Turquoise is a gemstone that adds stunning beauty to all kinds of jewelry. It traditionally pairs with sterling silver but it also looks appealing with gold and platinum. There are many types of this gemstone which come in a variety of blue and green hues. When shopping for Native American turquoise jewelry, the beauty cannot be denied as authentic, but it is important to make sure the jewelry itself is.
There are distinct hallmarks that indicate a piece of Native American jewelry is genuine. Here are some tips to help you make sure that you are buying real Native American pieces.
Buy from a reputable dealer. You can find them both online and offline. Any dealer that is selling real Native American jewelry will indicate that they are selling it. This is because there is a federal law that requires they use terms like Native American and Indian only if the pieces have been made by members of the recognized tribal nations.
If you go to any dealer a few times and you notice that they are selling the same pieces over and over, that is a sign that the jewelry is being mass produced. Authentic Native American jewelry is not mass produced.
Even if a Native American artist does make several similar pieces, you still want to be careful. The seller should be able to tell you exactly who the artist is or where the piece was made. If they are vague or they cannot answer your questions directly, that is also a sign that the jewelry in question is not real Native American work.
Look for a silversmith’s signature on the piece. If one does not exist, that does not always guarantee the piece is inauthentic, as some artists do not sign their work. If there is any uncertainty make the seller put things in writing.
This is important because there are Indian artists that are such experts in the craft that their work almost does look as symmetrical as machine-made pieces. If you are buying a piece like this it can be very hard, even with experience, to tell if the jewelry is real.
Again, ask the dealer to put something in writing if the piece is being sold as genuine Native American work.
Globalization has also caused problems for the Native American jewelry business. Other countries like Korea, China, or the Philipines have begun producing imitation jewelry. Make certain if you are paying good money for jewelry that it really is Native American turquoise jewelry.
Stones are strong indicators of authenticity. Not all authentic pieces have to be made with natural stones. This is because mines have been closing down, making it harder to come by natural gems. Stabilized or color-treated stones can be acceptable substitutes but make sure to understand before buying anything whether the jewelry has natural or stabilized gems.
These tips will help any buyer purchase authentic jewelry. The first tip for buying authentic jewelry is to remember to buy from a reputable dealer.