What's Your Jewelry Worth?
Your old Native American jewelry is not just scrap silver!
Many gold buyers and pawn shops have little knowledge about Native American jewelry, and often "scrap" the jewelry for the silver content. What a shame!
On the other hand, we love and appreciate Native American jewelry, and understand its value. We are located in New Mexico and have a strong network of wholesale buyers and retail shops that purchase the jewelry from us.
HOW VALUE IS DETERMINED
AGE/ERA: Items that are pre-1960's fetch a premium over contemporary jewelry because they were made in smaller quantities. Mass production in factories and workshops began in the 1970's when Indian jewelry became very popular.
CONDITION: As with anything, items that are in good condition are worth more. Damage of any kind (especially cracks in silver or stones) will lower the value. Badly damaged items are often too costly to repair, and as such may only be worth their silver scrap value. Tarnish or discoloration from age is OK and does not lower the value. In fact, the tarnish may increase its potential antique/vintage value—so do NOT polish older items.
ARTIST: There are a number of famous artists that are highly collectible. Oftentimes pieces will not be stamped by the artist—and that’s OK. Artists rarely stamped their pieces prior to 1960.
GEMSTONES (if applicable): Rare turquoise, high quality coral, and some others are much more valuable than black onyx, mother-of-pearl, pink shell, etc.
SIZE & WEIGHT: Obviously a large, heavy necklace will likely be worth more than a ring in terms of silver content.
DEMAND: Some items, such as watch bands, are in very low demand and therefore less valuable.
WHAT WE PAY: We generally pay close to wholesale value, which is MUCH more than the pure silver scrap value that many gold buyers pay. It is, however, still considerably less than the full retail value.
Indeed, we often hear things like, "I paid $1,000 for my squash blossom." Unfortunately, that was the RETAIL price paid -- which included a huge retail profit markup for the jewelry store. The wholesale value would only be around $200-$400.