Authenticity of Native American Jewelry


The authenticity of each jewelry item and artifact that we sell on is confirmed in person by us or by our partners to be Native American made. We deal mainly with Native American Indian artists located in New Mexico and Arizona (the heart of Navajo, Hopi, Santo Domingo and Zuni country) and South Dakota (Oglala Lakota).

Grandmother Pin by Justin Wilson, Zuni

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.


Pilot Mountain Turquoise Sterling Silver Bracelet by Navajo Donovan Cadman

Gift shops and the Internet are experiencing a great increase in items being misrepresented as Native American jewelry. Jewelry that “looks Indian” but is made in China or the Philippines is NOT Native American made and legally cannot be called Native American. Yet it often is! These imported knockoffs hurt legitimate sellers and Native American craftspeople who are being forced out of the jewelry business because of the low prices charged for the fakes.


10 Strand Heishi Necklace by Janice Tenorio, Santo Domingo

If authenticity is important to you, buy only from reputable sellers who offer genuine Native American made merchandise. We at only sell 100% authentic Native American made items where it says Native American on the website. When something is NOT Native American made, we make sure you know that by calling it a Reproduction or putting it in our non-Native American section called the Bargain Barn.

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 section is in full compliance with this act.


Catlinite Buffalo Pipe by Alan Monroe, Oglala Lakota

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 direct from the artist or from reputable sellers is your main assurance that the Native American item you purchase is Native American made.


Horse Spirit Medicine Bag by Cynthia Whitehawk, Apache


2 thoughts on “Authenticity of Native American Jewelry

  1. Pingback: Native American Jewelry Authentication Resources – Buyer Beware | Native American Jewelry Tips

  2. I purchased some pieces from a seller without authenticity certificates.
    Paid $1500 for 4 squash blossom necklaces.
    How can i find out if they are real after the fact. This was my first purchase and i didnt know they had to have a certificate.

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