These handcrafted earrings pair an iconic gemstone and jewelry-making style of the Southwest with a fashionable diamond shape. Finely cut red coral gemstones are set in serrated bezels and accented with beads of sterling silver. A stunning example of the Zuni needlepoint style, where gemstones are cut into extremely thin needle shapes, these earrings will bring artistry, color and craftsmanship to your jewelry collection.
- Earrings handcrafted by Tyler Peynetsa (Zuni Pueblo)
- Sterling silver
- Red coral
- Post and clutch closure
- Earrings measure 3” long x 1/2” 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.
These coral earrings were handcrafted in sterling silver by skilled Native American artists. For centuries these artists have cut gemstones, stone and shell by hand and fashioned them 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 cluster work to channel inlay, these artists have pioneered distinctive styles that showcase their lapidary excellence.
Native Americans of the Southwest were introduced to coral by the Spanish. For centuries, Native people had been fashioning beads from shells like spiny oyster, and the deep red Mediterranean coral quickly became a prized material. Santo Domingo Pueblo incorporated coral into heishi bead necklaces used for trade or adornment. Hopi, Zuni and Navajo artists used the gem for adornment and in necklaces worn in ceremonial dances. Coral was first set in silver in the late 19th century after the Navajo, Zuni and Pueblo people learned silversmithing. In the 1930s, traders encouraged its use by supplying it to Native artists, particularly the Zuni. Red is a sacred color for the Zuni, and they believe coral brings good luck and longevity to the wearer. Native Americans also consider the gem a sign of wealth and status because of its expense and rarity. Whether used alone or in combination with other valuable gems like turquoise, coral remains one of the iconic gemstones of Native American jewelry in the Southwest.
Cluster work 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 cluster work is most closely associated with turquoise, jet and coral, any gemstone may be used. Petit point and needlepoint are two types of Zuni cluster work 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 needle point refers to gems that have been cut into a thin sliver or needle shape. Today, Zuni, Navajo and Pueblo artists use petit point and needlepoint styles to create beautiful wearable art that 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. 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 work directly with artists or partner with trusted wholesalers who can provide documentation that their artists and artisans are of Native American heritage. 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, we stand behind the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have developed lasting relationships with artists, dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.