314 N. River Street
East Dundee, IL 60118
Arts of Native America
The auction market for classic Native American Jewelry seems to be on the upswing.
Fine Squash blossom necklaces, necklaces, cuff bracelets, Zuni and Navajo rings seem to
be commanding premium prices at today’s auctions. This is a sharp trend reversal from
auction performance of just a few years back.
In recent years, many people have been buying old jewelry for the silver value alone. Un-
fortunately, many very fine and collectable pieces were sold for scrap or melt by people
who didn’t understand that there may be artistic value well beyond the value of the metal.
Silver prices have hovered around $15.00/ounce for the past few years. Your local pawn
shop might offer around $20.00 (based on its silver content) for a treasure that can be
worth several thousand dollars. Recently a Charles Loloma tufa-cast bracelet sold for
$10,000. The silver value was just about $50.00. Obviously the art is worth much more
than the silver content.
Prices for quality authentic American Indian jewelry are indeed climbing. Todays’ buyers
do well by getting in on the ground floor with the best and the brightest of the contempo-
rary artists before their work is out of reach. People like Edward Charlie and Edison
It took nearly 40 years following Peshlakai’s passing for his highly prized pieces to reach
the astronomical prices commanded today. It’s a good bet that today’s finest jewelers will
be tomorrow’s Peshlakais.
This Fred Peshlakai bracelet sold for $6,500
at a recent J. Levine Auction.
Contemporary bracelet by Edward Charlie,
2015 IACA Artist of the Year. What will the
future hold for Charlie’s work?