Spotlight: Haida Argillite Jewelry & Carvings

Spotlight: Haida Argillite Jewelry & Carvings

Argillite jewelry and carvings produced by the Haida depict West Coast First Nations imagery in a beautiful black slate material that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

At Cheryl’s Trading Post we are proud to offer authentic Haida argillite jewelry, pendants and carvings from Calvin Bell and Lionel Dexter Samuels. 


The argillite that the Haida use is found on Haida Gwaii, BC at a quarry on Slatechuck Mountain near the town of Skidegate. The land and quarry are owned by the Haida Nation who hold proprietary ownership. Argillite from the Haida quarry is a hard, fine, black silt, sometimes referred to as "black slate" that is unique to Haida Gwaii and can be found nowhere else in the world. The Haida word for argillite is Kwawhlhal. 

Argillite Carvings

The argillite carvings by the Haida people are of high quality and have been highly prized around the world since Haida carvers first began selling their carvings to sailors around 1800. Contemporary


Haida carvers continue the tradition of creating argillite carvings and sculptures, many of whom are internationally known and recognized for their work.

 argillite jewelry by Calvin Bell

Calvin Bell is an artist that maintains the traditional old style of argillite carving. A member of the Haida Nation, born in Masset, Haida Gwaii in 1950, Calvin's family crests are the Two-Finned Orca and the Grizzly Bear.


Calvin began carving in 1971 after being introduced to the art form by Haida master carver Ron Russ. His carvings include sculptures and jewelry from argillite, gold and silver that feature traditional Haida designs. Calvin’s expertise is evident in each piece he creates, his depth of carving, precise inlay, and flawless finish make his work widely collected.

 argillite carving by Lionel Samuels

Lionel Dexter Samuels was born into the Yahgu ‘laanaas Raven clan on Haida Gwaii in 1963 and began carving with the guidance of George Yeltache when he was just seven years old.


At the age of twenty Lionel began sculpting argillite professionally and featuring his work in major galleries. Lionel’s argillite works are incredibly sculpted with carefully incised designs featuring Haida mythological and spiritual creatures inspired by his ancestors and the Haida stories of his Grandparents. His carvings include large figures, totem poles, pendants, earrings, pipes, and boxes, which are eagerly sought after by collectors from around the globe.


If you have questions about Haida argillite carvings, or would like more information about argillite pieces that we have in stock - or would like to place a custom order, please contact Cheryl's Trading Post at: or call us: 1-604-538-5008.

Share this on:

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Google LinkedIn