Frequently asked questions
Q: What services do you offer?
A: We offer a variety of jewelry related services including:
CUSTOM JEWELRY- Whether you'd like to re-use your gemstones and/or metal or you'd rather design a piece from scratch, our amazing team of designers with help you envision a beautiful piece of jewelry exactly the way you want it, and our goldsmiths will make it a reality. See some of our recent creations here. Our shop is well-equipped, capable of in-house casting (including platinum), has two 3D printers and much more. Plus, most of the shop areas are visible from the show room, so you can come take a tour of where your jewelry is actually made!
Custom order turn-around time: The process generally takes 6-8 weeks, but we can often accommodate shorter deadlines.
JEWELRY REPAIR - We are known for tackling all types of repairs including some not listed. In order to give an accurate quote, we must carefully examine the item to be repaired. You are welcome to stop by anytime and we will be happy to take a look at your jewelry and let you know what it will take to fix it.
solder rings together/take them apart
clasp repair and replacement
gemstone setting and replacement
pearl and bead stringing
colored stone cutting/repair
Repair turn-around time: Depending on the complexity of the job, we can usually finish repair work in 2-3 weeks, however we can often accommodate shorter deadlines.
Clean and Check - We offer free polishing, cleaning and inspection of your jewelry, regardless of where it was purchased. Jewelry is special in the way it can bring joy to generation after generation, but in order for your beloved pieces to stand the test of time, it's absolutely critical to have them cleaned and inspected regularly! Just as you would have your car or fine watch inspected and maintained, your jewelry will require maintenance from time to time. With regular checks, we can often catch problems while they are still fixable, not to mention before diamonds and gemstones are lost.
Clean and check turn-around time: Inspection and cleaning can generally be done while you wait in just a few minutes.
Recommended clean and check interval: every 6 months.
Hand Engraving - decorative embellishments, monograms, initials, even pictorial representations
Engraving turn-around time: The estimated time to complete an engraving project directly depends on this complexity of the job, however we can often promise completion within 2-3 weeks.
Jewelry Appraisals - We have two CGAs (certified gemologist appraiser) on staff to perform several types of appraisals. You will receive an official appraisal document complete with a photograph of your item and detailed descriptions of the primary gemstone, accent gemstones and mounting. We have an AGS (American Gem Society) accredited gem labaratory, furnished with various testing equipment necessities including a binocular microscope, electronic scale, spectrascope, polariscope, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Gem Set color grading system, Chelsea color filter, diamond light and graded master comparison diamonds, thermal conductivity diamond tester, UV light unit, proportionscope, dichroscope, refactometer and heavy liquids. All analyses, opinions, and conclusions are developed and prepared in conformity with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Appraisals take approximately 1-1.5 hours per item, hence our inability to give discounts based on quantity of pieces.
Appraisal turn-around time: Our gemologists usually require 7-10 business days to study your jewelry, record and assess all of the components, research current values, and produce all of the relevant official documentation for insurance or selling purposes. This service costs $100 per item, and no appointment is needed. If you are in a hurry, we also offer a 24-hour appraisal for single pieces and smaller collections. This rush service adds an additional $50 per item to the standard fee, and we ask that you please call first to schedule your visit with one of our gemologists.
Diamond and colored gemstone re-cutting and polishing - Although diamonds are very, very hard, they can be broken and chipped when hit from just the right angle. Often, chipped diamonds can be re-cut to look like nothing ever happened! Colored gemstones can become abraded over time, causing them to lose that sparkle that you fell in love with. Not to fear, we have seen some dramatic improvements in the appearance of damaged diamonds and colored gemstones!
Re-cutting turn-around time: The time frame for this process is entirely dependent on its complexity. Please bring any gems you're looking to have re-cut or polished for an estimated cost and turn-around time.
Q: Is your jewelry ethically sourced?
A: Yes! We recycle metals in house, encourage our clients to recycle their metals and any new metal we buy is recycled.
