So...What Are Arrowheads Worth Anyway?
Ever since I posted these two guides, How To Find Arrowheads In The Woods and American Indian Arrowheads: The Ultimate Informational Guide, I’ve received a lot of feedback and questions regarding the value of arrowheads many of you have found.
I understand it can be frustrating not knowing what the monetary value of the arrowhead that you’re holding in your hand is. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering the same thing.
With a little bit of research, I've found a few different ways to get a better idea of the value of your arrowheads and other Indian artifacts you might own, I wanted to create this post to help you answer this commonly asked question, so...
A Must Have For Any Serious Arrowhead Collector
If you’re serious about wanting to know how much your arrowheads or other Native American Indian artifacts are worth, then there’s really just one more place you need to take a look. And that’s in the Official Overstreet Indian Arrowhead Identification and Price Guide.
The Overstreet Guide is the Bible of arrowhead collecting. It’s an encyclopedic guide to Indian arrowheads found all over the continental United States, as well as Alaska.
Not only does the Overstreet Guide help you in determining the value of your arrowhead collection, but it helps you learn, in detail, the history of the arrowheads you have in your possession.
The guide is cram packed with pictures and drawings that will help you easily identify your arrowhead point. Then after identifying what type of arrowhead it is, it will help you determine its quality and what you would expect to either pay, or have someone else pay for the arrowhead.
The Overstreet guide features more than 12,000 images of points from 10 distinct geographical regions. You will gain an understanding of arrowhead types, manufacturing, grading, materials as well as values.
It’s a massive reference which is unmatched in the marketplace and is the most respected book on arrowheads and arrowhead values.
How much are my arrowheads worth?
To find out the value of your arrowheads and other Indian artifacts, there’s a few things you can do to get started. There are the specific tangible things to consider, and there are the non-specific, non-tangible things to consider.
3 Things That Help Determine Arrowhead Values
1. What’s The Arrowhead Worth To You/ Sentimentality
There's not arguing that finding an arrowhead, or lots of arrowheads for that matter, is incredibly exciting. But just because it’s super exciting to you, doesn’t necessarily mean that it's as exciting for a potential buyer or collector.
The prospective buyer of your arrowhead collection isn’t going to have the same sentimental attachment to the collection that you have. As a matter of fact, artifact buyers purposefully remove sentiment and emotion out of the equation when viewing a potential artifact. So be sure to keep this in mind when deciding to sell your arrowhead collection.
2. Supply And Demand
The sheer volume of Indian arrowheads that were made and lost over thousands and thousands of years is astronomical. And with such a high supply of arrowheads available, there’s a very high likelihood that the arrowheads in your possession are just not worth as much as you might think they are.
For example, just think about the vast number of people that have ever lived on the North American continent. In my article, American Indian Arrowheads: The Ultimate Informational Guide, I write this, regarding the number of arrowheads still waiting to be found.
“There is no way to know exactly how many arrowheads are still out there waiting to be found. But consider this; recent scientific evidence has shown that humans inhabited North America as far back as 130,000 years ago. Now, if the average life expectancy of prehistoric Native Americans was, for example 40-45 years, just think about how many arrowheads and spear tips that one person would have made in his lifetime. Especially knowing that they began making projectile points as young children.
In addition, remember that every day existence relied heavily on these stone tools. In combination with gathering various grown foods, animals were also hunted for consumption, which would have required a very large number of arrowheads. If they didn’t hunt and gather, they didn’t eat.
Now take that one person, and the number of arrowheads he would have made and used during his lifetime, and multiply that by the millions of people that inhabited the continent at that time. Then multiply that by the numerous generations that lived in and migrated to North America during those 130,000 years. The number of arrowheads lying in the ground at this moment must be in the millions.”
3. Scarcity. Numerous Yet Rare
Now on the other hand, even though there are potentially millions of arrowheads still lying in the ground just waiting to be found, when is the last time you just happened across one? This fact alone can help increase the value of an arrowhead.
