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Do We Buy Used Native American Jewelry?

"Please read this entire article to see the big picture about selling your used Native American jewelry to us. To go directly to the how-to instructions, click here:
The Buying and Selling Process."
- Paula

Hello Paula,

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

I am passionate about Native American jewelry and would love to find a new home for some of the items you wish to sell. We generally do not purchase baskets, pottery, or artwork. But, we do purchase Native American fetish carvings and Native American jewelry for our Internet Vintage Shop. Please read this entire article to understand a little bit more about older Native American jewelry and our buying process.

Navajo pawn turquoise naja squash blossom necklaceWhat Do I Do with My Wife’s 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.

Factors that Affect Value of Native American Jewelry - Navajo pawn turquoise bear claw braceletLike other goods, Native American jewelry value is based on certain criteria. These include:

  • Authenticity
  • Documentation
  • Hallmarks
  • The artist’s reputation
  • The scarcity of the artist’s work
  • The age of the piece
  • The quality of workmanship
  • The condition (see specifics below)
  • The weight of sterling silver and gold used
  • The quality and size of the stones used
  • The overall aesthetics of the piece.

Patina, 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.

Navajo pawn turquoise watchBefore 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.

Establishing Value -

Read this article to help you establish RETAIL value of your items. We purchase at wholesale.

"How to Determine the Value of your Item using eBay SOLD Feature"

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!

In 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.

Have 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?"

Don't 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.

Basic Guidelines

  • We buy only Native American made jewelry.
  • We do not purchase costume jewelry, Native American style jewelry or southwest style jewelry that is not Native American made. Just because it looks "Indian" doesn't mean it was made by a Native American artist.
  • We do not purchase imported jewelry that copies Native American style.
  • We do not purchase jewelry made in Mexico.
  • We do not purchase Native American rugs, pottery, or paintings.
  • We do 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.

The 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 this (it is important to type this correctly so that the email goes to the right place):


In the body of the e-mail, briefly list the Native American jewelry that you want to sell. We are much more likely to buy lots, groups or entire collections rather than single pieces.

Helpful details include:

  • Hallmarks
  • Sizes of bracelets or rings
  • Weights

DO NOT SEND UNSOLICITED PHOTOS - the email will go to SPAM and we will not see it.

B. If your collection sounds interesting, we will ask for one or two group photos and your asking price. If you send more than a few photos, your e-mail could go to spam. When establishing your asking price, refer to the article above and remember, we purchase at wholesale, not retail prices.
What is a group photo? It is simply laying 20-30 items, for example, out on a table and taking one photo showing the entire group.

Attach the group photos to the email rather than inserting 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. Please do not send each photo in a separate e-mail - that could also send your e-mails to spam.

C. When you send requested photos and your asking price, repeat the subject line in you email:



D. If the items look like something that would be of interest to us and are within our budget, follow this procedure:

  1. The seller ships to us at their expense via US Post Office:

    - the collection, carefully wrapped and insured
    - a list of the contents enclosed, signed and dated stating "I am the owner of this collection and I have the legal authority to sell it."

    "I am often asked the best way to send items to us. We suggest Priority Mail with insurance and signature confirmation." Paula

    Ship to:
         Horsekeeping LLC
         PO Box 140
         Livermore CO 80536

    Do not send any jewelry without contacting us first Ė read this article.

  2. Upon arrival, we closely inspect each item, research the documentation or hallmarks, and assign a value to each piece.

  3. We make an offer on the collection.

  4. If the offer is accepted, we pay promptly via PayPal or check, your choice.

    Note that if you choose payment by PayPal, depending upon the type of PayPal account you have, PayPal might deduct a fee from your payment in order for you to receive the money.

  5. If the offer would be rejected, we would ship the lot back to the seller, insured and at the seller’s expense.

Because of 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.

Contact 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."

