Indian artifact authentication

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Turn To Sam Cox Artifacts 
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Dependable and Reliable Answers to Questions of Authenticity.

Evaluations are $ per Relic + Return Shipping - Appraisals are Included Free on All Certified Relics.

          Have your artifacts authenticity examined for peace of mind in an Investment stand point, Documentation, Future Sales Advantages and Protection against Fraudulent Purchases. All Artifacts are guaranteed to be judged with the utmost fairness regardless of existing certificates or previous ownership and history. Only Artifacts submitted that are determined to be % Genuinely Authentic will receive Certificates. For your convenience and protection, any artifact deemed as ‘’Not Authentic, Modernly Altered or Questionable’’ will receive a photo copy of the artifact along with a brief statement explaining why it was rejected as proof that it was examined by Sam Cox Artifacts. We provide The Premier and Most Trusted Evaluation Service in the country and give full assurance that you’re Interest and Investments are Guaranteed to be taken with the utmost of concern. Our evaluations are preformed using modern scientific methods as well as decades of expertise and earned knowledge in the field.

All Certificates come on a High Quality Laminated Photo Paper with a Dual Sided Full Color Photos of your Relic and will Include its Type, Provenance, Material, Color, Length, Width, Weight in Grams and Grade descriptions. In Addition, all Certified Artifact Certificates are stamped with the Trade Marked Sam Cox Artifacts Copy Write Seal of Approval. 

We also offer appraisal services on individual items or entire collections at affordable rates.


Please include all origin (State/County) Information to be recorded as well all Personal Contact Information with your shipment.

Certificates Include Full Color Photos Of Your Relic


Evaluations are $ per Relic + Return Shipping - Appraisals are Included Free of charge on all Relics. Submissions that do not qualify for a certificate will receive a letter of explanation on our findings.

Grading Definitions

GRADE   10+The exceptional perfect artifact. One of the few half dozen best known to exist and near impossible to obtain. Perfect in every way, including ranking, material, symmetry and form. The best example you would ever expect to see of any given type. This grade is extremely rare, and can apply to all size artifacts that normally occur in a given type.
GRADE   10

A perfect artifact, including ranking, material, symmetry and form. This grade is extremely rare, and applies to all sizes of artifacts that normally occur in a given type. A piece does not have to be typically larger than normal to qualify for this ranking.


Near perfect artifact but lacking just a little in material or original manufacturing form. It may have a minor ancient or modern defect to keep it out of a 10 category. Still very rare, most high grade artifacts would fall into this category.


Better than an average grade artifact, but not quite nice enough to get a high ranking. Size, symmetry and overall quality at this grade are still above the overall average and a few minor imperfections may be more prevalently noticeable. Many artifacts in this grade are still very hard to find in most cases and are still considered a very collectible grade.


The average quality that is found for any given type of artifact. Usually with more noticeable detractions in concern to overall symmetry and eye appeal or due to more serious damages that have occurred.

GRADE 1 - 3An artifact that exhibits below average overall quality. A once better artifact with more serious faults and damage would fall into this grade. The most common grade found and correspondingly, the least valuable.

Native American artifacts offer a glimpse at the long and fascinating history of the people indigenous to the continent. From stone tools to pottery, these artifacts are significant for historians, archeologists, and collectors, as well as for the descendants of the people who made them. Learning to identify Native American artifacts can help you spot these important relics.

Native American Artifact Identification Tips

It takes expert training to unequivocally identify Native American artifacts, but there are some clues that can help you tell a stone arrowhead or other important piece from the surrounding materials. According to Field & Stream, these are some suggestions for identifying artifacts:

  • In arrowheads and spearheads, look for a clear point and a defined edge and base. Knives and axe heads will have at least one sharp edge, often made by chipping stone away from the piece.
  • For Native American stone artifacts, identify the variety of stone used in the construction. Common choices include chert, flint, and obsidian.
  • In bone and shell tools, look for irregularities when compared to the original shape of the material. For instance, a bone tool may be carved into a point that the bone would not normally have.
Related Articles

Types of Native American Artifacts

There are many types of Native American artifacts you might encounter in nature or in shops or auctions. According to the National Museum of the American Indian, these are among the most significant.

