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Jewelry made by the Zuni Indians covers a wide variety of styles and designs. However, while it varies greatly, it's basic styling makes it uniquely different than jewelry made in other parts of the world. Although some countries have a lower labor standard than the United States which leads to attempts at copying popular jewelry, the reproduction of Zuni Indian styles in those countries has never been successful on a large scale. The vast number of styles and accessibility of turquoise in the United States makes foreign reproduction almost impossible.
The Zunis spend years developing their jewelry making skill. Each artisan strives to create his own distinctive design which he utilizes in every piece of jewelry he makes, sometimes concentrating on only one piece, but often producing a variety of pieces, each incorporating his original design. It is unrealistic, though, to think that a Zuni craftsman simply creates a design and it becomes an instant success. Public taste and preferences, both in this country and throughout the world, strongly influence the styles of jewelry that are made again. Styles that are sell readily continue to be produced.
The dynamics of the situation are such that the Zuni jewelry maker must search diligently to find and develop styles and designs which posses the broadest possible appeal, yet which can be made fast enough to earn a living. Even after a successful style is found, the designer will occasionally change it in little ways to create a different look. Thus, with more than one hundred years of this refining process, truly unique styles of Zuni jewelry have evolved which are produced only in the United States, and which are recognized throughout the world as being among the finest hand made jewelry ever produced.