We also encourage the re-setting of existing gems, often they have personal meaning and history and that makes the finished jewelry all the more special. When new gems are desired, we carefully choose suppliers with ethical standards that match our own. The Kimberley Process insures that our diamonds are conflict free, plus we offer Canadian diamonds and a range of diamond alternatives.
We are proud members of the AGS (American Gem Society), AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) and the JVC (Jewelers Vigilance Committee), all of which require the highest standards of ethical practices for membership.
q: WHAT ARE YOUR E-COMMERCE POLICIES?
A: We offer free insured 2nd day FedEx shipping, free return shipping for anything that doesn't work out, and full refund or store credit for all items returned in their original condition within 30 days of purchase. The only exceptions are items marked “exceptional value”, and items that are specifically marked in their listing as non returnable such as the Durham skyline pendant because it is made to order and a portion of the proceeds goes to charity.
Orders placed before 4:00 pm EST Tuesday - Friday will be shipped on the day you purchase. Orders placed after 4:00 pm EST, or on non business days (Saturday, Sunday, Monday and holidays), will be shipped on the next business day. Free FedEx 2nd day shipping is standard with all orders, however expedited shipping will incur additional charges. Please email email@example.com, or call 919-286-2990, to arrange for expedited shipping. Or choose in store pick up!
All transactions are secured by SSL encryption.
Returns must be made within 30 days of purchase and must be sent in original packaging. To request a return shipping label, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 919-286-2990. As soon as we receive your item in its original condition, we'll issue a full refund or a store credit, according to your instructions.
Q: Are your prices competitive?
Our prices are based on materials and labor. Materials include things like precious metals, gemstones, clasps, etc. and the labor is based on the hands-on time that it takes to make the jewelry.
Each piece that we create is made in house by our team which consists of designer/sales staff, designer/goldsmiths, gemologists and administrative staff. In spite of the fact that our jewelry is hand made in the USA one piece at a time, our prices are comparable to jewelry of similar quality found in other stores.
Q: Do you buy jewelry?
A: We buy metal.
We buy gold, platinum and silver, plus some diamonds. Bring us your broken or unwanted jewelry and we'll give you a recycle value based on the purity and weight. We can write you a check, or offer you even more if you want to trade it toward a purchase.
While we don’t buy colored gems, you may want to use them in a new piece of jewelry made just for you!
Q: Can I use my own gold in my custom jewelry?
If your gold is from family pieces, we often recommend that you have your gold purified in a special process known as “Same Molecule Refining.” This process removes solder and the other metals that are added to your pure gold to make alloys such as 14K or 18K white, yellow or rose gold allowing us to start fresh and produce a more durable final product. What remains is the pure 24K gold from your actual original pieces, in other words, it is not mixed with any other jewelry when it is processed. This means that if you want to use your grandmother’s wedding ring in your own wedding ring, we can use the exact same 24K gold from her ring (then add the metal necessary to make it whatever color and karat of gold you desire!) Much like recipes with slightly different ingredients or proportions can give you very different results, (think french bread, pretzels and mmmm, doughnuts) adding different metals to 24K can give you lots of options. “Same Molecule Refining” is not available for platinum, but in some circumstances we can directly use your old platinum, we can take a look and let you know. Of course, you can also trade in your gold and platinum for a recycling credit toward your new piece if it is not sentimental. Either way, you can feel good knowing that your precious metals will find a new life!
Q: Do you have all the items in stock that are shown on your website?
All of the items that are shown on the "Shop" pages are available, but we wanted to use the archival photo galleries to demonstrate the wide range of jewelry we've made in our 40+ years.
See something you like in an archive gallery, or a stock piece marked "sold"? Not to worry, we can custom-build most of the items on the website to suit your specifications, a process which takes roughly 4-6 weeks.
Q: Do you have a warranty?
A: Yes! We stake our reputation on every piece of jewelry we create. Here's the official warranty:
Statement of Warranty - Thank you for choosing Jewelsmith. Our mission is to create durable, high quality, handcrafted jewelry. Components, mechanisms and gemstones will require attention over time. The following paragraphs detail our official warranty.