Native American Stone Artifacts

Native American peoples used stone for a variety of purposes, so there are many stone artifacts. This material also tends to endure over time, making it possible to find artifacts that are many thousands of years old. Here are some examples:

  • Axes and hammer stones
  • Arrowheads and spear points
  • Canoe anchors and fishing net weights
  • Paint pots for face and body paints
  • Mortar and pestles and stones for grinding
  • Carved stone pipes

Bone and Shell Tools

Although not quite as enduring as stone, many tools and artifacts were made from bone or shell. Often, Native American tribes uses the materials available in their location. If they lived near the ocean or another source of shell, this material was an important part of their culture. These are some of the bone and shell artifacts you might encounter:

  • Awls and needles
  • Fishing hooks
  • Projectile points
  • Scrapers
  • Harpoons
  • Dippers and spoons
  • Combs

Native American Pottery

You may see intact Native American pottery, as well as fragments of shards of pottery that has broken. Look for clear indications that the pottery was made by human hands, including incisions and carving, stamped designs, and painting.

Native American Beads

Beads and Native American jewelry were an important part of many ancient people's cultures. You can find Native American beading on clothing and textiles, as well as loose beads in a variety of materials. These include shell, stone, metal, bone, and wood. Beads came in all different shapes and sizes.

Metal American Indian Artifacts

Native American peoples used metal in a variety of ways. Although some metals corrode with time and exposure to the elements, there are surviving examples in copper, silver, gold, iron, and other metals. The types of metal objects include the following:

  • Jewelry
  • Tools like knives and chisels
  • Spear points
  • Beads
  • Plates
  • Ornaments for clothing and headdresses

Assessing Value of Native American Artifacts

Find the value of a Native American artifact is a complex endeavor. It involves establishing the authenticity of the item, dating it it to a specific period, assigning a tribe or people who produced it, and considering the condition and the market for the items.

Native American Artifact Appraisals

Because there are so many factors involved in assigning value to artifacts, it's a good idea to get a professional appraisal if you suspect you have something valuable. However, it's important to choose an appraiser who is qualified in Native American artifacts and art and who does not have a conflict of interest. If the appraiser is offering to buy the item being evaluated, this can present a conflict of interest. Here are some appraisers and authentication sites to consider:

  • Native American Art Appraisals, Inc. - Offering a fully-accredited appraisal service with insurance values, IRS values, and more, this organization conducts in-person appraisals only.
  • Indian Artifact Grading Authority - This organization provides certificates of authenticity and offers in-person and online appraisals. These are not insurance values.
  • Elmore Art Appraisals - Specializing in Native American art and artifacts and fully certified, this appraiser works with museums and individuals and provides all types of appraisals.
  • McAllister Fossum - Specializing in Native American artifacts of Alaska and the Northwest Coast, this firm is fully accredited and offers all types of appraisals.

Most Valuable Indian Artifacts Recently Sold

While many small stone tools sell for under $50 on auction sites, authenticated, valuable Indian artifacts can be worth much more. Here are some of the most valuable Native American artifacts that have sold on eBay:

Legality of Collecting Native American Artifacts

It's very important to note that there are legal restrictions on collecting and selling Native American artifacts. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) prohibits the removal of artifacts from Federal or tribal lands. If you find an artifact in a National Park, for instance, it is illegal for you to keep it in your private collection. In addition, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) protects objects and human remains associated with burials, as many Native American death rituals included burying important objects with tribal members. If you are buying or selling Native American artifacts, it's essential to ensure the object was not obtained in a way that violates these and other laws, even if that violation occurred in the past.

Where to See Indian Artifact Examples

Some of the most significant examples of Native American artifacts are displayed in museums around the country. These are a few of the places you can go to see great examples of Indian artifacts:

Rich Cultural Heritage

In addition to being a way to decorate with ethnic accents, Native American artifacts are representative of a rich cultural heritage. Finding them appropriately and treating them with the great respect they deserve is important if you hope to add some of these treasures to your collection.

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Robert Butler is a recently retired World History teacher from a large school in East Texas. He was a late comer to that profession after having spent many years on the Great South Bay off the shores of Long Island, N. Y. harvesting shellfish. Deciding to uproot in he headed for Houston, Texas and became a outside sales representative and legal lobbyist for Central Freight Lines. Robert made a name for himself in that business becoming the vice-president of the Bus and Truck Transportation Lobbying group known as B.A.T.T.L.E. Not long after Robert was hired away by a competitor but the restless never sleep. Robert then pursued a life long dream of owning and operating a ranch in East Texas. He purchased a large poultry operation which helped him fund what he says was his true passion, raising a registered herd of Beefmaster cattle. Along the way he became a volunteer coach for the local baseball and basketball leagues where he coached his son who went on to become State Champion Three Point Shooter in It was the love of coaching that drove him back to college where he added a teaching degree to his resume and began teaching in until retiring in He says "seven years of High School 10th grade was enough", with a laugh.