Native American Jewelry Blog tips and iinformationCustomer Comments

"Thank you for the check. It has been a pleasure working with you on this transaction! You made the disposition of my husbandís jewelry rather painless." - S.P.
"We have an agreement at $1050. A check can be made out in my name and mailed to my adddress You've been great to work with. I must say the ease of the entire process was amazing." - K
"I sincerely want to thank Paula for the handling of my turquoise jewelry. She is very knowledgeable, patient with all my questions, and responded quickly. The transaction was nice and easy. I definitely recommend Horsekeeping." - C
"I got the payment - thank you! I'm glad they are going to a good home you guys were great!" - LH
"I have received your check. Thank you for the appraisal notes. It was a pleasure doing business with you! " - e
"I received my check yesterday. Thank you so much for the quick process. I read all your reviews and they were right !! Very professional and prompt." - MV
"Hi, Paula I received your check today,thank-you. I'm very pleased how all this went. I thank-you for exceptional response time and feel very good that my Indian jewelry will still be honored as it should.Thank-you for being honest." - L
"When I was little, I would visit my grandmother in Arizona, and together we would discover and purchase Native American jewelry and spend other quality time together. Now that I am older, some of this jewelry no longer fits me and there are some pieces I no longer wear. I wanted to possibly sell but definitely pass on my jewelry to another person who would appreciate it and give it a good home. I did not know where to begin, but with a little web searching I found Paula at I followed her instructions for selling my jewelry to the letter, and after receiving my jewelry, Paula offered me a more than fair price for my small collection of jewelry. I also feel really good in the knowledge that my jewelry will go to someone who will enjoy it and give it a second chance - a new forever home. My grandmother would be so happy to know this. Thank you Paula and for a very thoughtful and positive excellent transaction! - J
"I just wanted to send you a message confirming receipt and deposit of the check. Let me also say it has been a pleasure working with you during this transaction. I've been greatly impressed with this whole process - I can certainly tell you are very knowledgeable about Native American jewelry, and I'm pleased to have discovered that you operate your business with efficiency and integrity. Though I do not know of anyone who currently needs to buy or sell jewelry, I will certainly refer any such individuals to you in the future. Thank you again for your excellent service, and I hope you had a lovely holiday season." - LW
"First and foremost 'thank you Paula for your help'. You were wonderful to work with especially for me being a true novice in American Indian jewelry. It was such a pleasure working with someone with so much knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge with me. As a store owner it's refreshing to see companies with exceptional customer service and your promptness would get a stellar rating in my book. I loved that we agreed on a price and the sale took place with no delays. I know if I ever have any more Amercian Indian jewelry come my way I'll be contacting you first! Again, thank you for everything." - DB
"I accept your offer. A sincere thanks for the professionalism and timeliness of this process. It has been a pleasure." - WH
"It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you. Everything has been concise, up-front and well-defined. As I mentioned earlier, I admire your expertise, as well as your ethics in maintaining such a fine reputation. I highly recommend you personally, as well as your business, to anyone who might inquire." - D
"Thank you for your offer which is more than I expected when I first started this process. It has been a total delight to work with you. Your fairness and honestly shine through even in emails." - PL
"I would like to say, thank you for everything & it was a pleasure doing business w/you. I had looked at doing business w/a couple of other places, but was glad when I found your website. Not only have you guys been in business for a number of years, your track record w/clients shows to be positive in all notes. I found my experience to be everything you said and more. You guys, have put a great deal of time & effort into making your website, user friendly & self explanatory, not only for the buyer, but for the seller & your process. You were diligent, professional & friendly. We remained in contact & you were available anytime throughout each of our transactions. I believe you to be fair & with each transaction, attentiveness to payment was prompt. Thank you again!" - D.
"I had occasion over the last two weeks or so to work with Paula, the manager at in regard to selling some jewelry. She was so easy to work with, answered all of my questions in a timely manner, and really helped educate me as to what I needed to do to sell my jewelry.

