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Identifying the Value of Different Native American Artifacts

Native American artifacts are objects made by Native Americans in the past and are often found in nature, shops, or auctions. It requires specialized knowledge to identify Native American artifacts definitively, but certain characteristics can help distinguish them from other items. For example, an arrowhead made by a Native American is often made of stone and has distinct shapes or patterns that differ from those found on other rocks.

With that said, here are some Native American artifacts you might have encountered:

Stone Artifacts

Native American cultures have been using stone for a long time. They used it to make tools and weapons, such as axes and arrowheads, as well as items for everyday use, like fishing weights and paint pots. They also carved stone pipes and ground items with mortar and pestles. These artifacts can last thousands of years, so we can still find them today.


Native American pottery that has survived over time can often be seen in its original form or in pieces that have been broken. To identify these artifacts, look for signs of human craftsmanship such as incisions, carvings, stamped designs, and painted decorations. Additionally, any of these features indicate that the pottery was not naturally formed but created by a human.

Bone and Shell Tools

Bone and shell were used as materials to make tools and artifacts by Native American tribes. Depending on their location, they would use the materials available, such as shells from the ocean or nearby areas. These materials were used to make various items, such as awls, needles, fishing hooks, projectile points, scrapers, harpoons, dippers and spoons, and combs. These items were an important part of the tribes’ culture and have been used for centuries.


Native American beading has a long and distinguished history. Many cultures used beads to create beautiful jewelry and clothing pieces. The beads were made from various materials, from shells and stones to metals, bone, and wood. The beads could be crafted in various shapes and sizes depending on the culture. These jewelry pieces were often symbolic of important aspects of their culture and could be used to express stories and beliefs.

Metal Artifacts

Native Americans crafted beautiful and practical items from metal, such as jewelry, weapons, and more. They used copper, silver, gold, iron, and other metals to create various objects, including knives, chisels, spearpoints, beads, plates, and decorations for clothing and headgear. Despite corrosion over the years, many of these items have withstood the test of time.

Assessing the Value of Native American Artifacts

Determining the worth of a Native American artifact requires careful research and evaluation. To start, the item must be authenticated to make sure it is truly Native American in origin. Additionally, its age must be estimated to place it within a particular historical context. After that, the tribe or people who created the artifact must be identified, and the item’s condition must be considered. Finally, the current market for such artifacts must be considered to conclude their value.

Identifying Native American artifacts is an important part of preserving the history and culture of these cultures. It is important to research a particular piece’s history and understand the differences between artifacts from different tribes, regions, and periods. Additionally, it is important to recognize the materials used in the artifact and be aware of the market trends that may impact the item’s value. Although it can be challenging, understanding a particular piece’s history and culture can be invaluable.

Heartland Artifacts is an online auction house based in Quincy, Illinois, created in January 2016 with a passion for discovering, buying, and selling ancient artifacts. We currently have access to over 50,000 verified online bidders, and our audience continues to grow with each posted auction. We utilize various marketing methods to advertise our sales to specialized audiences for different types of artifacts, antiques, and relic collectors. If you’re looking for Native American artifacts for sale, look no further! Shop online now!