Zuni jewelry is Native American jewelry that typically features silver and turquoise in it. The jewelry can be bracelets, necklaces, rings or earrings. And the jewelry is often laid out, so there is a distinctive and unique pattern to the silver and turquoise, giving it a unique look. If you are in the market for a new piece, there are a few factors you should consider outside of price and aesthetic. Here are three important factors to consider when you are looking to buy Zuni jewelry:
If the Piece is Authentic and Handmade
One of the key factors to consider before buying is whether the piece is authentic and handmade. Authentic pieces are made by Native American, most notably from the Zuni tribe. These pieces are made by hand. Due to their popularity, many jewelry stores and souvenir shops near the tribe sell Zuni-inspired pieces. These pieces are often made in a factory or warehouse and are not of the same quality. Always make sure you know which you are buying.
If the Jewelry is Sterling Silver or Silver-Plated
Another factor to consider when you are looking to purchase Zuni jewelry is whether the piece you are buying made from sterling silver or if it is silver plated.The majority of authentic Zuni jewelry is made of sterling silver. But, some tribes are making Zuni jewelry using silver-plated metal, especially those pieces that are designed for children. Silver-plated metal is not designed to be worn for an extended period of time. The plating will begin to wear off, and the black color of the metal underneath will show through. If you are looking for a statement piece to wear a handful of times, silver plated may be fine. But if you want a long-lasting piece, look for sterling silver.
How the Turquoise is Placed
The last factor to consider when you are looking to purchase Zuni jewelry is how the turquoise is placed in the jewelry. Turquoise that is inlaid is flat and smooth against the metal. It will not rub or catch on anything. Turquoise that is placed in a setting is raised, much like a diamond that is placed in a ring or necklace setting. There are benefits to both raised turquoise and inlay turquoise. Do your research to find the option that best fits with what you are looking for.
There are many websites and stores that sell Zuni and Zuni-inspired jewelry. Taking the time to consider each of these features will help you determine exactly what you are buying and if it is what you are looking for. Contact a company like Reservation Trading Post of New Mexico for more information and assistance.