Frequently Asked Questions

Have a look at the FAQ’s below and if you’ve any further questions please get in touch.

General

I'm buying an engagement ring and I'm worried about getting the size wrong, can you help?

Firstly, congratulations!  So, if this is a surprise proposal, finding out your partners rings size may require a bit of sneakiness.  I’d suggest  taking note of any rings they usually wear as if you can find another ring that fits, I can size from that.  One option is to send you a ring sizer you can use (if they are a heavy sleeper?), there are also ways we can approximate their ring size based on the size of the fingers on their other hand.  Finally, whilst it’s better to get it right first time, most of the engagement rings in my collection can be resized free of charge within the first 6 months.  Rings set with flush set scattered diamonds can not be resized.  If you’re having a bespoke engagement ring made, let me know if you aren’t sure of the size and I’ll make sure the design is one that will easily resize.

How soon will my jewellery be ready?

Small silver items from the collections are usually in stock.  Pieces made in gold/platinum are made to order.  Wedding and engagement rings  from my collections usually take 4-6 weeks from order to delivery, pieces from my collections that have been customeised usually take 6-8 weeks.  Bespoke pieces take 10-12 weeks.  Simple bespoke pieces such as wedding bands usually take 4-6 weeks.  If you need something sooner, let me know. It can sometimes take longer if I’m busy (wedding season and the run up to Christmas), but again, this can be discussed.

If I need something really quickly, is that possible?

Sometimes, yes.  It really depends on what you want and how soon you need it.

If I need to work outside of normal working hours to make your jewellery more quickly, then I will charge time and a half for doing so.

All jewellery is required by law to be hallmarked.  The Assay Office have an “emergency service”.  It costs approx £50 per item and if necessary, I can take them rather than putting them in the post.  This does work out rather expensive though – about £375 for my time, hallmarking and travel.

Expedited postage, where available, will be charged at cost price.

 

Can I buy your jewellery if I live outside of the UK?

Yes of course.  Please get in touch, let me know what you’re looking to purchase and I’ll provide a shipping quote.

Can I return a piece of jewellery I bought online?

Commissioned pieces, rings and bangles that have been made in your size, items that have been customised or engraved and earrings for pierced ears, can not be returned.  All other items can be returned.  See my terms and conditions for further info.

I love your jewellery, but my budget isn't huge. What's the best way to buy a piece of your jewellery?

The most cost effective way is to purchase a piece from my collections.  You might also want to think about customising a piece from my collections. A simple bespoke design might be a possibility – keep it delicate or slim in design.  The heavier a piece becomes, the more complicated the design and the more stones you add, the more expensive it will become.  Also, consider having something made in silver or 9ct gold as opposed to 18ct gold or platinum.  You might prefer something unique and bespoke in silver rather than a simple piece in 18ct gold – only you know whether your priority is metal or craftsmanship.  I’m happy to have a quick chat by phone or email, just get in touch

Is your white gold rhodium plated?

No, my white gold isn’t rhodium plated as it’s a high palladium white alloy that’s a bright white gold all the way through (as opposed to rhodium plating which is just bright white on the outside).  Rhodium plating is used on cheaper white gold alloys to improve the whiteness of a pale yellow alloy, which is why when rhodium plating begins to wear off, you see patches of pale gold underneath.  It’s more expensive, but is a much better option, rhodium plating can need re-doing as often as every 6 months.

Can you make a piece from one of your collections in another metal or different size?

Yes, please just email me and let me know what you need.  Once I have those details, I can provide a quote. Find out more here.

I'd like a different type of gemstone, can you source other stones?

I can source the following coloured gemstones:

Sapphires, Rubies, Spinel, Garnets, Tourmalines, Zircon, Chrysoprase, Topaz, Aquamarine, Amethyst, Smokey Quartz, Citrine, Moonstone, Opal, Peridot.

Many of these stones are available in a multitude of colours, sapphire for instance comes in pink, blue, yellow, orange, green, peach, purple and white.

Because these stones are sourced responsibly, what is available at any one time will depend on what’s being mined and potentially the season.  The rainy season in Sri Lanka for instance, will often stop the mining.

All of these stones will meet the principles of fair trade, be responsibly sourced and be traceable to one of a handful of mines/miners.

