Zuni Petit Point Jewelry

Zuni Petit Point Jewelry

Zuni Native American jewelry is some of the most famous Native American jewelry worldwide. Zuni Petit Point jewelry or Zuni Petite Point Jewelry is some of the jewelry that made the Zuni Indians famous jewelers. Zuni Indians are known for their intricate work and attention to detail, Zuni Petit Point Jewelry is definately a good example of this.

Indians in the Southwest who are especially known for their jewelry are the Zuni, Hopi, and Navajo peoples. The Zuni are known for their very intricate stonework and almost never do plain silver jewelry. The most traditional Zuni style of jewelry is called petit point, which can be identified by tiny turquoise stones each supported in its own bezel, or metal “sleeve.” It is extremely time-consuming work and is very delicate in appearance. The Zunis are known for using sterling silver and natural turquoise from the Sleeping Beauty Mine. The work is priced by the amount of handiwork, not the weight of the silver or the value of the turquoise.

Zuni Petit Point Jewelry

Antique Zuni Petit Point Jewelry

Zuni Petit point Jewelry began around 1920-1930 and was a unique form of Turquoise Jewelry created by  the Zuni Indians. A Petit Point stone is a tiny round, oval, rectangle, pear or square shaped stone  hand cut by a Zuni Indian Lapidarist. Zuni Petit Point Jewelry is unique  to the Zuni Indian Artisans and not made anywhere else in the world. It is special Jewelry that is  impressive wearable art.  The Zuni’s make Petit Point Rings, Earrings,  Bracelets, Pendants, Necklace Sets and more.

Modern Zuni Petit Point Jewelry

The Zuni Indian reservation is along the western of New Mexico near the border of Arizona . The Zuni Indians and their ancestors have been making jewelry for over 1,000 years. The first Zuni Indian to learn to work with silver was Lanyade around 1872  learning from the Navajo.  Many of the designs of Zuni Indian jewelry have not changed over the years.  Zuni Indians are known for their intricate stone cutting: petit point, needle point, inlay and detailed stone carvings known as fetishes.

Needle point -Turquoise cut in long narrow or elongated stones set in delicate bezels is called needle point. Turquoise jewelry with pear shape cut gems is known as petite point. Gems that have been cut and tightly set and inlaid into silver jewelry is known as “inlay”. This is a skill of intricate small stonework especially with pieces with smaller tightly fitting gems and settings.

Petit point – Turquoise or small stones are cut into egg-shape, oval or pear-shape gems set clusters or rows with stones and settings symmetrical.

Inlay – this technique predates European arrival and is small stones or shell cut and set into channels of silver or mosaic inlaid together and set into jewelry. The inlay can be flat, raised, etched or sculpted.

Today Zuni Needle Point or Zuni Petit Point Jewelry is still very popular and Zuni Petit Point Jewelry really hasn’t changed much. Over the years the other styles of Zuni Jewelry has changed a lot, however Zuni Petit Point Jewelry has stayed classic and true to it’s self.


Thank you for reading our brief Turquoise News about Zuni Petit Point Jewelry.