I’m interested in having a piece custom designed, where do I start?
The first is to check out my custom process page where you will find out everything you need to know about how it works.
If you already have a design in mind, together we can develop the details during the consultation to ensure the result is both beautiful and structurally sound. It’s important to note here that if you would like to bring in images of other jewellery they will be used as reference only, I will not reproduce someone else’s design.
If you don’t have a design in mind and don’t know where to start, you may want to begin by asking yourself a few questions. For example, do you prefer white metal or yellow? High polished finishes or matte? Flat edges or rounded? Diamonds or coloured gemstones? What is my style – am I modern or classic? Then…when you’re ready…schedule a chat!
In terms of a time frame, it really depends on the project and your deadline. Generally speaking it usually takes between two and six weeks to complete a project.
REUSING JEWELLERY: What kinds of metals can be reused?
Some alloys are better suited to being re-used than others. Here is the “good, better, best” breakdown of re-usable alloys. The best alloys to re-use are any karat of yellow or rose gold. The ‘better’ alloys or the next best are platinum and palladium. The ‘good’ metal is silver but it doesn’t often make sense to re-use silver from a cost perspective. Unfortunately the alloy that is used to create white gold makes it very brittle and not suitable to be reused. Any white gold that you have can be taken in to be recycled and a credit can be applied to your project.
REUSING OLD JEWELLERY: How much will my project cost?
Since you will be reusing your own materials this will reduce your costs vs. a new piece. This is applicable with all alloys except silver. With silver the labour costs outweigh the material costs. In general, you can expect to save about 1/3 the cost of a new piece. The amount of cost savings depends on the type of materials being reused but if, for example, you are reusing gold and diamonds your cost savings will be significant. If we do not need to add any materials to your project then what you can expect to pay for are the labour costs involved in such things as dismantling your old jewellery & removing the gemstones, preparing the metal, cleaning the gemstones, CAD labour charges, casting & setting fees (if applicable) etc. If you have more than enough gold than is required for your project you can choose to either have it returned to you or use it as a credit toward your piece.
REUSING GEMSTONES: Can I re-use my gemstones?
When reusing jewellery I always do an initial assessment while the stones are still set to determine their condition. If there are any that I feel are not in good condition I will advise against using these. Once I receive the go ahead to remove the stones I will do another assessment after the stones are removed from their settings. Sometimes the metal of the setting will obscure chips or damage to stones that are not noticeable until the stones are removed. I will then inform you if there are any that are unusable. There is also always a small risk that the process of removing the stones will cause damage. I take the utmost care when removing stones but with stones that are smaller than 2mm there is a greater risk of damage. If you require more stones I have access to a wide variety including genuine and man made stones such as moissanite. Also, it’s important to keep in mind when matching old stones to new that they may be cut differently. If new stones are necessary I will ensure the new stone cuts match the old ones.
Where do your gemstones come from?
I have strong and trustworthy relationships with the gemstone companies that I source my stones from. All of these companies are small, family owned business, extremely reputable and committed to the ethical sourcing of gemstones. Each adheres to the Kimberley Process for diamonds which strictly outlines the protocol and the necessary accompanying documentation that traces the journey of a diamond from the mine to the gemstone dealer. Significant progress has been made, it is now estimated that conflict diamonds account for less than 1% of the total amount of diamonds in circulation in the world, but work remains to be done. Canadian diamonds are an option if you would like to 100% guarantee that a diamond is conflict-free. Each Canadian diamond is laser-inscribed on the girdle. It’s important to note that Canadian diamonds tend to be about 30% more expensive than other diamonds of similar size and quality.
Unfortunately, there is no similar procedure to the Kimberley Process in effect when it comes to coloured stones. Coloured stones are found all over the world but the most abundant sources are typically Southern & South-East Asia as well as South America.
If you are not comfortable with using a mined gemstone at all then there are other options. There is a large selection of lab-grown or man-made gemstones available but the best option is always reusing a stone from a piece of old jewellery that is not being worn. That way absolutely nothing new has been mined from the earth.
Can I source my own gemstone?
