All of the Native American jewelry that we sell is AUTHENTIC and handcrafted or handmade by Native American artists here in the U.S.A. We do not sell copies or knock-offs from foreign countries. We purchase most new items either directly from the artist or from a reputable dealer who represents the artist. Most new items come with an Authenticity Card stating the artist's name and tribal affiliation. The pawn items are purchased by us, in person, from reputable Southwestern pawn shops with whom we have dealt for many years. Most of the vintage pieces are obtained from friends of our family who run a well-respected Western and Native American Art auction house in New Mexico.
Our family has dealt in Native American and other antiquities for over 95 years, and we have specialized in Indian Jewelry for the last 30 years. We are in full compliance with the US Dept. of the Interior American Indian Arts & Crafts Act of 1990. We have been a proud member of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association (IACA) since 2008. This insures the authenticity of the jewelry we sell and protects your investment.
In many cases the earlier Native American jewelry was not marked for silver content or maker. We test all such jewelry for silver content and we only sell jewelry that is coin silver (.900/90%) or sterling silver (.925/92.5%).
If we can not determine with certainty that an unsigned vintage jewelry item was made by a Native American artist, we list it in the Vintage Southwestern Jewelry category. We sell a limited number of Mexican jewelry pieces and jewelry made by non-Native artists and this jewelry is sold in the Non-Indian Made Jewelry category.
All gemstones used in our new Native American jewelry are genuine. The turquoise is either natural or stabilized. Natural turquoise is listed as natural. If the description does not say "natural" then the turquoise is most likely stabilized. The majority of the turquoise on the market today is stabilized. Stabilized turquoise is not "BAD" and it is still genuine turquoise. Stabilization prevents the turquoise from staining, fading, changing color or breaking and makes it impervious to body oils, lotions and other beauty products. The pores of the stone have been filled with a clear resin that makes the stone more usable. If this type of turquoise was not on the market, many jewelry artisans would not be employed and turquoise jewelry would be outrageously expensive. Most turquoise heishi is stabilized. It is not practical to use a high-grade natural stone for heishi because too much turquoise is wasted in the grinding and the resultant beads will be fragile and will eventually change color as well.
We are a member of the I.A.C.A., the industry's premier trade organization, and have been a member since 2008 The following information was taken from the IACA website.
“The Indian Arts and Crafts Association was established in 1974 in response to the growing problem of misrepresentation of American Indian arts and crafts in the marketplace. Today, IACA is an international organization representing every link in American Indian arts – Native artists from the U.S. and Canada, along with consumers, retailers, wholesalers, museums, government agencies, suppliers and supporting members.
In the early 1970s, the American Indian arts and crafts industry was booming. And, as so often happens with successful businesses, unscrupulous dealers, knockoffs and imported goods appeared in the market to the detriment of the unsuspecting consumer and respectable artists, wholesalers and retailers. Realizing that if these conditions were to continue, the buying public would soon lose confidence in the intrinsic value of American Indian products, these individuals banded together and founded the "Indian Arts and Crafts Association".
The IACA Mission statement is "to promote, preserve and protect authentic American Indian arts and crafts". IACA's work to support the effective protection, ethical promotion of authentic Native American art, and preservation of material culture has helped to instill confidence in the consumer marketplace.”