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Native American Inlay Jewelry

14 Jan

I love handcrafted jewelry. No mass-produced jewelry for me, thank you very much. What I love is the craftsmanship. Anybody can hang a bead on a chain-not being critical, it's just not my style. So it's only natural that I would love Native American Jewelry.

Multicolor Mosaic Inlay
Multicolor inlay is a popular expression of Zuni Native American art. The rainbow of colors are hand-cut pieces of Turquoise, Coral, Jet, Shell, and Mother-of-Pearl-these gemstones have special meaning in the Zuni religion. The stones are set in mosaic style, touching stone-to-stone, and secured with a silver bezel around the outside.

handmade jewelry
Multicolor Mosaic Inlay Necklace
Santa Fe artist, Juan Velasco, designed this unique sterling silver and multicolor mosaic inlay necklace. Each piece is entirely handmade, from the bold sterling borders to the perfectly matching hinges. Every link is then inlaid with tiny pieces of Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Sugilite Coral, Spiny Oyster Shell, and Mother of Pearl
that fit perfectly together to form a mosaic of color. Because each necklace is handmade, each one is a one of a kind piece. This necklace is approximately 17 inches long, but can be ordered longer or shorter to suit your preference.

These people are true artisans, who take a hunk of metal, a shell, and an uncut gemstone and craft that into a truly unique piece of wearable art. Now to me, that's jewelry making. And it's not only religious symbols and blanket designs. Some Native American jewelry is quite contemporary.

Native American jewelry
Zuni Sterling Silver Handmade Pendant
by Duran Gasper
This pendant features beautiful inlay of Coral, Mother of Pearl, Jet, and Opal. 1 3/8" Tall with bail, 5/8" wide