There are at least 100 Trading Posts, Shops and Galleries in Gallup, making the town the undisputed Southwestern Center for Original Native American Art.
Route 66 (Main Street) and Coal Avenue are the principle sites of most Gallery and Trading Post activity in Gallup.
I stopped and looked inside of ORTEGA'S GALLUP INDIAN MARKET which is right on Historic Route 66. I was in heaven, as the store was jam-packed with beautiful Native Indian Crafts, esp the beautiful sterling silver and turquoise jewelry, colourful woven rugs & blankets and Kachina Dolls. The store was also having a 60 % off sale on many items.
Navajo - Rugs & Blankets
Zuni - Turquoise set in sterling silver
Hopi - Pottery and unique carved Kachinas
The flea market is an open air space of dirt north of town where vendors gather every Saturday. The collections jewelry, raw agates, other tribal art, and food is outstanding. Feel free to bargain for jewelry here. I was particularly impressed by the "kneel down bread" and other foods made by the Native Americans of this region, and found this reason enough to visit.
I had only a few minutes to browse and buy, but I quickly recognized the very reasonable prices for the jewelry and other art available at this store. The Navajo woman held her beautiful baby and explained the source and quality of the jewelry on display. Within a few minutes, I purchased a lot of torquoise studded silver jewelry--1 bollo tie, 1 necklace, and 4 sets of earrings. For all this, I paid about $150- including discounts and tax. Everything was carefully boxed for gift purposes.
What to buy: The native crafted jewelry is tops here, but I'd also consider the pottery and other art available in this shop.
What to pay: American Indian art is among the world's highest in price because of the cost of living in the USA. But, it's unique, high quality, and can't be imitated by anyone else. Expect to pay about half the price of roadside vendors in Gallup for Navajo Art. We found Gallup much cheaper than old town Albuquerque, for example, and the collection was larger.
The Flea Market is the place to get the best prices on any Indian Jewelry and Pottery. It is every Saturday of the year and a must see. Not only is the shopping good but it is just an amazing experience, this is where the locals go to do their shopping.
Favorites: get some Kettle Corn anyplace you see that makes it fresh, it's absolutely delicious, also try the roast mutton or blue corn mush at the local food stands. Good stuff.
What to buy: Turquoise Jewelry
What to pay: It depends on where you go. If you eat at Earl's restuarant you will get great prices on everything. If you go to the flea market, ditto. With those places you can expect to pay $5-$50 for a piece of jewelry or pottery.
However, if you go to the trading posts or any of the stores, you will pay at least three time the amount you would at the above places. The selection and quality is higher at the stores usually so you just have to make your choice.