Zuni Jewelry. The Zuni jewelry makers are known primarily for their intricate stonework designs. Stones for these pieces are cut down and shaped for placement in precise and intricate designs. The main styles of Zuni jewelry are Clusterwork, Needlepoint, Petit Point and Inlay.
The commonly design jewelry around a stone’s natural shape. When Navajo do inlay, it is bolder than Zuni inlay and usually has silver between the inlaid pieces (called “channel inlay”). Their inlay tends to be more complex than Navajo, with more cuts and patterns. Most snake designs are done by the Zuni.
The Zuni tribe has crafted gorgeous, fascinating jewelry for over 1,000 years. They are most famous for their intricate stone work, with animal-themed fetishes being the most widespread.
The current day Zuni are a Federally recognized tribe and most live in the Pueblo of Zuni on the Zuni River, a tributary of the Little Colorado River, in western New Mexico, United States.
Since the early 19th century the Zuni have been known for making silver and turquoise jewelry, baskets, beadwork, animal fetishes, and pottery, all of very high quality. Many Zuni have chosen to adopt only some parts of modern American life and to maintain much of their traditional culture.
THE EYE TEST “In well-crafted Native American jewelry, only high-quality stones that are well-cut and uniform in size are used, and they always fit snugly into their settings. Poorly cut stones revealing metal-colored glue visible between the stone and the metal is a sure sign of an imitation.”
Petit Point jewelry refers to cluster-work that is made up of stones that are pear-shaped: oval on one end and pointed on the opposite. This type of work is typically made in round and oval designs, but other shapes are possible. This style is made by Navajo and Zuni artists.
Authentic Old Pawn jewelry will have a natural gray patina, indicating age. It takes decades for the patina to develop and may appear grayer in dry climates like the southwest. Humidity will add a darker, blacker patina. Patina typically isn’t buffed off in order to preserve its history and value.
Lander Blue Spiderweb Turquoise is some of the rarest Turquoise on earth and in high demand, Buyers must beware of impersonators, the highest grade of Chinese Spiderweb Turquoise is often sold as Lander Blue Turquoise, it takes an experienced professional to detect true Lander Blue Turquoise.
The turquoise stone occurs naturally in a range of different shades of blue, blue-green, and brownish-green. Turquoise is believed to be the most powerful source of good fortune when it comes to Native American jewelry. It brings a great amount of health, luck, and positivity to those who wear it.
They only wore breechcloths or short kilts. The Zuni women wore kneelength cotton dresses called mantas. A manta secured at a women’s right shoulder, leaving her left shoulder uncovered.
In short, wearing Native patterns or jewelry is fine as long as you bought them from an actual Native designer. And if there’s something that you really shouldn’t be wearing — i.e. a headdress with special religious or tribal significance — the artist you’re buying from will likely let you know.
Turquoise is naturally a soft stone, but howlite (the turquoise imitation), is even softer. This means that if you scratch your stone and it scratches easily, you most likely have a piece of howlite. But if it’s very difficult to scratch your stone, you’ve got genuine turquoise!
Blue Turquoise The most-prized turquoise color is an even, intense, medium blue, sometimes referred to as robin’s egg blue or sky blue in the trade.