This cluster pin/pendant was handcrafted by Zuni artists, and features blue turquoise gemstones set in sterling silver in the traditional Zuni style of petit point.
Finely cut turquoise has been painstakingly cut, arranged, and set in a floral cluster shape with exceptional skill and patience.
The pin also features a hidden pendant bail so that it can be worn on a small chain or cord.
- Pin/pendant handcrafted by Zuni Pueblo artists
- Sterling silver
- Blue turquoise
- Pin closure and small hidden bail that can accommodate beads, cord, and chains that are less than 3/16”
- Pin measures 1-1/4”long x 1-1/4”wide
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
This turquoise needlepoint pendant/pin was handcrafted in sterling silver by skilled Native American artists. For centuries these artists have fashioned gemstones, stone, and shell into lasting jewelry pieces. Since learning silversmithing in the 19th century, Native American artists have been unmatched in their ability to arrange gemstones in sterling silver. From clusterwork to channel inlay, these artists have pioneered distinctive styles that showcase their lapidary and silversmithing excellence.
Turquoise beads have been made in the Southwest for thousands of years. The Ancestral Puebloans (formerly referred to as Anasazi), ancestors of today’s Pueblo tribes, mined turquoise in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Chaco Canyon, a major Ancestral Puebloan center, was at the center of turquoise trade routes stretching from the Pacific Northwest to Central America.
Turquoise was not set in silver until the late 19th century after Navajo and Zuni artisans learned metalsmithing. The blue and green gem quickly became a favorite with Native American silversmiths, and was extremely popular with tourists visiting the Southwest in the early 20th century.
Some Native Americans believe the gem was a gift from the spirits and call it the Sky Stone. Today, turquoise is one of the most iconic images of the Southwest and is still revered among Native American jewelry artists.
Clusterwork is a jewelry style that is unique to the Zuni people, and not found anywhere else in the world. Early Zuni jewelry resembled Navajo silverwork, but in the 1920s and 1930s, Zuni artisans developed a signature style that involved setting large groups of hand-cut gemstones into extremely intricate settings. The finely cut gems were often arranged in beautiful patterns that resembled flowers, snowflakes, or wagon wheels.
Though Zuni clusterwork is most closely associated with turquoise, jet, and coral, any gemstone may be used.
Petit point and needlepoint are two types of Zuni clusterwork and can be distinguished by the shape and size of the gemstones. Petit point refers to gems cut into round, oval, rectangle, pear, or square shapes, while needlepoint refers to gems that have been cut into a thin sliver or needle shape.
Clusterwork is an extremely time-consuming process, and fewer and fewer artists are taking the time to hand-cut their gemstones. A piece of Zuni cluster jewelry is an exquisite work of wearable art that showcases the unmatched lapidary skills of Zuni artists, and will be an heirloom for generations to come.Read our Native American Jewelry Collector's Guide.
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, providing a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes, and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase, and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft.
Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer. At a time when many commercially made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.