A bronze necklace with a turquoise stone on it.


The Jewelry Collection

Jewelry from Diné (Navajo), Zuni and Hopi artists are well represented in the Heard Museum’s collection. The collection also contains impressive works from the Rio Grande pueblos. In recent decades, jewelers have explored precious and semi-precious stones from around the world, along with gold—materials outside of the silver, turquoise and shell that defined Southwestern Indian jewelry for much of the 20th century.

Diné jewelry represents a mastery of silverwork combined with dramatic stones from the many varieties of turquoise. Many traditional forms from the 20th century, such as the squash blossom necklace, band bracelet and concha belt, have a classic style and are widely appreciated today.

The distinctively styled Hopi jewelry utilizes the overlay technique, or the cutting of designs into a silver sheet that is placed on top of a solid silver backing. The cut-out area is oxidized to blacken and accent the design. Today, jewelers from any culture may choose to use this technique.

Zuni jewelry’s most striking feature is its intricate lapidary work. Artists painstakingly manipulate pieces of turquoise, jet, coral and shell into complex mosaic patterns, delicate needlepoint designs and distinctive animal fetish necklaces.

Jewelry Collection Highlights

  • A group of silver seed pots with designs on them.
    Norbert Peshlakai, Diné, b. 1953, Silver seed pots, 1980s-1990s. Gift of Norman L. Sandfield, 4426-70, 4450-1, 9, 18, 35, 38
  • A wooden and turquoise pendant shaped like a figure.
    Charles Loloma, Hopi, 1921-1991, Pendant, 1970. Heard Museum purchase, NA-SW-Ho-J-4
  • A silver belt with brown stones on it.
    Artist once known, Diné, Concho belt, c. 1880. Fred Harvey Fine Arts Collection, 1051S
  • A turquoise and silver figurine of a covered wagon and two oxen.
    Leekya Deuse and Frank Dishta, Zuni Pueblo, 1889-1966 and 1915-1999, Wagon with oxen, c. 1950. Heard Museum purchase with funds from Museum Endowment, Annette M. Cravens, Dottie Gilpatrick, Dennis and Janis Lyon, and Mr. and Mrs. Jack S. Parker, 4250-1
  • A gold plated bracelet with multicolored stones.
    Jesse Monongye, Diné, b. 1952, Bracelet. Gift of Joseph and Jeanie Harlan, 4220-1
  • An insect brooch with a green body and red wings.
    Liz Wallace, Diné/Washo/Maidu, b. 1975, Brooch, 2008. Heard Museum purchase, 4528-1
  • A colorful gold cuff bracelet with multi colored stones.
    Charles Loloma, Hopi, 1921-1991, Bracelet, 1975. Heard Museum purchase with funds from Museum Endowment, Mary G. Hamilton, Dennis and Janis Lyon, Carol Ann Mackay and Mareen Nichols, 4274-1
  • A silver necklace with turquoise stones.
    Artist once known, Diné, Necklace, c. 1885. Heard Museum purchase, NA-SW-Na-J-55
  • A necklace with turquoise, orange and black beads.
    Leekya Deuse, Zuni Pueblo, 1889-1966, Necklace, 1926. Gift of Mr. C.G. Wallace, NA-SW-Zu-J-277
  • A brown belt with a large number of ornately designed silver medallions on it.
    Norbert Peshlakai, Diné, b. 1953, Mr. and Mrs. Slim Cowboy Nature Walk, 2017. Gift of the Heard Museum Council, 4894-1
  • A silver cuff bracelet with designs on it.
    Perry Shorty, Diné, b. 1964, Bracelet, 2021. Gift of Drs. William G. and Kathleen L. Howard, 4986-1

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