The one passion Robert has never been able to quench is that of collecting fine artifacts, primarily Indian stone tools and weapons. This passion dates back to the summer of when he was out of town lobbying for Central Freight Lines in West Texas. As fate would have it Robert walked into "The Comanche Trading Post" in Comanche, Texas. While there he noticed a huge 9 1/2" spear point which just knocked his socks off. So, as he tells it, that was the beginning of his one, and still going strong, extra-marital love affair. This turned out to be a life long study of North American Indians and the collection of their relics. This long running love affair has lasted almost as long as his very real marriage to the real love of his life, Sarah, to whom, "I owe my love and devotion for her patience and strength while putting up with me and my consumption by Indian relics".

As it turns out Robert had been had by a very clever fake known today as a "Gray Ghost". These were unusually large well made examples made from various flints/cherts but primarily Edwards Plateau chert. Right down to the last detail so he thought. It never entered his mind back then that someone in modern times would or could be so clever as to make one of these beauties. As it turns out these were made by the hundreds by Mr. Brian Reinhardt in Texas back in the 's. And though a FAKE they have become quite collectible in their own right with some of them being worth two hundred and up.

Several years after this purchase Robert went to an artifact show with his spear point and pride busting out all over knowing that nobody had anything like it. To his astonishment and tremendous disappointment he was told that he in fact had been had. Almost ready to start a fight right there in the middle of the show he took his bruised ego and headed home vowing to get more opinions. Long story short, and $20 lighter for a killed attempt to get it papered Robert is still the proud owner of that 9 1/2" FAKE. From that moment on he decided to never get taken again by being fooled into buying a modern made point or by fraudulent seller.

That was the beginning of many years of study and collection, 27 years to be exact. He has studied everything from the Paleolithic Indians to the Plains Indians. Studying and researching their life styles, hunting habits and killing strategies. He studied the tools and weapons they crafted out of the many cherts/flints and hard-stones. As time went on Robert purchased his first micro-scope when few people were using them to analyze, document and compare the various flaking styles that different Indians used. When he did purchase a point or tool he sent it off to one of three authenticators whom he began to trust as authorities in the field. Finally, as his trust began to wither under increased unethical behavior both by fraudulent sellers and authenticators alike he began to paper his own points and extended that expertise to friends and locals in his area.

When Robert began to teach full time he became the only History teacher in the area who incorporated a special unit at the beginning of each semester devoted to studying the various Indians of Texas and North America. He finally got permission to make it apart of his own curriculum, titled, "Ancient Indians of North America". He states the students loved it so much that new students each semester would ask if they would be studying the Indians because they had a brother or knew someone who talked about it. Yes, even kids, especially the boys knew a good thing when they saw it. They, like many of us could discern very quickly what a master piece was and seemed to show little interest in weak field grade pieces. However, most were captivated by the weapons, especially "War Clubs". I used to allow them to handle many of the relics I brought in but it wasn't long before I heard the dreaded "clink". Although nothing of great value got broken I saw the writing on the wall and ended that practice. At the end of each semester I would ask the students to write down their favorite part of the semester. Most all would say my unit on "Ancient Indians of North American". I also loved this part of my semesters. So much so, that even though retired, I have recently decided to put together a one day unit and offer it to the schools in East Texas for grades 8 through And, NO, they will not be aloud to handle any artifacts.

Robert states that it is this love and passion for the great works left behind by the ancient ones that has driven him to open up "Butler Artifact Authentications". A company dedicated to documenting and verifying the authenticity of the various types of points/blades and tools left behind by those of a distant past. As well, he is dedicated to helping stamp out fraud in the hobby. He feels that offering a measure security to those wishing to establish a clean and authentic collection should be available.

"Butler Artifact Authentications" is backed by 27 years of hands on experience and the latest equipment. From top of the line binocular microscopes and goose neck Halogen lighting to ultra-violet lighting that detects re-chips, re-works and restorations. The slogan under the title of "Butler Artifact Authentications" says it all, HONESTY-INTEGRITY-RELIABILITY. These are the things I value the most and bring with me during every examination.
I am always accessible, easy to work with and if I don't have an answer I won't charge you a dime.

