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White Buffalo Trading Company: A Rare Gem in Overland Park

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When a magician makes an item disappear before our eyes, we’re amazed. When natural resources vanish from our landscape, we’re dismayed. This is happening to our turquoise supply in the U.S. The result is a dwindling stock, skyrocketing prices and increased opportunity for deceiving consumers.

“Getting quality turquoise is becoming very difficult,” noted Pamela Minick, owner, White Buffalo Trading Company, Overland Park, Kansas. “Many mines have been mined out. Environmental concerns limit the availability of some turquoise. Now, the price of the turquoise is so high some Native American tribes can’t purchase it. Turquoise is so beautiful, but that beauty has caused it to be mined out, and now much of it is gone.”

Pamela, whose lineage includes Potawatomi and Dakota, has been dealing in turquoise for decades; she’s an expert when it comes to this semi-precious stone. But she warns that some sellers see today’s market as an opportunity to offer knock-offs or lower-quality substitutions to fool the consumer. Pamela states some turquoise pieces being sold are actually made from its dust, mixed together with bonding agents to form a stone.

To ensure you’re getting top-quality turquoise, work with Pamela at White Buffalo Trading Company. She knows her turquoise, and she has personally selected every piece in her store. Most importantly, nearly every item has been purchased directly from the Native American craftsmen and craftswomen who created them. Many other pieces are vintage items that Pamela has collected through the years.

“Not all of our turquoise mines in the United States are closed. The Kingman mine in Kingman, Arizona, is still open and operating, and there are other turquoise mines in Arizona and Nevada,” she remarked. “At times, we’ll get requests for turquoise from a mine that’s closed. Even so, we can still try to get it. We have a lot of resources to call upon, and I have vintage pieces as well.”

Pamela shares she’s acquired the inventory of some shops that have closed and many pieces are from the 1970s. “I carry the largest selection of fine Native American jewelry in this area, new and vintage pieces,” remarked Pamela. “The stones have been hand selected, and everything is made from sterling silver or 14-karat gold. Most importantly, I stand by everything I sell. If I don’t have it, I’ll try to find it for you.”

Not only is turquoise a beautiful fashion statement, it’s also sought after as an investment piece because of its scarcity. Pamela suggests starting with three key pieces, which would be dependent on your budget. “The squash blossom necklace is a large piece with sterling beads on it and turquoise. You could also consider Navajo pearls, usually graduated in size with sterling beads,” she revealed. “If you’re just beginning, you might consider purchasing a bracelet or cuff, which go from $250 to a couple of thousand dollars. I can show you all of these pieces at White Buffalo.”

Pamela has owned White Buffalo Trading Company for 22 years, and 12 of them have been in Kansas. With her vast knowledge and experience, she offers the KC metro the only store dedicated to sharing Native American art and craftsmanship. In addition to her incredible selection of jewelry, White Buffalo offers vintage pieces of clothing, beaded coats or jackets, cradle boards, framed art, sculpture, pots, baskets, pottery and so much more. “I really try to bring Native American art into people’s lives and, most importantly, to benefit native people and their families,” enthused Pamela. “It seems that this type of business has always been a part of me.”

Not only does White Buffalo Trading Company sell a great selection of custom jewelry fashioned from rare turquoise and other precious stones, an impressive list of services is also presented. Jewelry cleaning, ring sizing and repairs, demonstrations, one-on-one bead classes, handcrafted specialty gifts, a liberal layaway program, free gift wrapping and shipping to anywhere in the U.S. are also featured.

“White Buffalo Trading Company is known for the quality and quantity of our Native American jewelry. The store offers a good atmosphere and a pleasant shopping experience,” noted Pamela. “I love talking with people, educating them and learning from them. If you don’t see what you have in mind, let me try to find it for you. I love seeing the excitement in a customer’s eyes when I can find that special piece for them. Much of my selection is created exclusively for White Buffalo. You won’t see what you’re wearing on anyone else.”

If you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind gift that brings a smile to the face of the recipient and support to Native American craftsmen, seek out Pamela and her knowledgeable staff at White Buffalo Trading Company.

Visit the store at 13328 Metcalf, Overland Park, Kansas, or call 913-789-8858.