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Trading Post Times

Volume 11, Issue 4

October:December 2014

SPECIAL POINTS OF INTEREST:

14th Anniversary Celebration,

Friday, November 7

11 am to 9 pm

River Trading Post

Dundee, Scottsdale, Website

Pueblo Seasonal Dances.

Please check Pueblos for dates

and times

R i v e r T r a d i n g P o s t

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Great Gift Ideas For The

Season

2

Kick Start Your Holiday

Season

4

Something I have always disliked

and never understood very well

is the “discount mentality” that a

person often encounters in the

Indian jewelry business.

Anyone

who has

stayed in a

hotel in the

Phoenix

area has

walked by a

gift shop

with a sign

in the jewelry case that says,

“50% off Indian Jewelry.” Air-

ports are notorious for these dis-

count signs. We have all seen

them. In some parts of Santa Fe,

there are now 20 plus stores, all

owned by the same people, that

post these types of signs. In addi-

tion they post “Going out of

Business Sale” and “Moving

Sale” signs. And, in fact, they

rotate the signs from store to

store!

A month ago, in La Jolla,

California, one of the wealthiest

communities in the country, I

saw that the same trend has hit

the fine jewelry stores.

Diamonds filled the windows

of five “upscale” jewelry outlets

with big discount signs.

Here is a secret:

There are only two ways to

sell something with a declared

high value for deep discounts like

this, and stay in business.

The first, which is really pretty

common in the jewelry business,

is to sell fake stuff. If the jewelry

you are selling was

made in the Far

East, or with fake

turquoise, or with

nickel silver or any

combination of the

above, your cost is a

lot less. Awhile

back, the famous

Navajo jeweler, Tommy Jack-

son, was amazed to find work

with his name on it in a Santa Fe

store. It was being offered at

deep discounts. Of course, it

wasn’t his work! He camped out

at the New Mexico Attorney

General's office until they finally

closed the store down for viola-

tions of the Indian Arts and

Crafts Act. This doesn’t happen

often enough.

And fine jewelry? Don’t kid

yourself that all of those dia-

monds are real!

The other way to offer huge

discounts is to mark everything

way up, and then sell it at a big

discount. In La Jolla we walked

into a store that had a large sign

outside and one in every case

offering an 80% Off Sale!

The woman behind the coun-

ter was very nice. She and her

family had been in the jewelry

business in Gallup, NM for

years.

Like most of these discount

stores, the cases were filled with

real Indian jewelry, mixed in

with fake Indian Jewelry and

mixed in with costume jewelry.

The walls had a few Navajo rugs,

quite a few Mexican knock off

rugs and some sand paintings.

This store was in a very high rent

district.

I saw a pendent in the case

made by an artist that I repre-

sent, with beautiful Royston

Turquoise. I asked if I could see

it up close and it was gorgeous!

“How much is it?” I asked.

Without batting an eye or

looking at a calculator,

(Continued Next Page)

Jackson Clark

, a long

time Indian Art trader,

provides great insights

into the world of deep

discounts in buying

American Indian Art.

This is Jackson’s advise

to collectors about the

value of the discount to

the collector of American

Indian art.