The collecting of stone arrowheads has been a popular hobby for Americans for many years. To be outdoors, combing the countryside appeals to many artifact seekers and the treasure hunter in us all.
But, let’s be honest…have you ever thought to yourself ‘are arrowheads worth money?’
This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Table of Contents
- Price Ranges For Arrowheads
- How Are Arrowheads Valued?
- Who Should You Sell Your Arrowheads To?
Price Ranges For Arrowheads
Stone arrowheads have some monetary value, although it is generally low. On average common arrowheads can be sold for between $5 and $20. Rare arrowheads are worth more, anywhere up to $30,000, while the most expensive arrowhead sold for $276,000 on auction in 2013.
The problem with arrowheads is that the “common” ones are too common, while the rare ones are too rare. But how do you tell the difference? What other factors do collectors and museums use to determine the value, and should you sell only to them?
Although you do not trip over arrowheads every time you go for a walk, collectors, hobbyists, and museums seem to have amassed enough of them to result in a disparity between different types of arrowheads and the value that is placed on them.
More commonly found arrowheads tend to draw less attention and therefore receive a much lower price. Moderately rare arrowheads will get you slightly more money, while rare and extremely rare are the jackpot arrowheads that will make a lot of money on auction.
Commonly found arrowheads
These are the type of arrowheads that are a “dime a dozen.” If you’ve seen Native American arrow points, it most likely was one of these.
Some examples of these are arrowheads made from typical chert, flint, and obsidian stones.
These, on average, are between $10 and $20 apiece.
These are generally color variations of common materials, uncommon materials, or a combination (e.g., colorful chert, jasper, and agates).
These arrowheads can reach a price of between $14,500 and $20,000.
These arrowheads are highly desirable by collectors, who pay handsome sums of money to buy them. They are oftentimes prehistoric and have unique colors and materials used. An example is the Rutz Clovis Point, which was auctioned off in 2013 for $276,000.
The reality is, most arrowheads will not make you rich and are probably not really worth selling. However, the value that they carry is no lessened.
As artifacts, they hold a little piece of the history of where they were found and, for that reason, as well as the aesthetic value, make them valuable, even if you cannot quantify it.
How Are Arrowheads Valued?
Since arrowheads are found across America with relative frequency, collectors and museums place more “value” on certain attributes than others. These attributes and the value placed on them directly influence the monetary value of the arrowhead in question.
Most people use the Overstreet Guide To Pricing Arrowheads and determining value.
Below is a table comparing different arrowhead attributes and how they influence the monetary value of arrowheads.
|Attribute of arrowhead||Factors increasing arrowhead value||Factors decreasing arrowhead value|
|Materials and colors used in construction||Rare or exotic materials, such as coral, agate, jasper, and cherts of different color variations.||Grey, brown, and other typical colors of chert, flint, or obsidian stone.|
|The condition (is it damaged or not)||Whole, undamaged, un-chipped||Broken, missing the tip, chipped, cracked, broken patina|
|Design style (different areas and periods had different styles of making arrowheads )||The arrowhead fits a particular style (a collection or from a specific area or era)||The arrowhead is too unique and does not fit a particular style (not part of a collection)|
|Size||Larger arrowheads||Smaller arrowheads|
|Thickness||Thinner arrowheads||Thicker arrowheads|
|Craftsmanship (how well was the arrowhead originally made, this includes things like balance, symmetry, flaking technique, and precision)||Balanced, symmetrical, and good flaking technique, such as collateral or oblique transverse.||Unbalanced, asymmetrical, and overall poorly crafted|
|Proof of authenticity (does the arrowhead have any documentation)||Any documentation available relating to the location found date found, past collection membership, etc.||No documentation will make it all the more difficult to increase the value of the arrowhead.|
The era that an arrowhead came from is another factor that can add a huge amount of value. More modern arrowheads are the least valuable, increasing in value the further back in time you move.
Arrowheads that came from the time just after the last ice age fetch huge amounts of money (in the hundreds of thousands of dollars).
Arrowheads from the Paleo era, between 12000 BC and 8000 BC, are the “gold standard.” It is from this collection that the fabled $276,000 arrowhead originated. In particular, it was part of the “Clovis Points collection.” These arrowheads still bring in hefty sums of money, followed closely by the Dalton era (8000 BC to 6500 BC).
However, even if you have the rarest and oldest arrowhead, the market price is determined by the buyer’s willingness to pay the price you’re asking.
Who Should You Sell Your Arrowheads To?
The answer to the question of “to whom shall I sell” is quite simple. You can sell to anyone who wants to buy the arrowheads, or you don’t have to sell at all.
There are, however, a few options available to you when it comes to selling arrowheads:
- The easiest solution is to sell online. With sites like “eBay,” “Etsy” and “Auction.com,” advertising and selling can be done quickly and easily.
- The next option is to sell to other collectors or antique dealers. These are other people trying to expand and complete their repertoire of arrowheads and those buying to re-sell.
- The other option I’ll talk about is to sell or donate to a museum.
As with all things in life, there are pros and cons to all of these “end-users.” In the table below, we’ll compare some of them.
-Open to all of the internet.
-Prices can be pushed up through competition
-A good place to sell “common pieces.”
|-Less expertise, so the true value might not be identified for the piece. |
-There are many scammers online who will try to rip you off
|Collectors and antique dealers||-A higher level of expertise, so there should be little to no undervaluing.|
-A wealthy collector may pay more for something truly remarkable
-A good place to sell rare pieces
|-Limited to the number of people you advertise to.|
-Some collectors/dealers may try and “cheat” you in terms of value
-Most already have extensive collections and may not be interested in “common” pieces
|Museums||-Educational exhibits educate the masses |
-May take “common” and rare pieces.
-Donations can be tax-deductible.
|-Less likely to have the budget to purchase expensive pieces|
-Rely more on donations of artifacts
-Already have extensive collections
These are the more likely end-users to purchase your findings.
However, you don’t have to sell; you are also in your own right to keep the arrowheads for yourself. There is a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, not to mention sentimental value attached to hunting and finding these stone artifacts.
Sometimes the best “reward” is to clean them up and put them on display in your study. Unless, of course, you find one that is worth almost $300K, then it goes to the highest bidder.
To summarize, the greater the rarity of the arrowhead, the higher the amount of money it can be sold for. Although not enough to retire on, commonly found arrowheads are still worth a little bit of money.
However, the real value is in the history of that arrowhead. Not only the memory of finding it, perhaps with a friend or grandchild…but in imagining how that tool was created, and used and lay dormant for thousands of years.
Thanks for reading.