For all lovers of AUTHENTIC Native jewelry, we have great news! There has been a major wrench thrown into the operation of an alleged counterfeit Native American jewelry ring that operates all over the Southwest United States. Federal agents from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, in conjunction with the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, served 16 search warrants on October 28th, 2015. Three individuals have been charged with marketing and selling imported Filipino jewelry as authentic Navajo and Zuni-made. This is the result of a three-year investigation into a widespread violation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990.
The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 is a federal law that forbids the sale of non-Native made jewelry as authentic. However, this law was rarely enforced and as a result there has been an influx of imported knock-off jewelry into the Southwest. This fake imported jewelry has really hurt authentic Native artists, undercutting their prices and copying their original designs. Now, for the first time, a major federal investigation is enforcing the law and attempting to clamp down on these fakes.
This subject is very important to us here at Turquoise Skies. Our motto is “Keep it Real” and we live by it, only selling jewelry made by authentic Native artisans. In the coming weeks, we will release a series of posts exposing exactly how the counterfeit ring worked to undermine real Native artists. Stay tuned!
More from local NM station KOB Eyewitness News: http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3947630.shtml