Metal was probably used in West Mexico as early as 650 A.D. Its use became
widespread during the Azatatlan tradition (800-1200). They used mostly gold,
silver and copper. A later culture that was prominent for its use of metal
was the Purepechas (1300-1521). They used it both for personal adornments
and for practical purposes. In some places they made ‘axe money” which were
too thin for practical use; instead they were currency in trade.

Photo essay: How Puerto Vallarta came about