Buying Authentic Native American Jewelry

Authentic southwestern Native American jewelry is very precious to the native cultures of the United States and the artists work very hard to create these beautiful masterpieces. The Native American jewelry industry has become very popular in these modern times. Along with popularity comes those who try to exploit the industry for profit, it is important to be aware of this and how misrepresentations can be avoided. It is exceedingly important if you are looking to buy jewelry, so that you may acquire valuable authentic items of jewelry as well as help preserve this fragile industry. So before you buy, invest some time in researching the ins and outs of this market and what it has to offer.

One of the first steps is to educate your self about what exactly southwestern Native American jewelry is and what it looks like. Check out the different styles of the different tribes and learn what these authentic pieces are supposed to look like. The Authentic Native American Jewelry Guide in this site is dedicated to helping you with this first step, for further research and information on this subject check out live pieces in museums or reputable sellers if they are available. Check the pieces for hallmarks, which are the artist’s stamp engraved in the silver. There are books available that list many popular artists’ signature stamps. We also have a collection of hallmarks for you to see on this site.

Learn about all the different materials that can buy used to create Native American jewelry. A great range of value and quality of the jewelry can be determined by the materials that are used to make the jewelry. For example, the two main components to be studied are silver and turquoise. Sterling silver is the most prized and valuable, but other forms of silver such as coin silver, nickel silver, and Fine silver can also be found in Native jewelry. These other types of silver change the piece’s value due to the percentage of true silver in the compound, the source of the silver, or the silver’s color. Turquoise is measured by its rarity and naturalness. Turquoise that has been mined and has not undergone elaborate processing is the most valuable stone. Turquoise that has been mined in chalk form and has been restructured with chemicals and dyes is more common and less valuable. Some turquoise mines produce more valuable stones. We have created a visual turquoise mine guide to help you identify some of the high-grade turquoise.  Some very cheap forms of turquoise can be made of more plastic and resins than actual mined stone. Any gemstone or shell used in crafting jewelry has its range of value that can be more carefully examined.

Investigate what frauds are doing to swindle consumers, so that you don’t fall for the same scam. It would be pretty embarrassing to find out that your one hundred dollars turquoise bracelet later chipped to reveal a white plastic undercoat. It is key to purchase jewelry from established reputable dealers. If the company you are buying from has a priority in pitching you the best price and it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. These companies sell machine-made items made with cheap materials and pass them off as high quality. A trained eye can easily pick up on these cons, but it is very hard to tell from internet pictures alone. More reputable dealers will likely want to inform and educate their buyers about the products they are selling. A good dealer with authentic products is not scared of an educated buyer. Several nonprofit and government native organizations have been established in order to protect and preserve the Native American Arts and Crafts. For further information, here are a few links to the tools we have to offer…

Authentic Native American Jewelry Guides

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If you think that you are going to be buying Native American Jewelry online there are a few things that will make the shopping experience as accurate and enjoyable as possible.  Here at Turquoise Skies, we would like everyone to be happy with their purchases by knowing that everything we sell is authentic and handmade by Native American artists. We strive to make sure the jewelry is accurately described, however not all online sellers will have the same respect. Before you get started, evaluate your ideal purchase and be sure to evaluate the seller or shop you are purchasing from.  It is also important to educate yourself so some of the qualities of handmade Native American Jewelry and how if differs from mainstream mass produced jewelry.  We feel that there are a few key questions to ask yourself before buying.

Before you Buy

Who are you buying for?

Are you buying a piece for yourself? Or is it going to be a gift for someone else? Jewelry is a direct reflection of personal taste and style. Buying the right piece of jewelry begins with knowing the person that is going to be wearing it.

What size?

Much like a good pair of shoes, a piece of jewelry needs to fit its wearer. Generally, this really depends on the type of jewelry as necklaces and earrings are one size fits most, other items such as bracelets and rings can be more specific in the owner’s size.

When you are Shopping

What determines price?

The amount of money you are expecting to pay for the jewelry depends on many factors. The purity and rarity of the materials used to create the piece are huge factors. A small gemstone can range from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on what type of stone it is. Is the jewelry machine made or handmade? Who was the artist that made it and what technique was used in its creation?

Is the jewelry authentic?

The Native American jewelry industry has become very popular in these modern times. Along with the popularity come those who try to exploit the industry for profit, it is important to be aware of this and how misrepresentations can be avoided. Only buy from reputable dealers and take the time to research the industry.

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