If you live in the Southwest region of the country or you’re simply inspired by its natural presence and strong beauty then you might be looking to buy some Southwest jewelry to enhance your wardrobe. I consider myself a bit of an expert on the subject because I’ve been collecting Southwest jewelry for years now. If you’re new to the world of Southwest jewelry, you might be confused by all the ads and online stores that claim to be the best.
There are some really great stores out there and I even advertise some of the best I’ve found on my site from time-to-time. However, if you’re looking for jewelry at stores or at a tradeshow, you may need to use some techniques to help you pick out some quality pieces.
How to Shop for Quality Southwest Jewelry: Guide
The best tool you can learn is how to identify fake Native American jewelry. This is one of the biggest types of jewelry in the Southwest style and unfortunately, it’s faked quite a lot.
A quick tip is to look at the vendor’s inventory. If they have very similar pieces and sell them every day, more than likely they are not made by real Native American artists. Most artists don’t make the same thing twice, why would they? Each piece should be unique and have a quality feel to it.
The seller should also be able to commit to which tribe made the piece. If they won’t tell you if a piece is Zuni or Navajo, then it’s more than likely a fake. They don’t want to take the risk of you knowing the differences in style between the two tribes.
Another main facet of Southwest jewelry is turquoise. It’s actually pretty easy to spot a fake piece of turquoise. I actually wrote a post a while back that tells you the difference between how some turquoises are treated and what the differences are.
Buying Southwest Jewelry Online
This can be extremely difficult to find places that sell quality pieces. When I first started out buying Native American, turquoise, and Southwest jewelry, I was disappointed on more than one occasion. It took me years to find online stores that I trust and are consistent with their quality. For this reason, I list the sites I trust the most at the bottom of my site, to help people avoid the mistakes I made early on.