This beautiful handcrafted sterling silver inlay pendant features turquoise, jet, coral, and mother of pearl handmade by Zuni artisans. The central sunface symbolizes the giver of life and is worn as a good luck charm.
- Pendant handcrafted by Native American artists of the Southwest
- Turquoise, white mother of pearl, black jet, red coral
- Pendant measures 3/4” long x 3/4” wide
- Pendant bail accommodates chains, beads and cords that are less than 1/4”
- 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 colorful inlay pendant 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 cluster work to channel inlay, these artists have pioneered distinctive styles that showcase their lapidary and silversmithing excellence.
Channel inlay is a distinctive jewelry technique closely associated with Native American people of the Southwest, particularly Zuni jewelers. When creating channel inlay jewelry, artists set precisely cut gemstones into pre-formed silver channels. The technique allows artists to use colorful combinations of gemstones in complex and creative patterns. Channel inlay requires masterful silversmithing and lapidary skills and is utilized by Native American jewelers to create magnificent jewelry pieces recognized for their craftsmanship and beauty as art.
Jewelry has been made and worn in the Southwest since prehistoric times. For thousands of years Native Southwestern people made mosaic inlay and beads of turquoise, shell, bone or stone. Metal arrived with the Spanish. Native Americans acquired metal ornaments through trade, but it was not until the middle of the 19th century that Navajo and Zuni artisans learned the craft from Mexican blacksmiths and silversmiths. Their early silver jewelry creations were plain, with simple engraved, stamped or punched designs. Turquoise was first used in silver around 1880. By the turn of the century, silversmithing was widespread across the Southwest, and Native artists were making more sophisticated pieces like concho belts and squash blossom and naja necklaces. The Navajo soon became known for their use of silver, emphasizing silver-heavy designs with only a few gemstones, while the Zuni focused on stone work, featuring finely cut clusters of gems in complex patterns. The Hopi and Pueblo tribes also developed distinctive jewelry styles in the early 1900s. Today, silver jewelry is an iconic image of the Southwest.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.