Many people are selling their silver and gold
jewelry. You’ll find with precious metals there are different prices that dealers,
refiners & jewelers will throw at you. Here’s an overview:
price: The actual value of the metal
price: The amount a particular
dealer/refiner/jeweler is paying that day
If your piece isn't marked with the gold or
silver content do not assume it isn't real. Many rings have been sized and the
markings were lost in the process (especially if they are vintage). Also just
because a silver piece isn't marked, doesn't mean it isn't sterling. Case in
point: many of the vintage Native American pieces I come across are not signed
or marked in any way. They were made for family members so it wasn't considered
important to stamp them. When they are pawned and aren't picked up by the owner,
the piece is put up for sale, which is why we see so many on the secondary
Here is my advice: Do your homework before
selling to any one! If you have jewelry you want to scrap (perhaps a broken
gold chain for instance) check with local dealers, jewelers and refiners to see
who is paying the most. A fair price is 25-28% of spot. Many of these people pay 10-15%
of spot or less.
calculating the value of your metals: This website is terrific. All you have to do
is enter the weight of your piece; the alloy and the calculator will do the
rest. It will calculate gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
Scales: a 'pocket scale' is fine: make sure it weighs in grams and pennyweights
(DWT): I personally prefer the My Weigh PalmScale
500 but for most purposes you probably don't need to spend $42 on a scale. This is a good place for scales.
Where to buy a jewelers loupe: There is no reason to spend a lot on a loupe.
I like a 30X magnification with a light. Here is one I like.
Best of luck and feel free to send me an email if you have any questions!
Against my will I was forced (by the holiday gift that to be exchanged) into a department store at a mall yesterday. Which, if you knew me is completely out of character. Curiosity got the better of me and I wandered over to the jewelry department. There was a bracelet by a popular designer for $195.00. It was lucite, hinged and had a magnetic clasp. Oh, and a sprinkling of Swarovski crystals imbedded around the bracelet. I'm guessing the bracelet cost (at most) about $30 to make. The price: $195. A similar pair of earrings from the same designer were priced at $145.00. Made where? In China naturally.
Who buys this stuff?
The talent of the Native American artists we work with is amazing. Their pieces are handmade, heirloom quality and made in America. Purchasing these pieces keeps their art alive.
It's not important whether you buy from us or another shop who offers beautiful designs from Native American artists. It is important that we stop supplying landfills and quit buying disposable merchandise.
"Successful entrepreneurs find the balance between listening to their inner voice and staying persistent in driving for success - because sometimes success is waiting right across from the transitional bump that's disguised as failure." -Naveen Jain
Peggy and I were talking about failure vs success this morning which kick-started my brain (the caffeine wasn't working so it was a good thing). I found the above quote on Brainy Quote which sums up how I feel about the subject. There is always a "transitional bump" in our lives and it's how we choose to approach it that determines our character and, ultimately our future.
There is a common thread in Native American beliefs that the Four Directions is a powerful symbol marked by the colors you see above. This symbol is also called a Medicine Wheel or Sacred Hoop and has been used for healing. In ceremonies the circular movement of the wheel is generally clockwise.
The directions / number four also symbolizes:
Direction: North, South East and West
Life Stages: Birth, Childhood, Adulthood and Death
Health: Physical, Spiritual, Emotional and Intellectual
Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter
*Disclaimer: the four directions are interpreted differently by the different indigenous peoples of North America. Plus, I'm not an expert, just someone is fascinated with aspects of Native American culture. Finally this the the abridged version!
Does Labor Day really mark the end of summer? Are we all going to stop grilling, stop wearing sandals and begin to think about taking our winter clothing out of storage? Do we really have to quit wearing white?
Well I protest. So here is a list of my September affirmations:
- I will continue to wear white
- I will wear sandals until such time as my feet become frosty
- I will grill until the snow falls (and maybe after)
And finally, I will not abandon my tank tops in favor of long sleeves.
When I think about the amount of work that goes into one rug I can't
imagine haggling with a weaver over price. Depending on the size and the
complexity of the piece, one weaving can easily represent a years worth
of work. Imagine raising sheep, shearing them, washing and carding the
wool, and spinning the yarn - all before you even begin the process of
setting up the loom and beginning on the piece. So if you're
considering a Navajo rug, here is something to ponder: If you spent the same amount of time crafting something to sell, how much would you charge for your work of art?
These works of art are investment pieces that will bring you and future generations
Be careful out there when you're buying Native American jewelry. Recently
we heard that some silver jewelry is getting stamped sterling when in
fact it's nickel silver (also called German silver or alpaca). Also,
there's jewelry coming from overseas being sold as authentic Native
American. I have to admit some of them do a good job duplicating
authentic pieces. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery -
and that may be true if your best friend buys the exact same dress you
bought last week, but in this case it is unethical and illegal. Know
your seller. Make sure they are established and you have recourse if a
piece you purchase turns out to be fake. A honest seller can make
mistakes, but they'll make it right.