Elevate your jewelry collection with this essential design. These elongated button earrings feature red coral, the brilliant gemstone is one of the most associated with Southwestern and Native American jewelry. Using the traditional petit point style that is an iconic Zuni jewelry technique, Zuni artist Mary Ann Chavez has handcrafted a beautiful silhouette evoking a flower. With a shape and color that are flattering to every face, this pair of earrings will become a staple in any jewelry collection.
- Earrings handcrafted by Mary Ann Chavez (Zuni)
- Sterling silver
- Red Coral
- Post and clutch closure
- Earrings measure 1” long x 5/8” 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.
Mary Ann Chavez is an accomplish Zuni jewelry artist who specializes in handcrafted petit point styles. She often collaborates with her husband Zuni artist Felix Chavez.
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. Cluster work is an extremely time consuming process and fewer and fewer artists are taking the time to hand cut their gemstones. A true piece of Zuni cluster jewelry is an exquisite piece 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. 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.