FAQs about Hand-crafted Jewels

Last Update: December 28 2013

How do I Order?
How do Commissions work?
How do I know what size ring I need?
How do I know what it costs in my Currency?
What do Hand-crafted & Hand-Made mean?
Why do you call yourself a Goldsmith when most of the jewels displayed aren't Gold?
Isn't "Ethical Jewellery" just another sales device?
How can I learn more about buying jewellery safely and avoiding rip-offs?
Further Reading & Interesting Links

How do I Order?

December 28 2013: I have decided to remove the shopping cart facility after repeated attacks on my website. Until I am certain what the problem is, the shopping cart facility will not be available.
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How do Commissions work?

I'm happy to discuss design possibilities with you: face to face, by phone, or via email.

If you know exactly what you want, just get in contact.

If you don't know for sure, you can always start with one of the following:

Then collect magazine pictures, Internet graphics, book illustrations, or draw a sketch and you're on your way!

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How do I know what size ring I need?


One way is to pop in to a jewellery store and get your finger sized by them. If this isn't convenient, you can try one of the online sites. I like Online Conversion You can do lots of other conversions there as well, e.g., inches to centimeters etc.
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How do I know what it costs in my Currency?

All prices on this site are in New Zealand Dollars.

My favorite Currency Conversion site is Oanda.
I suggest you choose the +/- 3% (Typical Credit Card Rate) on the INTERBANK +/- dropdown box to get an idea of what the price would be in your local currency.

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What do Hand-crafted & Hand-Made mean?

Hand-crafted means made from the basic materials such as metal, gems, enamels, etc. Hand-crafting includes both hand-fabrication and hand-casting.

- Hand-fabricated usually means that the item has been made using either hot (e.g., soldering) or cold (e.g. rivets, wrapping) joining processes. Metals for hand-fabrication come in the form of wire or sheet metal. These can be purchased or created in the workshop.
- Hand-casted means that the goldsmith has made a model and then cast it in his/her workshop in a medium such as sand or cuttlebone. Hand-cast items can be made from scrap metal, such as scraps from other projects which are too small to use for anything else, or from metal granules sourced from a Refiner. (Note: a transition position is to create the model and send it to a specialist for multiple castings or to have a big enough set-up to do production runs yourself.)


Hand-made covers a wide range of creative activity and differs from hand-crafting because it makes use of commercially manufactured fittings, that is, settings and/or connectors, e.g. hooks for earrings and fasteners for necklaces. The jewels are still designed individually and made by hand. Because the use of commercial fittings significantly shortens the time involved in creating each piece, prices can be significantly lower than for Hand-crafted jewels.

Uniqueness
Whether the jewel is hand-crafted or hand-made, there will never be another exactly the same, unlike mass-produced jewellery from the High Street. The price is usually higher for unique jewels, but the joy of owning something uniquely yours is worth it. (Don't get me wrong - I enjoy 'bling', and adore some of my 'high street' purchases - wear them every day in fact!)

Labelling
All items from Gold Moon come with a 'story card' which clearly identifies whether the jewel is hand-crafted or hand-made (or in some cases some combination of the two). Metal content and gem types are clearly stated.


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Why do you call yourself a Goldsmith when most of the jewels displayed aren't gold?

There are two parts to this answer.

Firstly: Goldsmith is the traditional term for the maker of jewellery and other decorative items. A Silversmith primarily makes functional items, albeit beautiful ones. Think of magnificent silver-services (all the items for the table including candelabra, punch-bowls, samovars, cutlery, etc) or silver encrusted furniture or ...well anything you are wealthy enough to have made of solid Silver! There is obvious cross-over in the mega-wealthy consumer market (historical and modern), but the terms work for the majority of us. For more information see Wikipedia's articles on Goldsmiths and Silversmithing.

Secondly: my first love is working with Gold and I will be delighted to undertake commissions for gold work. The issue about keeping items in stock is simply one of price - even low-carat Gold is approximately 1400% more expensive than Sterling Silver (925/1000). I personally prefer wearing Gold, but you'll see from the story attached to creating my own ring, that budget enters the picture.

Let me give you an example: [N.B. prices based on approximate Gold and Silver prices at the beginning of July 2011.]

The 8s & Ovals Sterling Silver necklace is 86 cm long and weighs c. 18.7 gms (that's around 34" and 0.6 troy oz).

Bearing in mind that 9K Gold contains only 9 parts of Gold per 24 total (or 375/1000), just imagine what it would be in 14K (585/1000) or 18K (750/1000) Gold! Well worth it, of course, if the budget is there! (The USA's lowest legal standard is 10K or 416/1000).

If you want to learn more about Gold alloys, including the various colors, Wikipedia can help.

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Isn't "Ethical Jewellery" just another sales device?

Ethical Jewellery (or Ethical Jewelry in the US) is more than just a statement about good, honest, business dealings - the baseline you expect of any business.

Ethical Jewellery is a growing international movement which aims extend standard good business practices to incorporate environmental safety, fair trade, and human rights concerns. My interpretation of the core philosophy means that I will - as far as possible -

This means there are hard choices sometimes, e.g., non- or low-toxicity products often take significantly longer to do their work, and sometimes it means that I lose potential clients, e.g., choosing not to work with diamonds.

The reward for me is to know that I have - as far as possible - minimized harm to others whilst creating unique and beautiful jewels.

Having said that, if my way of doing business helps you to decide to buy my creations - that's great!

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How can I learn more about buying jewellery safely and avoiding rip-offs?

Most countries have professional associations which provide information on what to look for - and what to look out for - when buying jewellery. You can do a search on "jewellers association" +"buying advice" (or in North America "jewelry association" +"buying advice") or similar. Check the websites for professional associations first.

Some examples:

New Zealand: The Jewellers and Watchmakers of New Zealand Inc
Australia: Jewellers Association of Australia
Canada: Canadian Jewellers Association
USA Jewelry Information Center (part of Jewelers of America)
UK British Jewellers' Association
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Further Reading & Interesting Links


Further reading:
Ethical Metalsmiths
Fair Jewelry - Publications page
Four Questions that Separate Spin from Truth When Purchasing Ethical Jewelry

© Gold Moon - Handcrafted Metals & Gems 2010-2014