I have a lot of very old
Native American jewelry, in these difficult economic times I feel I might need
to sell some of them even though it breaks my heart. I would not ever have thought
I would contact someone about these. I also have a huge collection of baskets,
carvings, and original artist's drawings & paintings. The jewelry is: one very
large turquoise stone bracelet over 150 years old, a necklace on string that has
large chunks of turquoise separated by black tubes of a stone the turquoise gets
smaller as it gets closer to your neck, handmade silver beads held together with
old silver chain, many other sets of Indian jewelry, rings, and bracelets from
the 1960- to 1979ish times. Are you interested in the newer pieces from the 60-late
70's? Thank you for your time. J
am passionate about Native American jewelry and would love to find a new home
for the items you wish to sell. So, yes, we do buy used Native American jewelry
for our Internet Pawn
Shop, but please read this entire article to understand a little bit more
about older Native American jewelry and the buying and selling process.
Do I Do with My Wifes Jewelry? - We are often
contacted by people who either have inherited a relative's collection or who have
been collectors themselves and need to downsize. In both cases, often a person's
perception of the value of an item or a collection is influenced by their emotions
and what they "feel"Ě something is worth. In the case of a widower dispersing
his wife's jewelry, it is easy to see that there could be emotional attachment
to the pieces. And if a collector has certain memories associated with a piece,
that piece is worth more to that person because of the emotional element.
that Affect Value of Native American Jewelry - Like
other goods, Native American jewelry value is based on certain criteria. These
The artists reputation
- The scarcity of the
- The age of the piece
The quality of workmanship
- The condition (see specifics
- The weight of sterling silver and gold
- The quality and size of the stones used
The overall aesthetics of the piece.
the tarnish that forms on sterling silver, is not a problem, in fact, to many
collectors it is an asset. So before you sell vintage pieces or get them appraised,
do not clean them up !
Cracks, broken stones, missing
stones, loose stones, misshapen bracelets, missing fasteners and bent pieces are
a different story they all decrease the value of the piece. Repair of vintage
Native American jewelry is an art. To replace a stone in an inlay bracelet or
a squash blossom necklace from the 1940s and have it "blend" is
difficult to do. As we appraise a damaged piece, we have to factor in whether
it CAN be repaired and the repair costs.
you offer a piece for sale, inspect it carefully with a magnifying glass for missing
pieces, cracks, chips, and other defects. In the majority of lots we have purchased,
although all might be said to be in undamaged condition, there are always a few
pieces that have one piece of inlay missing or a couple of broken or replaced
stones in a turquoise necklace or other such things. We assume they were just
missed by the seller but the fact that they are damaged usually means that we
value them very low or at zero when making an offer.
Value - Quite often a seller will contact us after they have taken the collection
to a pawn shop or a precious metals buyer and learned that the only offer they
will get there is scrap price (the value of the meltdown of sterling silver and
gold) for their collection. They are heartbroken at the thought of seeing such
fine and cherished work destroyed. In some cases like that we come to the rescue
and find good homes for pieces in the collection!
other cases, a seller will take their items to a knowledgeable person and learn
that what they thought was sterling silver is not. Or that the items were made
in Mexico or Asia and although they have a Native American look, they are not
authentic Native American Made. Even if the seller does his or her homework, and
in good faith sends what he thinks is a Native American collection, when we receive
it, 20% of the items are either not authentic Native American made or have some
damage that decreases their value. Those items usually go into our Bargain Barn
which is like a garage sale on the internet a place where things go where
the origin is unknown or the item is in rough shape.
you ever watched Pawn Stars? Rick Harrison will call in an expert and that
expert will authenticate a piece and give it a value in front of the seller. "You
have a nice XYZ here and in a collectors auction, it could go for $2000"
so then Rick will turn to the customer and ask, "So what do you want for
it?" and the seller says "How about $2000?" Then we
get Rick's endearing laugh and he says, "How about $500?"
expect to get retail or close to it when you sell a collection or even a single
piece. It just doesn't work that way. As Mike Wolfe often says on American
Pickers, "There has to be some meat left on the bone" for
us to handle the piece and find a buyer.
not do appraisals for estates or insurance purposes. We do not make offers based
on photos. We evaluate items and collections that are sent to us following the
process outlined below. That is how we arrive at an offer.
Buying and Selling Process - In a nutshell, here is
how the process goes:
A. Send us an email to
. In the subject line of the email type
JEWELRY - Your Full Name
In the body of the e-mail,
briefly outline what you have in list form.
of bracelets or rings
NOT SEND UNSOLICITED PHOTOS - the email will
go to SPAM and we will not see it.
B. If it sounds
like something we might be interested in purchasing, we will ask for one or two
group photos and your asking price. Please only send a few photos. We will ask
for more if we need them.
C. When you send requested
photos and your asking price, repeat the subject line
JEWELRY - Your Full Name
Attach the photos to
the email rather than embed them into the email. Make sure each photo has a different
name. If you send 4 photos that have the same name such as image.jpg Paula will
only be able to see one of them.
D. If the items
look like something that would be of interest to us and are within our budget,
follow this procedure:
- The seller ships the collection
to us at their expense, carefully wrapped and insured, and with a list of the
contents enclosed. Ship to:
PO Box 140
Do not send any jewelry without contacting us first Ė read
- Upon arrival, we closely
inspect each item, research the documentation or hallmarks, and assign a value
to each piece.
- We make an offer on the collection.
the offer is accepted, we pay promptly via PayPal or check.
the offer would be rejected, we would ship the lot back to the seller, insured
and at the sellers expense.
the above detailed process and the fact that we offer fair prices, in all the
years we have been doing this, we have come to an agreement with all but one seller
≠ we have only had to return one collection. As they say: a win-win situation.
Tip from Paula:
"Please contact me via e-mail,
, about items you want to
sell. Phone messages will not be answered. We ARE interested in hearing what you
have for sale and ask that you follow our guidelines."