What Are Arrowheads Worth?

By Ross Garner
An arrowhead may not be worth much to a collector, but finding one can be exciting.

Arrowheads have been found in spectacular quantities and are a great indication of human skill going back tens of thousands of years. While finding one can be a thrill, the chances are they are not worth very much financially, but this does not mean they have no value.

Financially

Financially, arrowheads are worth very little. Their widespread use by Native Americans tribes has left the Americas covered in arrowheads and other small artifacts, which means that their value today is minimal. If you do decide to sell, online auction sites like eBay are the best indication of arrowhead value, as a broad selection of varying quality and age can be compared. In general, an arrowhead will sell for between $10 and $20. For a more professional valuation of an arrowhead, "The Official Overstreet Indian Arrowheads Identification and Price Guide" is a great resource. Despite the price listings, however, selling an expensive arrowhead will mean finding a dealer willing to pay.

Sentimentality

Despite how common they are, finding an arrowhead can still be exciting. The American continent is a large place, and arrowheads are very small, so the chances of stumbling across one are small. Cave paintings across the world have shown images of hunters using bows and arrows, so the discovery of an arrowhead connects you with the human species’ most remote past. Arrowheads were also individually carved long before the modern mass production of goods, so possession of an arrowhead connects you with a single hunter who potentially lived thousands of years ago.

Archaeology

Ancient hunters needed some degree of intelligence and skill to carve arrowheads, so their discovery is a great indication of human development. In 2010, two archaeologists discovered arrowheads in South Africa’s Sibudu Cave that dated to 64,000 years ago. This discovery suggested that mankind were capable of harnessing the energy in flexed wood and devising complex knots about 1,000 years prior to what had previously been thought. While arrowheads may not have great financial value, their value as archaeological artefacts can be huge if they advance present-day knowledge in this way.

Education

Arrowheads also have value as a tool to interest children in the past. Anyone who has children will be familiar with how bored they can become in museums, unable to touch the objects on display or inspect them up close. Thanks to the widespread discovery of arrowheads, and the fact that they are reasonably difficult to break, children can be free to touch them and literally feel history. Boys in particular tend to be fascinated by ancient weapons, and because they are cheap they can even be taken home to provide a permanent reminder of what they have learned.

About the Author

Ross Garner began writing professionally in 2008. Before this he took part in placements with the "Press & Journal," "G41" and "G42" magazines, then began paid freelance work for "Enterprise Matters" magazine. He now works for "Scottish Television" online. Earlier this year Garner graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in journalism and creative writing with English.