One thing to bear in mind, whether it is a personal find, your grandpa's find or a recent purchase. Someone, somewhere down the line is going to wind up with that point who will want to sell it. It may be you!! Having a certificate that states that your relic is indeed the real deal can make the difference between a sale or a bust. Just because you found it doesn't mean a thing when you try to sell it to someone you don't know or wasn't with you when you stumbled across it in the creek bottom. Equally important is the logging of vital information such as where found, at least as close to the exact location as possible, (river, valley, bluff or even county). Who found it and when are important bits of information that are desirable on a certificate. Anything that is relevant to that point should be recorded for the future. The authenticator will add typing, age, material etc. Sure enough, you may have found it but in three or five or ten years you may not remember where or when or anything about that point at all. All you have then is a pretty point. In fact, what you have actually done is cause that beautiful point, tool, weapon or blade to lose its very soul. It no longer has a provenance. This cripples its ability to contribute to history or the facts or study revolving around a people. These are the things that make the modern day ancestors of these magnificent people become so angry they force the government to stop people from hunting relics altogether. Hopefully with a new breed of authenticators and new blood in the hobby that cares enough to be detailed and factual we can stem the tide of an increasingly fraudulent hobby. What story does your arrowhead have to tell and will anyone ever know about it. So, get papered and save a soul.

Here's to a great collecting experience and stamping out FAKES, FRAUDS, and modern re-chips or modern made pieces being sold as ancient relics.
I hope I can assist you with putting together that collection that makes your heart stop when you look at it or better yet hold them in your hands. 
Sours: http://www.arrowheadscom/about.html

Welcome to Jackson Galleries &#; Your source for Professional Artifact Authentication, Collector&#;s Services and Supplies

We pride ourselves on our world renowned Artifact Authentication service. To date we have evaluated over 2,, ancient and historic era artifacts. We have built our reputation through consistent scientific analysis of the artifacts to determine their authenticity. For many years we were known for selling quality Indian Artifacts through our sales catalogs and the Internet. We still sometimes offer a variety of artifacts for sale but in recent years we have directed our focus primarily to our Authentication and Appraisal services. Our approach to Artifact Authentication is completely objective and highly scientific. Our well-founded process is reliant on a highly scientific methodology based on facts compiled and corroborated by numerous related scientific papers by geologists, microbiologists, archaeologists, and forensic scientists… Click here to find out more.

If you really want &#;to know&#; the facts about artifacts you have found the right place. Not only are we able to evaluate authenticity but also are willing to teach you how to do it too! Be sure to call for details about our &#;Artifact Evaluation Training Course&#; we offer. Click here to find out more.


Artifact authentication indian

Each artifact submitted is thoroughly examined for evidence of age or signs of modern manufacturing or tampering (rechipping/restoration).

Bennett's utilizes state-of-the-art Stereo-magnification equipment including stereoscopic microscopes and high-definition digital computer magnification equipment. For identifying the presence of modern alterations, ultraviolet light inspection equipment is used.

Evidence of authenticity or modern manufacture is derived by a study of the artifact's surface and the analysis of:

- surface weathering patterns
- hinge fracture analysis
- patination analysis
- evidence of ancient use wear patterns
- surface degradation
- Artificial patination residue
- modern tool marks
- proper grinding methods

Bennett's certificates feature many security measures to guard against reproduction certificates being issued in the future.

Bennett's will not issue Certificates of Authenticity or rejection letters on any artifact unless we are % confident in our findings.

* Bennett's does not support the use of Raman Laser equipment to determine authenticity.  We have simply seen far too many Laser papered reproductions  to have any degree of confidence in this technique.

2019 Indian Artifact Show - Part 2 - Phenomenal Personal Finds

Indian Artifact Authentication

Having an official certificate from the IAGA will ensure the preservation of the artifact’s provenance and historical information.  The grade assigned, along with the classification, can be used to determine the approximate value and rarity of the artifact.  This documentation can prove invaluable when assessing your artifact collection, or in the event the collection needed to replaced by an insurance company.

Submission Instructions

1. When making a submission, please include $ for each artifact you would like evaluated for authenticity along with $ for return shipping.  If multiple items are sent in together, only one $ return shipping fee applies as we can return them all in the same package.  We offer special rates on evaluating large groups of artifacts and entire collections, please contact us for additional information.

2. If insurance is desired on your return package please include appropriate funds and a note indicating the amount of insurance requested.   For current postage and insurance rates please visit  We accept PayPal, Money Orders, Certified Checks, and Personal Checks as payment.  Personal Checks are subject to clearing before your package is returned.  Please send PayPal payments to: [email&#;protected]

To pay for your submission in advance please click on the payment button below and complete the automated form.