Indian arrowhead and artifact dealers are very well aware of this, and are willing to pay higher prices for specific types of arrowheads just so they don’t have to go out and hunt for them. This is especially true if the arrowheads are in excellent condition and free from breaks, cracks or chips.
What Else Determines An Arrowheads Value?
Now let's take a look at some of the non-sentimental and non-arbitrary, tangible things dealers and collectors look for that determines the value of an arrowhead and other Indian artifacts.
Authenticity Is Paramount
If you’re seriously considering buying or selling Indian arrowheads and artifacts, then validation of authenticity is extremely important.
Unfortunately, these days there are lots and lots of replica arrowheads, or fakes, on the market that people try to pass of as genuine.
There’s nothing worse than buying an arrowhead that you believed was worth a amount, certain dollar amount, only to learn after you’ve bought it that it’s a fake and not worth the dust that’s collecting on it.
How To Tell If An Arrowhead Is Real
There’s a few things you can do to make sure the arrowhead you’re either selling or buying is 100% genuine and worth the value that’s placed on it.
Collect All Background Info
First, try to collect as much information about the arrowhead as possible. Every time I hunt for arrowheads, I make sure to take my camera with me. I’ll take pictures of it lying on the ground, undisturbed, and also take video of me digging it out.
In addition to this, I also keep written record of the find. Not that i’m necessarily interested in selling my collection. But I know that one day, the time may come. And the more documentation I have on each point, the more they’ll be worth.
Ask For Video or Pictures of The Find
You can be sure that a replica arrowhead will not have any kind of verification, information, pictures or video associated with them. And if they do, that information can very easily be proven as fake.
Look For Modern or Machined Markings
Next, you want to examine the Indian arrowhead as closely as possible. If buying online, ask the seller or dealer for additional pictures if you’re not satisfied with the pictures that are posted. Take your time to closely inspect the artifact. Make certain there are no ‘machined’ marks on it, like a reproduction would most likely have.
8 Characteristics That Determine The Value Of Arrowheads
The information for this list of characteristics that affect arrowhead values is derived from this article on Ebay.
What kind of condition is the point in? Does it have any visible nicks or chips? If so, any kind of breakage of the arrowhead will contribute to reducing its overall value.
How well does this arrowhead point fit into its category type? If it’s a classic fit within its category, then its will be higher in value and grade.
Arrowheads that have design trueness and balance are higher in value and grade.
Larger arrowheads tend to grade higher which results in a higher overall value of the point.
Thinner are typically sought after more resulting in a higher demand and therefore value. But this also depends significantly on the specific arrowhead type.
Precision percussion and secondary edgework, with a minimum of hinge fractures and stacks are graded higher. Nice flaking techniques such as collateral or oblique transverse also add to the value of an arrowhead point.
Material and Color
Many states see only grays and browns of local cherts but high color points can add color quality which can increase value. Agates, Flints, Corals, Jaspers, Horse Creek Chert, Buffalo River Chert, Carter Cave Chert etc. are quality materials with fantastic colors that adds more value to an arrowhead collection as time goes on.
Records can be difficult to obtain at times. But providing any documentation you can on find location, past collections it belonged to, etc, all brings value to the Indian arrowhead collection.
The arrowheads you have in your collection might be worth money, and they might not. But what’s even more important is what they’re worth to you. What’s the value of holding something in your hand that was created by another human being who has long since been forgotten by this world.
That person was an individual, who had a family and lived on the same land your walking on now. That person's existence relied on that arrowhead you have in your hand right now.
Moving forward in your arrowhead collecting hobby, I believe one of the things you'll benefit the most from is having access to the final authority on arrowhead identification. And that's The Official Overstreet Indian Arrowheads Identification and Price Guide
So what’s that arrowhead worth? You tell me! Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts about the value of arrowheads. Do you collect to sell? Are you a dealer or a buyer of arrowheads points and Indian artifacts? If so, share some of your tips with the rest of us.
And as always, share this article on Facebook with your friends and family!