I’m happy to source any gemstone for you, all you need to do is ask. Please just email me and let me know what you’re looking for.  Once I have the details, I can check what’s available and provide a quote.

I'm looking for an alternative to a rough diamond, can you suggest anything?

Yes, I’d suggest rose cut sapphires from Sri Lanka.  These beautiful, ethical, rose cut cabochon (flat bottomed) stones come in beautiful shapes and colours, often with colourful inclusions.  Get in touch and I’ll send you some photographs.

Can you find me an antique diamond to use in a ring?

Yes I can.  There are some absolutely beautiful antique diamonds out there.  Each one is entirely unique, so are sourced to order.  Get in touch to have a chat.

Can I pick the exact stone I'd like in my jewellery?

Yes, I can arrange for you to do that.  It takes time to find you a selection of stones in the right shape, size and colour.  There are also the photography costs (if you can’t visit the studio) alongside postage and insurance costs.  A fee of £100 is charged to cover this service.

Can you use my own gemstones?

Yes, you can use your own gemstones in a bespoke piece or in one of my collection pieces.  Your stones are kept in my safe until they are set in your jewellery.  Please note, that I accept no responsibility for any loss that occurs due to you using your own stones, stones can and do break during setting or afterwards.

Do you use laboratory created diamonds in your jewellery?

Yes, I offer laboratory diamonds as an option in my jewellery.

What's the difference between a "classic" bespoke design and a bespoke "story" design?

Classic bespoke designs are more traditional jewellery pieces such a wedding rings, simple solitaire engagement rings and diamond studs.

My “story” pieces are contemporary designs that take your story as inspiration. These are creative, collaborative pieces, that are designed exclusively for you and where you are central to the design process.  We’ll spend a lot of time talking and part of the process includes the creation of mood boards and sketches. Once we have a design, I source a range of gemstones for you to choose from, before finally,  crafting your unique piece. If you’d like to find out more about these very special pieces, please get in touch.

What happens if I commission something and when it's finished I don't like it?

Before you think of working with any jeweller, I’d advise you take a good look at their website and social media.  The first thing to ask yourself is do I like their style/aesthetic and what’s their ethos? If what they are making/how they’re making it isn’t what you want, then they aren’t the one for you, so keep looking. 

If you do like what they do, have a look at their testimonials.  Do they have happy customers?  Do their pieces look well made, what’s their level of skill and experience?  If you’re still happy, then have a chat by phone or email and make sure you get on and find them easy to talk to. Ask them how they work. Does that fit with what you want?  Everything ok?  then you should be good to go.

If you like the style, aesthetic and quality of what your chosen jeweller is making, there’s no reason to feel you might be unhappy with a finished commission.  If you’re still unsure, think about customising an existing design rather than going all out on a bespoke piece.  Or  if it feels less risky, why not work with them on something smaller first.

I work with my customers in 4 ways:

You can buy a piece from my collections – no worries here about not liking it, it’ll be as you see it in the photos.  You can even make an appointment to see samples.

You can ask to customise a piece from my collections e.g. a different gemstone.  Made exactly as you’d like it and again, you can make an appointment to see samples.

Classic bespoke pieces – when you know exactly what you want.  No extensive design input needed from me, I’ll just make whatever you ask for, e.g. a pair of diamond studs or a wedding band.  Straight forward and fuss free.

A bespoke story piece – these contemporary design led pieces are a collaboration and are inspired by your stories.  We’ll work together to come up with a concept for the design, you’ll get to see the mood board and some indicative sketches.  You choose the metal, any stones, we’ll note any likes and dislikes and you’ll be involved throughout.  Once you’re happy with the direction the design is going in, I’ll begin to make it and the concept will develop into the finished piece.  These pieces are all about you and the design process and because we’ll be working so closely together, it’s really unlikely you’ll be disappointed with your jewellery.

You did a little pencil sketch for me when I came to my design appointment, but I'm still not sure. Can you do some more drawings?

If following your design appointment you still aren’t sure, then I’d suggest you ask for CAD drawings. CAD drawings are computer generated images. These are completely to scale and are the easiest way for you to see exactly what the proposed design will look like, from a number of different angles.  The cost per design is £250, with amendments charged at £60/hr.  CAD designs can also be printed in wax at a further fee.