3. With all submissions please remember to include any known provenance on the items and your contact information including name, return shipping address and a telephone number where you can be reached.

All submissions can be mailed to:

P.O. Box
Louisville, KY

Once your submission has been evaluated it will be mailed back to you via USPS Priority Mail with tracking.  We are not responsible for any loss or damage caused during transit.  All items submitted with insufficient funds will be held until appropriate funds are forwarded.

If you have any questions prior to submitting your item(s) for evaluation, please contact us via e-mail at [email&#;protected] or by phone at ()


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Allow me to explain the newly coined word "artifake." This is my terminology for the cur­rent wave of incredible reproductions. Compared to most old fraudulent reproductions made dur­ing the past one hundred and fifty years, today's "artifakes," are difficult to detect. Old time fakes, antique by modern standards, often were absurdities because the fakers relied on pictures in books or pen and ink drawings that some­times were merely figments of the artist's imag­ination.

Today's "new wave" of serious reproductionists are a different breed. Since the s a tremen­dous amount of valuable information and docu­mentation has been published on American Indian artifacts. These valuable resources have provided the inspiration for many modern "arti­fakes." The clever fraud makers invest in gen­uine artifacts to copy and duplicate. Some are known to have visited leading museums, produc­ing three-dimensional drawing and blueprints of choice specimens. Then the masters of deceit seek out fresh raw material to use when making these precise "artifakes." Let me share a few examples, "Great Pipes" of the ancient Southern cultures were made with brownish green Meig County steatite from Tennessee or greenish black steatite found in Virginia and North Carolina. To replicate modern copies of these expensive artifacts, the above-described materi­al is again being quarried. Fresh material also carves easily and takes a nice polish. The "arti­fakers" sometimes even include a few marks. The final step in manufacturing is a chemical immersion-bath which produces a false patina­tion. Now the product is ready for market and will be offered at a price much lower than cur­rent values attributed to the genuine article. The price and availability makes the "artifake" very appealing to bargain hunters and unsus­pecting novices.

Advancing collectors have always been attracted to pipes and consider them very desir­able. Perhaps the most famous replication is the Hopewell effigy pipe. It is a fact that only sever­al hundred genuine Hopewell effigies have been discovered. Compared to the number of compa­rable fakes that exist, chances of finding the real thing must be one out of five hundred! Until about ten years ago, these reproductions were easy to spot, because the fakers made too many mistakes. The new wave of super fakes are exact duplicates and are made of the proper raw mate- rial. Most Hopewell pipes come from burial asso­ciation and often feature encrustations and cal­cium deposits on the surfaces. Modern ingenuity has overcome the problem. Newly made "arti­fakes" are taken to a crematorium and calcined with human remains The fact that some of the modern replicas may crack or explode when sub­jected to such intense heat poses no problem. Broken fakes are sold as "killed" artifacts at slightly reduced prices.

Pipes are not alone in the new wave of repro­ductions. Fifty years ago, the market was flood­ed with fake birdstones. Most are obviously incorrect. Others were good enough to pass and still grace cabinets of major collections. Thirty years ago, some super bannerstones migrated from upper Illinois. Since the supers were too good to sell, why not try the alternate approach. Enter the age of the ugly bannerstone. Covered with ferric oxide and artificially weathered to look old, these sold best, and almost any artifact meeting will feature a few of these monstrosi­ties. You'll notice everyone looking in the hole to determine authenticity. What good is looking at the hole when the material and shape is wrong?

Until recent times, pendants and gorgets were never reproduced in quantity. Today, choice arti­facts may bring $ or more, which gives the fakers plenty of good reasons for "artifaking. "

Don't overlook the reworks and recently fin­ished fresh off the buffer!

No artifact escapes reproduction. Highly desir­able shell masks and gorgets are acid etched from patterns by using the photo resist method. The non-design area is protected from etching by a wax covering. Then an application of decaying animal flesh will add the final touch to suggest prior burial association. Believe me, it's quite convincing!

