So you’ve found a beautiful piece of what’s advertised as ‘Native American jewelry’ but before you purchase, there are a few things you can do to check out its authenticity. These days, there are so many different types of fake pieces on the market. Particularly in the last twenty years, with the spread of popularity and advancements in machine technology, there has been a flood of imitation jewelry made in places like Taiwan and the Philippines that can look strikingly close to the real thing. Read on for some crucial tips on how to differentiate the fake jewelry from the beautiful handcrafted pieces that you’re looking for!
If the piece is perfectly symmetrical, with clear and unwavering lines and uniform stones, then there’s a distinct possibility it’s machine-made. Keep an eye out for clear and even stamped designs which can often show up on the inside of the jewelry and indicate machine stamping. Both Native American and non-Native American artists will normally leave a hallmark stamped on the jewelry of their initials or a symbol. This can also be a valuable way of identifying the artist, time period, content, and other valuable information that will help prove authenticity.
In the US, it’s required by law for pieces made from precious metals weighing more than two grams to be marked as Sterling silver. Sterling silver is the standard silver used in the jewelry making industry, and unless the piece you’re looking at is older or vintage, chances are it will have this stamp. Be wary of items marketed as “German silver” or “Mexican silver” as they often contain little to no real silver metal.
The reality is that genuine, handmade, and authentic Native American jewelry is often on the pricier side. If a piece is mechanically produced out of the country with low labor costs, then the piece itself will be less expensive. Additionally, mass-produced jewelry containing ‘silver’ is often much cheaper because it is not actually verified Sterling silver. All this being said, if the price seems too good to be true, that’s because it’s probably a fake!
If your jewelry is an authentic piece, then chances that the artist or dealer will tell you a bit about its history and context are high! Don’t just look for ‘Native American’ jewelry pieces- do some research and find out what the artist’s tribal affiliation is and where the piece comes from. If you’re met with empty responses, then that is definitely a sign that the piece is not authentic.
If you’re searching for some beautiful and authentic Native American jewelry, then get in touch with us at Palms Trading Company! We have specialists who can provide you with personal shopping services and help outfit you with the perfect piece. Contact us today and let us show you some of the incredible Native American jewelry pieces we have to offer!