If I pay for CAD drawings and don't order the design from you, can I take the drawings to another jeweller and ask them to make it?

No, the fee you pay covers the CAD designers time to draw them up.  It doesn’t give you ownership of the copyright design.

I can't find the dimensions for a piece of jewellery on your website, can you help?

Yes of course, just drop me an email letting me know what you need and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

Can I have this pendant on a different type of chain?

Yes, so long as it will fit through the pendant bail.  Please just email me and let me know what you need.  Once I have those details, I can provide a quote.

Can you tell me how long the earwire is?

Each pair of earwires for drop earrings is handmade and so each pair may be slightly different to the next.  If you get in touch and tell me what you want to purchase, I can measure those I have in stock and let you know.

Can you give me a ball park price for a ring please?

I can’t I’m afraid, it’s not that simple unfortunately.  There are so many different factors that affect price.  The design, the materials, complexity, the time it will take to make, the number of stones, their size, quality and colour.  If you have a set budget, feel free to get in touch, tell me what you have in mind and ask me what I can do, I’m always happy to have a chat 🙂

How do you make your jewellery?

My preference is to hand make.  Sometimes I’ll make the original piece by hand and cast in multiples, finishing and setting by hand.  I might carve in wax and cast in sand, or design in CAD, before 3D printing and casting.  As a minimum, all of my finishing and setting is done by hand.  I balance the best technique for that particular piece against cost and customer budget.

Do you repair jewellery?

I only repair jewellery I have made.

Isn't all jewellery vegan - surely it's just metal and stones?

Whilst metal and stones don’t in themselves contain any animal products, many of the tools and consumables used to produce jewellery do come from animals.  Animal hair, leather and fleece polishing mops, polishing compounds containing animal fat, shellac used for holding jewellery in place during stone setting and rawhide mallets to name just a few.  Most jewellery packaging will also use animal glue

I don’t use any of these things in my workshop, I’ve been a vegan for 20 years now and my jewellery will always be vegan.

Is hand made jewellery more expensive?

Yes, it is.  Many many hours go into hand making a piece of jewellery, not to mention the ongoing skills development, design & development time and the sourcing of materials.  When I hand make a piece of jewellery I start from scratch, melting down the metal grain into an ingot, rolling the metal into sheet or wire, then forming, forging, piercing drilling, creating settings, filing, sanding, polishing and finally setting the stones.  It’s an incredibly skilled but time consuming way of making jewellery.  If hand making isn’t your priority, a cost saving can be made using CAD/CAM.

Is a bespoke piece of jewellery more expensive?

In general, yes.  When you commission a bespoke piece you need to factor in all the time we spend discussing your jewellery, the research and development that goes into a design in order to come up with a concept, the technical problem solving, the sourcing of stones and materials, even before the making part begins which in itself could be lengthy.

Classic bespoke designs, e.g. wedding bands, a solitaire engagement ring or diamond studs, start from around £1500.

My unique bespoke “Story” pieces of jewellery, in 18ct gold or platinum, set with diamonds or gemstones will typically start around £5500.  The amount of gold, number and quality of gemstones and complexity of design will all have an impact on the investment you’ll need to make.

Bespoke designs can be made in silver and 9ct gold too and you’re welcome to reuse old jewellery.

Please get in touch to find out more

Are ethical and traceable stones more expensive?

Yes they are.  The miners are properly paid, there’s no cheap or child labour.  Stones are mined in smaller quantities – no bulk, standard stones here.  The stones are all catalogued and given identity codes, they are kept individually (the norm is large parcels of gemstones) and are traceable to either an exact mine/miner or a handful of mines within one area.  Availability depends upon what comes out of the ground on any particular day.

Remodelling

What exactly is jewellery remodelling and redesign?

Your jewellery can be altered, for instance turning a single earring into a pendant or making a brooch into two pieces of jewellery. Alternatively you might want to have it made into something completely different.  I can melt down your old pieces and use the metal and precious stones in a completely unique bespoke design, or you can ask for it to be made into one of the pieces in my collections. You can use just the stones, just the metal or both.

I’ve lots of old/broken/inherited/unworn jewellery, can it all be reused?

Yes, so long as it’s all hallmarked.  Your jewellery may need to be refined prior to reuse.