Discoidals are a current modern favorite of the reproductionist. Attractively patterned granites, quartzites, etc., are lathed by competent stone workers. After shaping, the product is judicious­ly pecked in a few spots and hand polished to provide a subtle "old-time" finish. Lowly celts are a prime target with any suitable river pebble being ground on lapidarist green wheels, pol­ished with carborundum paper, then buried in manure piles to acquire a well-aged appearance. Grooved stone axes could be purchased for $50 to $ until recently. Today, choice specimens are priced from $ to $ and more. "Artifakers" have noticed the trend and plenty of well-made duplicates are now available. Miniature jack-hammers are employed to work the stone to the desired shape, then the form is sand-blasted to give a nice weathered look. Central Ohio has become a distribution center for some of the aforementioned "artifakes."

I have purposely left my comments about flint artifakes until last. It has been said that for every single ornament, bannerstone, birdstone, pipe, axe or celt ever found, more than 10, flint projectiles have been discovered. Yet flint artifacts are the most popular form of ancient American Indian collectable. Relatively few actual reproductions, except the 7" to 20" mon­strosities from the Southwest have been on the scene. Most noticeable in past times were reworks. Large blades or knives received added notches simply because notched points brought more revenue for dealers. Broken or damaged flints were repointed and shaped into perfect specimens. As the sheer number of demanding collectors multiplied, more flint artifacts became more nearly perfect. Enter the age of the profes­sional flint knapper. Some of these people are better at plying their trade than were the ancient flint knappers. Until recently, size was the only major problem. Today, quality raw flint is quarried for such purposes, and with years of experience, modern knappers can turn out any­thing your heart desires. You can virtually choose the style of point and the material of your preference, including Indiana and Kentucky hornstones, Missouri color, Illinois white, Arkansas novaculite, and multicolor Flint Ridge chalcedony. In fact, 20" plus "Duck River" swords of Dover tan are also readily available if you are willing to pay the price. Let me share a typical example of costs. A fine quality St. Charles (Dovetail) can be reproduced in a matter of 30 to 60 minutes by a skilled knapper. For 4" to 5" specimens , the maker will charge the distribu­tor approximately $ By the time a dealer adds a markup, this piece will be priced some­where from $ to $ and sold to an unfor­tunate collector. A Southeastern family opera­tion will have any type projectile made for you in any quantity desired for about one third of the price normally charged for ancient and genuine artifacts.

The problem of "artifakes" is not limited to spurious dealers and unsuspecting collectors. Many persons have entered into the business of buying, selling and trading American Indian artifacts within the last three or four years. The reason is profit and the growing demand by the collector community. Think to yourself, how few of these highly visible people were involved in serious collecting as recently as five years ago? You can't become an expert on anything, whether it be coins, stamps, firearms or antiques, in twenty-four months! Consequently, the new breed of "high rollers" are unwittingly being considered as today's experts. And the advancing collectors who recently entered the inner sanctum are being taken for a ride. Make no mistake about it. "Artifakes" is big business. Some of the new "experts" are enjoying earnings of six figures a year.

I feel by now you are wondering how you can prevent yourself from falling victim to this prof­itable scheme? I don't have all the answers, but let me offer some valid suggestions. Knowledge is power! By becoming more informed on the subject of your interest, you can help prevent yourself from being victimized. There is a wealth of published material on American Indian arti­facts available at public libraries and book sell­ers. Also, most modern collectors specialize in certain categories of artifacts, because large gen­eral collecting is too costly. Get to know those who specialize in areas similar to yours and ask plenty of questions. I've had many people ask, "How can you tell if it's fake?" but I've yet to have anyone want to take the time to learn. These are hurried times! Remember this fact, "artifakers" are in business to make a fast buck, no other reason. In order to do so, "artifakers" must take shortcuts by producing their wares quickly in order to profit. Should fakers ever decide to invest in strictly hand operations and allow natural aging for about fifty years in the soil, no expert will be able to tell the difference.

Take time making your future decisions. Examine all possible acquisitions carefully. Ask yourself and qualified associates: Does the item in question appear to be made by hand, or does it have a certain mechanical character? Is the item too perfect? (Ancient man did not possess micrometers or calipers). Does the artifact appear to have been used? (A scant few artifacts were lost prior to some usage). Is the age natural in appearance, or is the artifact merely made to look old. If any of the above questions produces a negative response, forget it!

I have enjoyed the good fortune of being able to examine tens of thousands of artifacts and "artifakes." Yet, occasionally I view items for which I remain undecided. If you can't be sure, it is best to pass and say nothing. Once again, we are reminded that we don't know it all.

May I state in closing that hopefully these per­sonal viewpoints will assist you in furthering your collecting interests. If this information pre­vents one person from making a costly mistake, it has served its purpose.

“Used by Permission of the Author”

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