. The type of Silver used in the coins before the 1900's is Sterling (.925) and is Nickel what came after the 1910's.