Buying Information


Materials
I work mostly with sterling silver, Argentium™ sterling silver, niobium, and gold-filled wire. (See the Caring for your Purchases section below for descriptions of the various metals.) I use copper components and wire, but not for earwires. Most of my crystal pieces are made with Swarovski™ crystals; those made with Chinese or Czech crystals are noted in their descriptions. Any plated metal components are noted in item descriptions.
Measurements
The lengths listed for earrings are the total length measured from the point where the earwire goes through the hole in your ear. Do keep in mind that for custom orders, the earwire you choose may differ from the style used in the example photo, and may alter the overall length of the custom earring. Lengths listed for bracelets and necklaces are the wearing length, that is, measured with clasp closed. If a piece has an adjustable length, I list a length range and note how the length is adjusted in the description.
Custom Orders
I'm happy to make a custom piece based on any of the designs in the Customize Gallery. I'm also happy to discuss possibly collaborating with you on a custom piece based on your own ideas or on ideas you see in the Inspiration Gallery. Before you contact me with a custom order request, please make sure you have the following information ready and include as much detail as possible in your message:
  • name of design on my site you'd like your piece based on
  • color(s)
  • bead type (crystal, foil-lined, matte glass, metal…)
  • bead shape (bicone, round, square…)
  • metal (sterling, Argentium, gold-filled, niobium, copper)
  • length (see Measurements note above)
  • earwire style (French, ball-front, square, round, inverted-V, hook-back, clip-on, post, other ideas?)
  • clasp style (toggle, lobster, hook & eye, S-clasp, other ideas?)
  • any other descriptive information you can give me
Not sure what the clasp or earwire styles mean? See my Explanation of Optional Elements for Custom Designs.
Turnaround Time on Custom Orders
Custom orders, are, as the name implies, built to your custom specifications. Once we've completed negotiations on exactly what you're looking for, you will need to make your payment. Once payment has been received I will begin making your piece. I will give you an estimate of how long it will take to make when we agree to the project. I always try to turn around orders as soon as possible, but manufacturing times vary widely, depending on whether I need to purchase materials for your project, how complicated the project is, and how busy I am at the time.
Payment
For every item I have available for sale you can click on the Add to Shopping Cart button to add it to a shopping cart through PayPal. You do not have to have a PayPal account to buy through them. If you do not want to pay through PayPal, use the Contact Form to ask me about possibly paying by check. Local customers already personally known to me may arrange with me to have their purchases delivered in person and pay in cash. Unfortunately, custom orders must be prepaid once we both agree to the project. I'm currently only taking domestic orders.
Shipping
Orders that need to be mailed to you will incur a shipping fee starting at $5.00. PayPal will include the shipping fee in your shopping cart. For orders placed any other way, I will calculate shipping for you when we discuss the order. I try to keep my shipping charges as low as possible, so most circumstances I ship by First Class Mail with proof of shipping and delivery confirmation. For high value orders I may decide that more secure shipping is necessary, which may involve additional shipping charges. I will contact you in advance before making any shipping price changes to your order. If you need your item shipped in another way, please contact me to discuss your needs.
Personal Delivery Option
If you are located in my area and already know me personally, you can save shipping fees by arranging with me to have your order delivered in person. Use the Contact Form to tell me which item you want to buy and when you'd like to meet with me.
Returns
This is a small-time hobby for me, not a full-blown business, so returns are handled on an individual basis. If you are unsure or need more information about an item please contact me before ordering so I can answer any questions you have and help you make a good purchase decision. I do want you to be happy with what you buy from me! If you have a problem with an item you ordered from the Available Gallery, please contact me and I'll see what I can do to fix your situation. Unfortunately, custom orders are not returnable.
Caring for Your Purchases
Sterling silver
To best avoid tarnish developing on your sterling silver jewelry, wipe it all over with a clean, dry, soft cloth every time you take it off. After wiping, store it sealed in the provided zipper-top bag to avoid exposure to tarnish-creating gasses in the air. Make sure your jewelry is completely dry before storing; moisture hastens tarnishing. It's a great idea to toss some of those silica crystal pouches that you often find in packaged products into your jewelry box; those are designed to remove moisture from the air. I've never tried this, but some folks recommend putting a piece of chalk in your jewelry box and changing it each month to reduce moisture in the air. Some jewelry stores sell anti-tarnish paper to put into the bag which helps absorb tarnish causing gasses that might get trapped inside. Alternatively, you can store your silver jewelry in a closed container lined with anti-tarnish fabric which is available at most large fabric stores.
Argentium
Argentium sterling silver differs from standard sterling silver in that a small amount of the 7.5% copper in regular sterling silver is replaced with germanium giving it better tarnish resistance. Store as recommended for sterling silver above. Argentium generally yellows when it tarnishes, and the yellow can be removed by washing with warm soapy water.
Niobium
Niobium is similar to titanium, and is a great option for people with metal sensitivities. The colors are from anodizing, not dye. Niobium will not tarnish, so you do not have to protect it from exposure to air during storage. You should avoid scratching the metal, however, as you could scratch through the anodized layer exposing the dull, dark gray natural color. Preferably store this jewelry so that it will not be rubbing against anything else to avoid such damage.
Copper
Copper will tarnish over time (it's actually the copper in sterling silver that causes sterling silver to tarnish). Although occasionally I use copper that's got a clear coating on it which will delay tarnishing, even that will eventually lose it's metallic luster and turn brown. Store your copper jewelry in the provided zipper-top bag when not in use. Do not mix copper and silver pieces in the same bag, you'll hasten the tarnishing of the silver. All of the rules above for storing sterling silver apply to copper. Depending on your body chemistry (and if your jewelry spends enough time in moisture), a green patina may develop on copper jewelry, and some people find copper leaves black marks or otherwise irritates their skin, which is why I don't make earwires out of it.
Gold-filled wire
Gold-filled wire is a bit of a misnomer. It's not filled with gold. It's generally a brass core that's got a thick plating of gold (so the gold finish on gold-filled wire is much more durable than plain gold plated wire). I buy 14K gold-filled wire and components. Gold is resistant to tarnish, but because of the copper in the brass under the gold coating, gold-filled materials may tarnish over time. Storing them in their zipper-top bags as described in the sterling silver section will help delay tarnishing.
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