Buying Authentic and Quality Native Jewelry

Purchase authentic Native American arts and crafts directly from the artist, from galleries or at special shows. Attend functions and festivals that draw Native American artists to them. Talk to them. Learn which artists create pieces that you enjoy and that are authentic with respect to materials and process.  

  • Don't be shy to ask artist questions. Artists welcome you to ask questions about their work.
  • Get some documentation on the item you are purchasing.
  • Know the difference between a handmade piece verses an assembled piece. There's a significant difference in value.


Anyone selling Native American art must disclose the authenticity of what they are selling. Authentic Native American artwork is identified with a trademark of the artist and often with the tribe of they are a member.


The Council for Indigenous Arts and Culture is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization whose purpose is to foster, develop and contribute to the support and understanding of authentic Indian arts, crafts, customs, traditions and cultures.


Know the law. The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-644) is a truth-in-advertising law that prohibits misrepresentation in marketing of Indian arts and crafts products within the United States. If you purchase an art or craft product represented to you as Indian-made, and you learn that it is not, first contact the dealer to request a refund. If the dealer does not respond to your request, you can also contact your local Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and the local District Attorney's office, as you would with any consumer fraud complaint. Second, contact the Indian Arts and Crafts Board with your written complaint regarding violations of the Act.


Other considerations:


  • 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.