Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I finally got a complete FAQ section set up! Hopefully it will answer the vast majority of questions that customers have. Its posted in its entirety on the Policies page of my etsy wedding shop and most of them are on the same page of my regular shop. And I thought I might as well post it here too for quick reference! Its lengthy I know, but I have to answer these questions over and over again, I can't believe it took me this long to get it done!



If a new design is created, a $50 design fee may be added. If a simple alteration is desired, just ask, there is usually no charge for that! Please feel free to contact me either through here or by email:


No, all of my rings are “made from scratch”. Most designs are made from a huge lump of dark brown soft wax. This allows for any alterations you might like in addition to creating a truly unique ring for each of my customers.


Most of my rings are cast using the lost wax casting method. You can see my full process on my blog -


All of my metal comes from a supplier, Hoover and Strong, that offers 100% recycled metal. I recycle my own in addition to buying my “fresh” casting grain, sheet or wire from this company.

All of my diamonds are conflict free. I also use some synthetic stones (colored CZs) and will be adding similar options in the future including synthetic diamonds.


Ring sizes available 2 - 15 including 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 sizes. Since each ring is made to order “from scratch”, I can make exactly the size you need.

As far as sizing for fit - Most hands do change through out the year, generally a little smaller in the winter and larger during the hottest months of the summer. Time of day can also affect sizing. Personally, my fingers are larger in the morning but after I get up and moving they are get back to their normal size.

Different people like a different fit for their rings. I prefer something as loose as possible but that never falls off. There are times during the winter when it gets close, but never does. And for the summer, its just perfect. I do not like when a ring is too tight - it makes me feel constricted and I find it really uncomfortable. Other people wear rings so tight that they can't come off and they don't find it to be a problem at all. The shape of the finger can have an effect too as to what would be comfortable for you. Some fingers are very slender and it doesn't take much for the sizing to be off. Other fingers are more "curvy" and as long as the ring can go over the knuckle, a full range of sizes will fit and be fine. The width of the ring can also affect the size of the ring. A narrow band can be much smaller and fit just fine, but for a wider ring (depending on how wide you get) The size may need to be 1/2 or even a full size larger. One of my fingers I can wear anywhere from a 5 (very narrow band), to a 6.5 (very wide 15mm+)

The ring sizers I offer are around 4mm which is a pretty standard width for most of my rings (4 - 6mm).
If you are sized at a jewelry store, make sure they use sizers that are close to the width of the ring you are interested in. Or try rings on that are the same width you want.

For the majority of my rings, it is easy to size them up a 1/4 or 1/2 size. Sizing down usually requires remaking the entire ring.


I do think my rings are comfortable - I wouldn’t want to make a ring that wasn’t. Though many of my designs are too wide or thick for my own personal preference. I have very small hands and wear a 3 3/4 - so large rings don’t make sense for me to wear every day, especially with some of the tools I use! I find that it really is about personal preference. Some people will want a very thick ring, while others like me need something a little daintier. Most of my styles can come in a narrow thinner version to a thicker chunkier version. Average widths are between 1.5 and 2mm thick.

Metal does wear over time. Patinas are sealed with renaissance wax, but over time will wear down as well. It will depend on the person as to how quickly it may wear down. For some, it may look nearly identical 20 years later, for others, it may wear much more than that. Different metals also will wear differently - see next section.



Sterling Silver - 92.5% fine silver, 7.5% copper. This is a standard sterling alloy. Fine silver (99.9) by itself is much too soft (in my opinion) for a ring. Sterling is much softer in comparison to gold (will wear faster), but the addition of copper makes sterling much stronger than fine silver.

Palladium Sterling Silver - 92.5% fine silver, roughly 4.5% copper and 3% palladium. Palladium is a more precious metal and a relative of platinum. It gives a little added preciousness to sterling and makes it a little harder and a little more expensive. The color is nearly identical to regular sterling, but has a very slightly warmer tone when they are next to each other.

