Native American Jewelers Ripped Off

22 Feb

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Native American artistry has long been lauded as one of the few elements of their wonderful culture that still exist today. In fact, many Native Americans continue to make a living with their art work, using skills handed down from generation to generation. This is especially true when it comes to jewelry. They are known for their mastery of creating Native American jewelry, often mixed with sterling silver and natural turquoise.

But it's no news that copy-cats abound, and to help the discerning shopper distinguish between faux Native American jewelry and the real thing, new legislations is being considered:

"Rep. Patricia Lundstrom's bill would set aside funding for the state Licensing and Regulation Department to study and propose rules to establish a certification stamp for arts and crafts made by Indians in New Mexico. The aim is to boost sales and ensure the expanding market isn't tainted by fakes.

One other state, Alaska, sponsors a similar program guaranteeing buyers that items bearing a ''Silver Hand'' seal are handcrafted by an Alaskan Eskimo, Aleut or other Indian artist.

The New Mexico legislation stems from complaints about imitation art sold in Santa Fe and Gallup, which is known as a hub for collectible jewelry produced by artists from nearby Zuni Pueblo, the Navajo Nation and the Hopi reservation in eastern Arizona."

Read more: Fakes flooding Indian arts

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