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Authenticity of Native American Jewelry
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The authenticity of each jewelry item and artifact that we sell on Horsekeeping.com is confirmed in person by us or by our partners to be Native American made. Otherwise it will not be listed as such.
We deal mainly with Native American Indian artists located in New Mexico and Arizona (the heart of Navajo, Hopi, Santo Domingo, Apache and Zuni country) and South Dakota (Oglala Lakota). In many cases, we purchase directly from the artists themselves. Buying in person allows us not only to confirm authenticity, but also to hand select the finest pieces, the best stones, and to learn interesting details about the people who make the jewelry.
The items in our store are either hallmarked / signed authentic Native American Indian Made pieces OR unsigned / unmarked pieces. Prior to 1950 hallmarks were not commonly used (read about hallmarks.). The unsigned pieces in our "Vintage Shop" are most likely Indian made but by law cannot be listed as such since their exact origin cannot be proven. We will designate authenticity status on each individual item page.
Jewelry that is Native American style but is made by craftsmen that are not Native Americans cannot be called Native American or Indian. Yet it often is! These knockoffs hurt Native American artists and legitimate sellers because of the low prices charged for the fakes.
If authenticity is important to you, buy only from reputable sellers who offer genuine Native American made merchandise. We at Horsekeeping.com describe our authentic Native American made items as "Native American". When an item cannot be authenticated, we will not call it Native American.
The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 states that "it is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian tribe."
Every item we offer as Native American made is in full compliance with this act.
Certificates of Authenticity. Legally, only the artist who makes a piece can fill out and sign a Certificate of Authenticity (COA). Therefore, for us to send you a generic certificate serves no purpose. Only about a half dozen of the artists that we purchase from provide COAs. Of the rest, many of them sign or put a hallmark on their pieces. Some do not. Buying from reputable sellers is your main assurance that the Native American item you purchase is Native American made.