I can work with any gemstone. If you prefer to source your own stone I will need to know as there may be specific requirements depending on the design. Keep in mind that, because the origin of the stone is unfamiliar, I can’t guarantee it’s quality or durability. For example, from time to time a stone may get chipped or break during the setting process. Although it does not happen often, there would be no recourse should it occur. When I source stones for my clients I take into consideration all of the factors that determine the value of a stone, as well as all of the factors that can’t be measured, to choose the best selection of stones before presenting them to you to view.
What is the currency used for your prices on the website?
All prices listed on the website are in Canadian Dollars.
What methods of payment do you accept?
I accept cash or cheque as well as Visa, Mastercard & American Express. If you would like to use debit I can easily arrange a payment through paypal if you have an account.
My skin is sensitive, what is the best metal choice for me?
If you have a skin sensitivity or allergy the best metal choices for you are either palladium white gold or platinum. Generally speaking people have a sensitivity to either the copper or nickel that is used as an alloy in certain metals. The most common allergy is to the nickel in nickel white gold so by using palladium white gold you will avoid a reaction.
Do you provide a warranty?
I stand behind my work 100%. If there is a problem that arises in the first year due to craftsmanship during the course of normal wear & tear I will fix it at no charge. In addition, should a diamond or gemstone of 0.18 carats or less chip, crack or fall out in the first year of wear I will also replace the gemstone free of charge. If something ‘abnormal’ occurs such as it gets run over, chewed on, drenched in chemicals etc. I will also help you repair it for the lowest possible cost. Rest assured that I will always take care of my pieces. In addition to free cleaning and polishing for life you are also welcome to bring back your piece at any time for a complimentary assessment. If any tender, loving care is needed I will again ensure you receive the best possible price.
Over time, a ring you wear every day will get small scratches developing into a lovely ‘worn’ polished patina. I encourage people to learn to love this finish as constantly polishing your ring actually removes a tiny amount of metal each time. But, there are occasions when it would be nice for a piece to be brought back to it’s original finish (ie: a wedding day!). I get quite sentimental myself about the pieces I’ve made and want to see them look beautiful forever so I also provide free cleaning & polishing whenever you want!
Can I return a custom piece?
A custom designed piece of jewellery is specifically created with one person in mind and often personalized. This makes it extremely difficult or sometimes impossible to re-sell. I am committed to having my clients 100% happy with their purchases and I am prepared to do everything in my power to achieve this result. If something is not quite right I will work with you until it is perfect!
What if I don’t have the ring size?
I have some tips and tricks to help you determine the intended recipient’s ring size. But the only way to really be sure is to measure the finger size using ring-sizers. In most cases, if the ring size provided is incorrect I will be able to adjust the size for an additional charge. Typically small adjustments start at $20 but if additional metal is required it will be factored into the cost. It’s also important to remember that ring sizes can alter quite substantially depending on the time of year, water consumption, salt consumption etc.
How much will my project cost?
To start, there is no minimum. A custom-made pendant can be as little as $30! But there are really two ways to approach a custom design quote. The first is to present me with your budget so I can take it into consideration while designing. The second way is to tell me – this is exactly what I want, how much does it cost?
Now…in my experience people are sometimes hesitant to tell me their budget. I just want to take this opportunity to assure you that there is absolutely no reason to be hesitant! By telling me your budget I can work better for you, making sure you get the best of the absolute best in your price range. Rest assured, if your budget is $5000, it does not mean that my quote will be $4999.99!
Once the project has been approved by you and we proceed to the actual creation in metal, I ask for a deposit of 50% of the total before commencing work.
Do you hold private events at your studio?
We’ve held many private events in our studio space, some hosted by us, some by our friends. It’s such a beautiful spot and Kim & I love sharing it. If you’re interested in having a private or corporate event in our studio just let us know what you have in mind!
Do you do repairs too?
Yes! If something you love is in need of some TLC, I’m here to help! And, let’s be clear, you will find no jewellery snobbery here. It doesn’t matter if it’s a diamond ring in need of re-sizing or a plastic brooch that you’ve had since you were five, bring it in and I’ll do my best to get it looking like new. If by chance it’s time to perhaps reinvent your cherished jewel we can talk about recreating it into something new!
Wholesale or Consignment Inquiries
I do have my work on consignment in galleries and have sold lines via wholesale. I am open to both a wholesale or consignment arrangement. If you are interested in carrying one or more of my collections please send me an email with your thoughts and/or questions!