As a collector of Native American jewelry, being able to differentiate between authentic and reproduction pieces is important. Knowing the difference can be challenging, but learning is necessary if you want to build up your collection. To help ensure your collection is authentic, here are some tips to remember while shopping.
Research the Tribes
Jewelry stylings will differ from tribe to tribe. If you are searching for pieces from a tribe, take the time to research the tribe and its jewelry making. The more you know about features, such as the characteristics or special markings, the likelier it is that you will be able to spot pieces that are authentic.
During your research, pay attention to the types of metals that the tribe used. While most tribes use silver, there are some that use other metal types.
You also should research the artists within each tribe in which you are interested. The artists tended to use specific markings as signatures to help with identifying their work. You can likely find a book with the markings of popular artists that you can use during your shopping.
Ask About Stone Treatment
Some stones are treated by the seller or jewelry maker. In some instances, the treatment is not permanent. The treatment can sometimes have an impact on the jewelry's value. Before buying, you need to know whether a stone has been treated, how it was treated, and if there are special care requirements. The treatment can sometimes be used to spot a reproduction piece.
For instance, dyeing a turquoise stone could be an attempt to make a lower-grade stone appear to be more valuable than it is. The treatment could indicate that the stone is a reproduction and not necessarily the authentic piece it is being marketed as.
Keep in mind that the jeweler is obligated by federal guidelines to disclose whether a stone has been treated. Ask for a certification that states exactly how it has been treated. If you question the authenticity of a stone and discover it is not real, you can use the certification to help make the case that the dealer intentionally misled you about the stone.
Once you find a dealer you trust, work with him or her to build your collection. Keep records of all your purchases for your own records. If you need to prove the authenticity of your collection later, the records can help.
To find Native American jewelry for sale, contact companies like Turquoise Skies.
I have always been someone who loves to look great for work, but about six months ago I was surprised when a coworker pulled me aside. She talked with me about how loud my jewelry was looking, and she explained that more than a few clients had complained about it. I realized that she was right, so I started looking for classier pieces of jewelry that very day. It was incredible to see how big of a difference a few small shopping trips made. Check out this blog for great information about choosing beautiful, simple jewelry that you will love forever.