I was dreading selling this jewelry, because I thought there would be a lot of time involved, and I am pretty busy. This was basically the easiest task I accomplished all month. I would highly recommend if you are looking to sell jewelry. They are very honest and forthright and I would love to do business with them again."
- MC

"Great doing business with you" - ND"
"We agree to your offer. Thank you for everything." - SR
"It was a pleasure working with you. I learned a lot- maybe more than I wanted sometimes- but this was a uniformly great experience. I admire your knowledge and professionalism- it's quite impressive. Thank you for your patience with me. DR
"I received the payment for the jewelry today in the amount agreed in the email. It was a pleasure doiing business with you. I was confident during the whole transaction even though it was long distance and neither of us knew one another. I was reluctant to let go of the turquoise and silver pieces mother loved for so many years but best to keep them in circulation." - BH
"I just wanted to take a minute to thank you. Recently you purchased a silver and turquoise belt buckle and bolo tie set from me. From beginning to end it was a very good experience! The communication was phenomenal, And you took a possibly difficult situation of trying to sell an item that I didnít have a market for, and simplified it completely! I feel like I was treated very fairly with your offer, and your professionalism and knowledge is superb! I will MOST DEFINITELY conduct business with you again if the opportunity ever presents itself. THANK YOU. - " CW
"It was great working with Paula and Horsekeeping. Honesty and integrity abound!" - RC
"From start to finish, working with Paula was wonderful! She was very responsive, explained the process and set expectations. In addition, I'm very pleased with the value of the jewelry. I would absolutely recommend using Paula's services!" - AM
"Paula is very professional. It was a pleasure working with her to sell some of my Native American pieces. She was very responsive, which allowed the process to move along quickly. It was easy to come to an agreement on price and the check arrived in a timely fashion. I would not hesitate to work with Paula again and would recommend Horsekeeping to others." - TL
"Your check arrived safe and sound, and once again thank you for sending it out so quickly! You provide the best customer service ever and I really appreciate it!" - AB
"Everyone at horsekeeping, Thanks again for the prompt and accurate appraisal. It was a pleasure doing business again." - M. S.
"My check for the jewelry arrived today! Thanks so much for everything! I sold a lot of my Native American jewelry, and I could not have been more pleased with the customer service I received from Paula. She gave me such a fair price for my jewelry, and she sent my check to me immediately! - Also, she answered my emails in a very timely manner, and was extremely friendly and pleasant! Thank you so much for everything!" - LS
"Thank you so much for being available [Do We Buy Jewelry?] for this kind of stuff (my late mother-in-law's collection). We had no idea what to do with it, but an internet search helped us out." - JT
"I cannot be more satisfied with my communication and transaction with Paula at The instruction steps were easy to follow. I sold a complete Mother of Pearl Squash Blossom set. Donít be fooled by the extravagant prices listed on eBay for your jewelry. Paula will provide you a realistic and fair price. I wanted to sell my magnificent set because I no longer wear it. I didnít want to Ďmeltí it down. Beauty like this requires another journey with someone who will fully appreciate it. I trusted Paula with all these things from our first correspondence. If you have items to sell to you can trust them with integrity and sound business practices." - S
"I want to thank you again for the absolutely wonderful customer service you provided me when I decided to sell my Native American jewelry. I must admit I was a bit nervous in the beginning, however, after reading the numerous positive comments on your web site and several communications with you, I became quite comfortable with the process and knew I would be treated fairly. I believe your company is one that deals in integrity and honesty and it was a genuine pleasure to communicate with you." - M
"Thank you again Paula for everything. I am very happy that we could come to an agreement on the necklace. After reading your reviews, I didn't hesitate to send you a valuable piece without any question. You proved to me your integrity and provided a smooth transaction. You have world-class customer service and are so very kind. I hope that we will be able to work again in the future, it has been a pleasure." - Tarek
"I can see why you were recommended to me concerning my [bear claw] necklace. You are very, very thorough! I believe you are trustworthy and I will take your offer as fair so that the necklace is yours. I know if [you find] they are real bear claws, you will send me another payment. Thanks so much for taking the time and making the effort and being fair and honest.

