This sterling silver and turquoise petit point necklace arrived in an estate collection that had some museum quality, authentic Native American pieces in it. The woman who had owned the collection had a very good eye and had some amazing vintage Native American pieces she collected over the years. So if one judged this necklace by the company it kept, it would be thought to be Zuni or Navajo made. I showed it to some experienced dealers and collectors who thought it was an exceptional piece. They felt the workmanship was very good.
What do you think?
From the beginning, although it looked very carefully made, it didn’t look Native American to me – it looked like it was made in another country. So I took a close look……………
There were a few elements that I had never seen in a Zuni or Navajo petit point piece before.
If you were fooled, don’t feel bad. A number of very experienced collectors and dealers had looked at this piece and had not suspected it was an import.
It is very rare for an import to have a tag declaring the country of origin like this. Usually you have to be a super sleuth to spot the items that are imported and presented as Native American made. The fraudsters are getting very good at being bad – they copy designs and hallmarks to a T.
Jewelry made in the Philippines, also called Filipino-Made Jewelry, is a severe detriment to the livelihood of authentic Native American artists. In 2015 there was a federal sting operation that identified sellers who were fraudulently presenting imported jewelry as Native American made. You can read about it by clicking the link below.
Keep your eyes and ears open, learn all you can. Buy wisely and enjoy !!