Most authentic pieces of Native American Indian jewelry include a hallmark, or signature, of the artist. A 1990 federal law mandates that only authentic tribes can label arts and crafts as Native American or Indian. Products labelled as Indian-style are not genuine Native American Indian pieces.
The quality of the silver and turquoise distinguish genuine pieces from copies. Native American Indian artists typically craft jewelry using sterling silver. Silver-plated pieces contain a base metal, such as nickel, that responds to a magnet, whereas sterling silver does not.
Price is a factor in determining authenticity as each Native American Indian piece is one-of-a-kind. Discount or bargain pricing usually identifies commercially-produced items that are not authentic Native American Indian art.