What's refining?

Refining is a chemical process where pure gold is separated from any other metal it’s been alloyed with. Precious metals are alloyed to give them different properties such as colour, carat and strength.  24ct is pure gold, all other metals are alloys.  For instance, 18ct gold is hallmarked 750, this means it is 75% pure gold.   It’s then alloyed with other metals to make it harder), e.g. copper or palladium (24 carat is so soft that if it was a ring, it would squash). Copper gives rose gold its colour, whilst palladium produces a white gold.  You wouldn’t mix white and yellow gold together if you were melting them down.  Instead you’d refine the metals back to pure gold and then alloy them again to whatever colour and carat you require. Refining also removes any harmful metals that may be present in old jewellery, e.g. cadmium, lead and nickel.  New regulations strictly govern the use of these metals in modern jewellery as they are harmful to health.  An XRF report from the Assay Office can also show whether these metals are present in your jewellery.  Refining gives you peace of mind that your metal is not contaminated, won’t be harmful to health and will hallmark to the purity you expect.  We can discuss this in further detail when you come to see me.

Can I remodel/recycle all different carats of gold etc?

Hallmarked silver, gold and platinum can all be reused.  Different carats of gold can be mixed together.  White gold is a little trickier to re-use due to the composition of the alloy, but it can be done.  If different colours of gold are to be reused, they’ll either need to be refined first or used as separate elements in a two colour piece.

Can I re-use any of the gemstones from my old jewellery?

Your gemstones can be removed from the existing pieces of jewellery and set into the new piece, put into one of my existing designs (if they’re the right size) or put aside for you to use at a later date.  Other new gemstones can also be added if you so wish.  Your own stones are reused at your own risk, no liability is accepted for any loss arising from the use of the stones, either during the manufacturing process or at a later date.  Your stones will be kept in my safe until ready to be used.

What type of jewellery can my old rings/pendants be made into?

Your metal can be made into anything you like, rings, earrings, pendant, bracelet etc.

What do I need to think about if I want to remodel my old jewellery?

Decide first how you’d like to work with me.  Do you want to commission a bespoke piece inspired by you and based on your stories or would you like to have your old jewellery made into one of the pieces in my collections or a customised version of them?  I can also make your old jewellery into a simple bespoke design such as a wedding band or engagement ring.  Have a look at my “work with me” page and then give me a quick call or drop me an email if you’d like to discuss anything. Then, once you know how you want to work with me, make an appointment to come and see me and bring along your old jewellery.  I’ll have a look at it all and tell you how much you have and in what carat (9, 18ct etc). We’ll have a chat about what you’d like and take it from there.

What exactly has to be done to reuse my old jewellery?

The process can differ, depending on what type of metal we are reusing.  I firstly need to dismantle your jewellery, cutting out any solder seams that would contaminate the metal when it’s melted down.  If your metal needs to be refined, then this goes to a specialist refiner, where it is treated with acids that turn your metal into a pure gold sludge!  This is then filtered and the pure gold melted down, before being re-alloyed into whatever colour or carat of gold you’d like.  In the studio, I will melt your metal down in a ceramic crucible using a gas torch. Once molten, the metal is poured into an ingot mould.  It’s allowed to cool, is cleaned of any oxidation and then I’ll begin to roll it into sheet or wire, using a rolling mill.  Once the metal is the right shape or thickness, I’ll then fabricate, cut, form and manipulate the metal into whatever piece of jewellery has been decided upon. Alternatively your metal might be cast into a new piece of jewellery using the lost wax casting method or into one of my existing designs. It will then be polished and set with any stones. Engraving is also available.

Will I need to add any extra gold/platinum to what I already have?

You might, it will depend on the new design and how much metal you had to start with.

Will remodelling/recycling my old jewellery save me money?

It might, but it really depends on what you decide to have it made into.  The processes involved in reusing your old jewellery are time consuming so unless you have a lot of platinum, 18 or 22ct gold, the time involved will generally outweigh the value of the metal. You can of course choose to reuse just your gemstones or diamonds. Using your metal and/or stones in a piece from one of my collections or choosing a simple design are the best ways to keep costs down.  I generally advise that you only re-use your metal where it is of sentimental value.   However it’s also very environmentally friendly to reuse and recycle.