"Received the second payment and the transaction is done and the necklace is yours. Thank you again for your help, honesty and fairness in working with me." - Deb

"My check arrived in the mail today! Thank you so much!! You have been great to do business with! I appreciate you sending the money out so quickly, and for also answering my emails in a very timely manner!" - A
"I received the check today and thank you. It has been a pleasure working with you." - PN
"Thank you and I really wasn't sure about any of the items. You sent a nice informant letter about them. If you would like to send a check to me for the items that would be fine. I do not know how to use PayPal. Thank you again for sorting thru the jewelry. You were very good to work with." - P
"I wanted to sell a Navajo Pearl necklace I no longer wore and contacted Paula at Horsekeeping LLC. She responded right away and sent me the protocol to follow for sending a picture and then the necklace itself. She offered me my asking price for the necklace and promptly sent me payment. I was so happy I contacted her. Paula commented that they were fair in their offers, and I found this to be true. And I was particularly pleased with how prompt, friendly and professional she was. Thank you."
"I am beyond satisfied with the professionalism of Paula and Paula's ongoing communication and expertise is unmatched and I couldn't be happier with the result- the sale of my mother's entire collection of Indian Jewelry. The process of sending the collection, Paula's confirmation of receipt of the packages and the offering of a quote to purchase was seamless. I would highly recommend buying or selling with their company as they are honest and completely trustworthy." - A
"I can't say enough good things about my satisfaction with your company. I didn't know a thing about your business when I made contact and asked if you were interested in buying my collection of turquoise jewelry. But after making contact with your helpful staff, I felt at ease to send the items to you for consideration. I suggested a price that I thought was "workable" for both of us - and you agreed! I would recommend Horsekeeping.Com to anyone who's searching the Internet for a trustworthy buyer for turquoise jewelry. The process is fast and worry-free! - J
"I accept your offer. This evaluation (of my pawn jewelry lot) is wonderfully thorough. No wonder you have so many happy customers! Thanks!" - D
"I had a great experience with Paula from Horsekeeping. She worked with me quickly and professionally to evaluate my items and paid me right away for them. Now they are on their way to happy homes! I would highly recommend working with Horsekeeping for buying and selling Native American jewelry." - J
"Regarding vintage jewelry lot [you recently purchased from me]: Honest appraisal and deep passion for their work! A wonderful and knowledgeable experience. Service was : fast, reliable and integrity was excellent! My items will now enrich and reward someone else's life." - K
"Yes, all went well (with selling you my jewelry collection). Thanks for following up. You have been ever so nice." - J
"Thank you for the offer on my jewelry. I accept it. It's been a pleasure dealing with you." - P

See More Customer Comments


The Horsekeeping Vintage Shop

For your convenience, we have divided our Vintage Shop into two sections:

Vintage Shop      and      Bargain Barn


The items in our Vintage Shop section are pieces that have been previously owned. Many of these pieces have signs of wear and use such patina to the silver and gold.

Some of the items are dead pawn from pawn shops located in the southwest United States where Native Americans live. Often, Native Americans convert their jewelry into income for expenses or emergencies. Most pawned items are redeemed by the owner before the expiration date. In the few cases where the pawn is not retrieved, it becomes dead pawn and the pawn broker has a legal right to sell the merchandise to recoup the money that was paid to the Native American artist.

Vintage items that we know are NOT Native American and those whose origin we can't authenticate are in our Bargain Barn.

For new items visit our New Jewelry Store.

Vintage Shop
Bargain Barn
Horse head bolo tie
Vintage Turquoise Bracelet
Turquoise peacock pin
spiny oyster shell necklace

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