10 Things to Remember to Avoid Buying Fake Native American Jewelry

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In order to avoid buying fake Native American Jewelry here are some things to watch out for.

 

1.      It is very unlikely to find two pieces that are identical. Especially in the older Pawn jewelry.  In contemporary pieces, the artist usually signs their work.

 

 

 

2.      For new items, the seller should know the origin and be willing to clearly identify the tribe.  A lack of willingness to commit is usually the way for the sellers not to incriminate themselves.

 

 

 

3.      The seller should always be able to provide the details as to where they acquired the item. Watch for contradictory information.

 

 

 

4.      For jewelry that is accompanied by a disclaimer that the item is not made in the United States you can assume then the item is not Native American.  As such they are foreign copies of which is driving down the prices of Native American made jewelry and copying somebody’s cultural heritage for profit.

 

 

 

5.      Remember that silver jewelry that is tarnished is not necessarily old. Tarnish is easy to achieve and is no indication of age.

 

 

 

6.      You should be cautious when you see dealers that seem to have a constant supply of old native American jewelry over a long period of time.  This jewelry is not that common and it is rare for any dealer to have a large supply.

 

 

 

7.      Some dealers sell a few authentic native American jewelry missed in with a larger quantity of fake or imitation jewelry. If some pieces are missing their certificate of authentication, that is a good indication that it is a fake.

 

 

 

8.      Look for .925 stamp on new items. Most Native American silversmiths usually stamp their sterling silver jewelry with a stamp that say “Sterling.”  If it is stamped with .925 it is less like to be Native American.

 

 

 

9.      Turquoise is another area that you must exercise care.  Only about 10% of turquoise on the market today is natural and untreated.  Treated is fine provided the seller identifies the stones as treated.  If a seller seems to have an extremely large supply of natural, untreated turquoise there could be an issue.

 

 

 

10.   Watch for the word “Block” when used to describe turquoise, coral or other gems. The reference to block or man-made turquoise, coral or other gemstones means the stones are imitation.

 

 

 

 

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Category: Featured, Navajo Jewelry, Zuni Jewelry

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