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Ensuring Your Ethical Purchase of Authentic Native Jewelry
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How to Ethically Purchase Native Jewelry

When browsing through extensive collections of Native American jewelry, you might wonder if these jewelry designs are culturally appropriate for you to wear and if the practices behind selling these pieces are even ethical. The answer is that it depends on how you go about it and who’s selling those pieces.

At Palms Trading Company, we’re a reputable Native American jewelry shop that values supporting local indigenous tribes and ethical practices. When you buy a beautiful piece from our vast collection, you can rest assured that your purchase helps Native American tribes rather than harming them.

With over 133 years of combined experience dealing with Southwest jewelry, we’ve made some strong connections and partnerships with many indigenous artisans. We want to share those thoughts with you today on how to purchase ethically sourced jewelry, such as what to look for in a company and in the piece itself.

Explaining What Ethically Sourced Native American Jewelry Is

A bold, silver squash blossom necklace or striking native beaded earrings can elevate any outfit from casual to formal. Native American necklaces, earrings, and rings are an excellent addition to any wardrobe because of their unique beauty and rich narrative.

However, when you buy a piece of jewelry or clothing from a different culture, you want to make sure you’re making a purchase decision you feel good about. For Native American jewelry pieces, that means ensuring your jewelry purchase fully supports the artist.

Ethically sourced jewelry depends on 2 main factors–how the company treats the craftsman and the authenticity of the piece.

  • Artist Treatment: Fair collaboration and partnerships are the keys to finding ethical Native American jewelry. Many companies will offer the lowest prices to craftsmen, which allows them to sell cheap jewelry to customers. While cheap jewelry may seem more affordable, the cheaper the piece is, the less the artist is likely to get. Support local Native American artists by purchasing directly from them or from reputable sources that do. Palms Trading Company’s relationships with indigenous artists ensure ethical and fair transactions. We buy our authentic jewelry directly from local Native American artisans at fair prices. We have a solid reputation and a lasting history of supporting indigenous communities. In fact, many artists come into our shops directly to sell their work after hearing about what we do. We’ve built trusting relationships with artists, and because of that, we understand the skills and efforts that go into their pieces. Authentic pieces often come at a higher cost because the price tag accurately reflects the skill, effort, and cultural heritage that goes into creating them. With Palms Trading Company, you can be sure that the craftsmen we partner with are well-treated and respected, unlike other companies who may not take the time to know their artists or offer unfair prices for their beloved jewelry. Our knowledgeable staff can explain where a piece comes from, including their unique story and tribal affiliation. 
  • Authenticity: Local artists from various Southwestern tribes spend time delicately and painstakingly crafting beautiful jewelry pieces. Each tribe has unique, masterful techniques and cultural symbols that they incorporate into their pieces. Whether it be the careful petit point method used in Zuni jewelry or the silver overlay technique used by Hopi tribes, each tribe has its specialty. This means authentic Native American jewelry is more than just breathtaking jewelry pieces–it’s a tangible part of history, culture, and artistry. Each piece tells a unique story, connecting you to the traditions and heritage of indigenous communities. When you wear authentic Native American jewelry, you don’t risk the idea that you may be offending or culturally appropriating indigenous cultures. Native Americans will only sell pieces to shops that they feel culturally comfortable with you wearing. However, all this is true only if you can ensure that your piece is truly genuine. When you buy fake Native American jewelry that’s mass-produced and made by non-Native Americans, you can’t support the practices of Native artists. Be cautious when buying from sources offering jewelry at suspiciously low prices or labeling pieces as “Native American inspired.” These pieces are unlikely to be authentic. By choosing authentic Native jewelry, you become a part of preserving these rich traditions. It’s a respectful way to honor the artists and their craft. Let’s explore how to know if your jewelry piece is truly authentic.

 

Identifying Authentic Native American Jewelry

When looking for genuine hand-crafted jewelry, there are a few things you want to look for.

  • Hallmarks and Stamps: Look for hallmarks or stamps on the jewelry. Native American hallmarks, often the artist’s initials or symbols, provide valuable information about the piece’s origin and authenticity. They prove that a real person made the piece rather than a machine.
  • Materials: Authentic Native American jewelry is typically made from quality materials, such as sterling silver, turquoise, and other semi-precious stones. Examine the quality of the materials. See if they seem easily breakable, scrapeable, or dull.
  • Imperfections: Irregular details don’t necessarily indicate poor craftsmanship. Handmade jewelry often exhibits minor imperfections that serve as unique details that set it apart from mass-produced items. Machine-made pieces and mass-produced jewelry are usually perfectly symmetrical, with uniform stones and smooth lines. Don’t hesitate to ask the seller about the jewelry’s origin, artist, and tribal affiliation when browsing through their Native jewelry gallery. Authentic pieces come with rich stories and details, and the seller should have in-depth knowledge about their jewelry piece.

 

Ready to enhance your wardrobe with authentic Native American jewelry?

Palms Trading Company is the best Native American jewelry store because we care about our relationships with artists and our customers. When shopping for Native jewelry, choose us to ensure you receive genuine pieces from local artists who uphold the traditions and artistry of their communities.

By following ethical guidelines, you not only enhance your personal style but also contribute to preserving a rich cultural heritage and ancient history. Browse through our vast collection to find the perfect piece–we offer the widest selection, from Native American bolo ties to real turquoise necklaces.

Check out our vast selection of genuine Native American jewelry today!

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