Old Pawn: Affordable Written Appraisals Provide a Good Basis for Insuring Your Items

Affordable Written Appraisals for Old Pawn and Collector Native Made Jewelry

Contact me for a written appraisal of your own Native old pawn and estate jewelry at pelican97444@yahoo.com. After November 1st 2017 all jewelry appraisals will cost a minimum of at least $20 usd per item, with special rare and hard to determine items running $35 an hour with a 1 hour minimum. Remit $20 per item for your requested appraisals to Paypal, via pelican97444@yahoo.com. All regular appraisals must be prepaid, no exceptions. I’ll provide a quote on more difficult items, which need extra research.

If I cannot locate solid research on your item, I won’t charge you for any research at all. I want to be as fair as possible in appraising special items. In a world gone mad with dishonesty, I will make it my mission to be fair. People deserve that. Let the world be as rotten as it wants to. I won’t be rotten along with it. Stay blessed and keep looking for those treasures in the trash pile, my friends. They ARE out there! – Leigh

Just remember that for every ‘original anything’ which is made on earth, which has real collector value, someone somewhere is out creating millions of well-faked copies of it to sell for a quick profit, and this is also true of Old Pawn as well.

Should a collector take my written appraisal as a good starting point for insurance purposes? Sure. That would be fine. But keep in mind the following guidelines in assessing the value of your piece:

Condition, condition, condition – ‘Pristine’ is the most coveted level of condition and it slides downward from there. Chipped and cracked gems destroy a piece’s value, as do serious tears in the sawtooth or other bezel work which holds gems in place.

Sterling silver is preferable to ‘coin silver’ or other non-silver alloy. I won’t even appraise Old Pawn jewelry made with ‘Nickel Silver’ as there IS NO SILVER in ‘nickel silver.’ Just don’t buy it. Period. Unless you intend to regard the piece as costume jewelry, which is what nickel silver is – costume jewelry.

Real Hallmark or lack thereof – Native American hallmarks are so important there are entire websites dedicated to their archiving, recording and discussion. I recommend collectors explore http://www.art-amerindien.com/signature_bijoux_amerindiens.htm

 Rarity of gemstones, condition of same, uniqueness of gems etc. – As I have explained in other pages on this site, REAL earth-mined ALL NATURAL turquoise is rapidly disappearing into private collections and is increasingly hard to come by these days. Old Pawn jewelry with REAL all natural gemstones is highly preferable to jewelry with BLOCK or composite gems, but – that having been said… there are some nice authentic pieces where block has been used. I take everything on a piece-by-piece basis when I look at these items.

Style Design, Designer Name and Rendering Details – This is the most important aspect of assessing the ‘value’ of a piece. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” I could write an entire website on what is considered “beautiful” when it comes to Old Pawn. But certain pieces will always stand out, as every item on the checklist has been achieved by the designer and the design and execution of the item itself is superlative. You always know these pieces when you see them as they immediately elicit the ‘WOW’ effect right away. These pieces will sell almost immediately if offered. These creme-de-la-creme pieces are the rare and sought after items where everything converges to make a stellar collector find.


A wonderful very old Zuni made pettitpoint cuff which I recently appraised shows a fascinating array of color matched turquoise gems in a palette of light cream blue to darker teal blue. Note the darkening of the silver, which happens naturally with age. Collectors refer to this as ‘patina’ and find it very desirable. Don’t ever try to ‘clean’ an old piece as you could actually hurt, rather than help it’s collector value. the turquoise in this piece is Sleeping Beauty.

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