I love your blogs and all the insightful information. You’re doing a great job and a great service to those of trying to learn.
So, what does it normally cost to get an item appraised? How do you go about finding a trustworthy appraiser?
Basically, I’m gathering that you should buy what you love and if you’re given something or inherit something and you don’t love it, then find out the price, sell it and move on with life. But certainly, by all means, do not do something silly like buy Native American turquoise jewelry based on the investment idea. Correct?
Thanks. It is a labor of love, so its good to hear it is helpful and appreciated!
First question – how much does it cost to get an item of Native American jewelry appraised? From free to whatever the person charges. And a $200 appraisal does not necessarily mean it is better than a free one. With Native American jewelry, there are few certified appraisers but there are many knowledgeable people who can see quite a number of important details in a few minutes.
Second question – how to find a trustworthy appraiser? That’s a good question and one that I can’t answer with specific names. To find a certified appraiser, you might contact several of your local jewelers and ask for referrals. I typed in “native american jewelry appraiser” in google and there were quite a few interesting leads.
I am not an appraiser but more of an educator, sharing knowledge that I’ve gained from years in the business.
Final Question: Yes, buy what you love and enjoy wearing it. If you are given something that is not you, if it is a modest gift, you can regift it to someone who would appreciate it or if of significant value, sell or trade.
But as far as investment potential, I’d have to say yes and no. For the newer, less expensive pieces, buy them for the joy they bring to own and use and perhaps pass on to someone in your family.
Only if you are in the market for high end contemporary pieces or older, more valuable pieces and you have the knowledge and experience to know the difference between trash and treasures, should you consider Native American jewelry and art as an investment. Native American jewelry that was made in the 60s, 70s and 80s (and certainly before that) was often made with turquoise from mines no longer producing today. The silverwork was totally handmade, so these pieces have a greater value to a collector. There are many people who buy and resell collectible pieces of Native American art such as pottery, baskets, blankets and jewelry. But it is a field, like any other that requires knowledge or an experienced mentor.
I’m going to give you some examples. First using contemporary jewelry. Below is an example of an item that should be purchased for the joy of use, but not as an investment expecting future returns.
In contrast, below is a bracelet that could be purchased, carefully used or put away and then resold in the future for a profit. It is investment quality.
Now moving to used items, first here is an example of an older item that should be purchased to use and enjoy.
And here is a bracelet that has value to a collector so could be purchased as an investment.
If you browse the sold sections of the pawn shop (the bottom of each section page) you will see various pieces that have sold and there is a wide range from user friendly prices to investment quality items.