JEW­ELRY BUY­ING TIPS

Native American Art - - GUIDE TO MARKET -

» 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.

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