JEWELRY BUYING TIPS
» Ask questions about each piece. It keeps you informed and it allows you to talk with the artist about each piece.
» The turquoise mine is everything. Where a piece of turquoise came from, if it is a high-grade stone and the size all determine the value of a piece of turquoise. High-grade Lone Mountain or Lander is going to cost more than an average piece of Kingman, Bisbee or Sleeping Beauty turquoise. So keep this in mind when choosing a piece with a larger turquoise stone.
» But more expensive is not always best. Everyone wants a piece of Lander Blue turquoise, but stones from other mines are just as beautiful and just as treasured. So don’t let yourself get pushed into a corner by one particular kind of stone.
» Turquoise is king, but the other stones bring vibrant color to a piece of jewelry. Find the color or colors you like best and gravitate toward them, whether they are jade, coral, opal, sugilite, lapis, ironwood and many others.
» Don’t see something you like? Ask the artist about commissions.
» Start small. If the huge price tags feel intimidating, then start looking at smaller works with fewer stones. Even at Indian Market affordable entry-level pieces can be found from talented jewelers.
» Ask the artist to try it on. If you’re on the fence about a piece, usually trying it on will nudge you one way or the other.