Native American art, jewelry, and accessories have become increasingly popular in recent years. Some people have seen this as a business opportunity, and have begun making counterfeits. The truth is, however, that these imitations do not even come close to the real thing. But since they look similar, many people end up getting duped. Here are some tips on how to differentiate fake jewelry from the real deal the next time you shop for accessories.

Pricing

Most Native American artwork and crafts are hand-made by the artists. And since they put so much work into making them, prices can be quite high. These prices ensure that there is an adequate profit margin to compensate the artist fairly. Therefore, if you find dealers selling merchandise at suspiciously low prices, it pays to be skeptical. If you are not sure what the jewelry should cost, a quick internet search will give you a rough idea of what prices to expect.

The Magnet Test

Naturally, gold and silver are not magnetized. Therefore, holding a magnet close to jewelry is a reliable way to determine whether the materials used are gold or silver. If the metals respond to the magnet, this means that they have been coated with paint and are not authentic. But you should first ask the dealer what the piece is made of before doing the magnet test. Although it’s unusual, sometimes jewelry is made of other material.

Printing

Pay close attention to all the printing on pieces of artwork. There are rules against companies making counterfeits. But many unscrupulous companies hide in plain sight. The jewelry you are looking for should be labelled ‘Native North American Art.’ You may find other pieces labelled ‘Inspired by Native North American Art.’ While some believe the two phrases mean the same thing, they most emphatically do not.