Our Promise - We take pride in our work and guarantee its quality. In the unlikely event that your jewelry breaks due to a manufacturing defect or an error in our workmanship, we will repair the piece at no charge. If, however, your jewelry sustains damage due to wear, neglect or accidents, we are not responsible. We will gladly advise you with any preventative care and maintenance.
Care and Maintenance - Gemstones can become loose in their settings due to impact under many circumstances. Even diamonds, which are the hardest, can chip, abrade, or break when struck with enough force at the right angle. For these reasons, Jewelsmith recommends personal jewelry insurance for coverage of the unexpected. We have recommended Jeweler’s Mutual Insurance Company to our customers for over 30 years.
We recommend having your jewelry cleaned and the setting(s) inspected by our goldsmiths or an American Gem Society (AGS) accredited jeweler at least twice a year. We offer complimentary cleaning, inspections and stone tightening of all Jewelsmith jewelry. Eventually, we may suggest updates or refurbishments that are consistent with the wear and age of the piece. In addition, we recommend removing your jewelry while doing yard work, cleaning, heavy lifting (including at the gym) and enthusiastic clapping. Note well that gemstones and pearls, as well as precious and alternative metals, require specific and differential care dependent on your daily activities.
Q: Are there different types of appraisals?
A: Yes, we offer 4 types of jewelry appraisals, all of which are detailed below. Simply let us know which category suits your needs when you drop your jewelry off for appraisal.
Insurance of Replacement - This is the estimated value for which a similarly described item could be purchased if alike in quality, material and craftsmanship at the time of the appraisal from a merchant who normally stocks and deals in the type of merchandise in question.
Fair Market Value - This is the estimated cash value of an item in “as is” condition which would change hands between a willing buyer and seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. This price would be determined in an orderly sale in a market within a reasonable time of thirty days to twelve months.
Liquidation Value - This would be the same as above, but in a forced sale within a time frame of seven to thirty days, with one or both of the parties being an unwilling participant.
Antique - Antique and unusual items that are considered not replaceable, the appraisal represents the current replacement value. This type of evaluation is quite rare and not often used as Jewelsmith can reproduce most items.
Q: How do I store and care for my pearls?
A: Read over our list of Do's and Don'ts to ensure your pearls can be worn and loved for generations
Do wear your pearls! You can't enjoy them nearly as much if they're forever stuck in the bottom of your jewelry box. Regular care will greatly extend the life of your pearls and give you the peace of mind to keep wearing and loving them!
Do store pearls in a soft velvet or satin bag/pouch to prevent them from touching other potentially abrasive jewelry. Pearls should never be wrapped in cotton or wool, because the heat generated would add to the risk of drying and cracking.
Do wipe pearls regularly with a soft cloth or chamois moistened with water. This will prevent dirt from accumulating and keep perspiration, which is slightly acidic, from eating away at the pearl nacre. If pearls are very dirty they can be cleaned by your jeweler or washed in water with a mild soap such as Ivory. After washing your pearls, rinse well with clear warm water and lay them flat on a soft towel to dry.
Don't clean pearls with commercial jewelry cleaners, ultrasonic cleaners, steam cleaners, detergents, bleaches, powdered cleaners, toothpaste, or baking soda. Do not use toothbrushes, scouring pads, or any other abrasive material to clean pearls.
Don't wear pearls to the hair salon, tanning salon, gym, or around water (i.e. swimming or taking a shower).
Do be gentle. Pearls are formed inside a living mollusk and actually retain small amounts of water and protein, as well as a healthy dose of crystalline calcium carbonate, a material that's extra sensitive to chemicals and acid. Rating only a meager 2.5-4.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, pearls are indeed quite soft and delicate gems.
Do protect your pearls from chemicals such as vinegar, alcohol, ammonia, bleach, swimming pool and hot tub water, hair spray, perfume and cosmetics. When dressing, pearls should be the last thing that you put on and the first thing that you take off.
Do bring us your pearls for regular check-ups every year or so. The silk thread can weaken and stretch over time and wear, which gives the pearls more room to shift around and slice away at the thread.