Vintage Zuni Silver Pin Turquoise Jet Shell Stone on Stone Inlay Rainbow Man

  • Tribe: Zuni
  • Condition: Excellent condition with approriate wear. NO damage to shells, stones, or silver. A loop converting the pin into a pendant was removed.
  • Size: 3" x 2-5/8"
  • Artisan: Zuni Master Lapidary
  • Materials: Turquoise, Jet, Spiny Oyster, Clam Shell, Stone-On-Stone Inlay and Sterling Silver
  • Item Weight: 39 Grams / over 1-3/8 Ounces
  • Hallmark: Unmarked as is typical for pieces of this design.


This remarkable vintage Native American handmade turquoise, jet, spiny oyster, clam shell, stone-on-stone inlay and Sterling silver pin was created by a Zuni Pueblo master craftsman. This Zuni lapidary (stone worker) painstakingly cut, shaped and polished at least FORTY-FIVE individual pieces of clam shell, jet, turquoise, and spiny oyster to evoke the image of the semi-divine Rainbow Man. (Zuni cultural norms forbid the depiction of the most important figures in their religion.) Imagine the concentration of time and effort taken by the artist as they ground down these tiny pieces attached to the end of a stick on a fast spinning stone. The individual tesserae form a mosaic showing the great skill of this artist. Of particular note is the arc of jet forming the figures back. And, check out the long narrow piece of jet on the skirt. (The longer the piece, the more likely it is to break!) HOW DID THEY DO IT? It is beyond my comprehension! This description has thus far ignored the silver work, but check it out. Twisted and flattened silver wire! TWENTY-FOUR stamped silver drops! SEVENTEEN bent wires! All on a back measuring 3" x 2-5/8"! AWESOME! Make this ultra-rare pin a center piece of your collection of fine Native American arts.