VINTAGE 1960’S ZUNI ROUND INLAY EARRINGS
Combining many stones into one piece makes some of the most beautiful and exciting Native American jewelry. Depending on how the stones are cut, this style of combining stones can be called Cluster-Work, Needle Point, Petit Point and Snake Eyes. These four styles emerged in the early 1920’s-1940’s and are primarily made by the Zuni Tribe, although some Navajos will make similar designs. These styles have a feminine quality to them, as the stones are set in small and elegant settings.
These designs are very tedious as each bezel (the silver holding the stone) is individually shaped and solder. Then the stones are cut, glued to matchsticks, then shaped and polished with a series of grinding wheel
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 the Zuni and Navajo tribes
Morenci turquoise is another American classic, highly regarded and sought after by collectors. Though the Morenci turquoise mine produces a wide range of colors from blue to green, the most desirable is a deep blue color with a heavy iron pyrite matrix and occasionally some spider webbing.
The Morenci turquoise mine is located in Southeastern Arizona. It is the by-product of a large open-pit copper mining operation and dates back to 1864. William “Lucky” Brown was offered the mining rights in the 1950s and the Brown family has worked the mine since. Though no turquoise is actively being produced at the Morenci mine, small amounts do still come to market each year from the stock that was mined previously.
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