Argentium Sterling Silver - 92.5% fine silver, 7.5% copper and germanium. Though I don’t cast with it often, it is an option. Similar to the palladium sterling, some of the copper is replaced by another metal, germanium. It gives some different and unique properties to the alloy. (different melting temps, tarnish resistant, fuses easily)

All the gold I use are alloys. 24k is close to as pure as you can get with gold and it is very soft. Mixing it with different metals creates a variety of properties and colors.

14k Yellow Gold - a traditional yellow gold. All 14k alloys contain 58.5% yellow gold. The other metals vary per alloy and in amount. I buy all of my casting grain alloyed already, so the make up per % of the rest of the alloys is unknown to me.

14k Palladium White Gold - contains 58.5% gold, and instead of nickel as in traditional white gold, it contains palladium as a bleaching agent. The color is often referred to as “straw white” though I think of it as a “warm steel” color. It is a lovely soft and buttery gray color that is not plated in rhodium as traditional white golds are. If you are attempting to match a current white gold ring, be aware that it may not. It is the hardest of all the metals I use and is more expensive than other 14k alloys. The qualities that give it added hardness as far as wear is concerned, also make it harder to work with. This and the added value of the palladium are the reasons for it being more expensive than the other 14k alloys.

Palladium is in the platinum family and makes the alloy overall and more precious metal. (though palladium is much less expensive than platinum!) If you want the bright white look, you are more than welcome to have your ring plated at your local jewelry store. Most rhodium plating needs to be redone every year or couple years depending on your wear.

Palladium white gold will take a patina, though it is not as dark as the patina on sterling, nor is the contrast as great since the metal is darker and the patina not as dark. There are several comparison shots if you search for “comparison” on my flickr site:

14k Rose/Red Gold - a lovely coppery rosy reddish toned gold - again contains 58.5% gold. Can take a light patina, though wears off more quickly, so starting out with just a little is best.

14k non traditional colors - Though not commonly used, brighter “royal” yellow, green and peach gold - just slight variations of a traditional yellow.

18k - contains 75.2% gold - due to the higher gold content, 18k alloys have a different color than their 14k relatives. Most commonly requested for the subtlety bands, though I can upgrade most styles to 18k instead of 14k. It is a little softer and more expensive.


No. Rhodium plating is common for traditional white gold and much of the mass produced commercial jewelry is also plated in rhodium for a bright white finish that doesn’t tarnish. Plating WILL wear off over time. I do not offer the service, though most jewelry stores can rhodium plate a ring for you if you want.


I am not able to personally cast with it in my studio, though I use a larger casting company that has the facilities to cast both of these metals. The melting temperatures are much higher than I am able to do with the equipment I use for silvers and golds. A model can be made in sterling and then sent off to be molded and cast in either of these metals. Generally this adds an extra 3 - 4 weeks.


For rings that get worn ever day, the natural oils from your skin and constant wear should keep it an even color and shine. Certain chemicals like chlorine can cause a bad reaction and dull or even darken the metal. I find that it will wear off again as you wear it, though a polishing cloth can be used to clean it up. It is best if you frequently are around chlorine to take the ring off as it can corrode the metal with prolonged exposure.

For jewelry that gets taken off, with proper storage, your piece should remain lovely for a long time. Air and moisture cause tarnish on silver and letting a piece sit on the bathroom counter will dull it rather quickly (yes I know this by experience!). Keeping it in a bag or box will help to keep this from happening.

Patinas will wear down over time. I seal them with renaissance wax, though if you are interested, you may think of resealing once it starts to wear down, or just let your ring age naturally.


Everyone has a different body chemistry and will react (or not react) to different metals or chemicals. Usually an allergic reaction occurs when another chemical is introduced and gets trapped between the ring and the skin. Certain lotions, perfumes or soaps can cause a reaction. While one person may be able to wear a particular metal and use lotion with no reaction, their spouse may have a completely different reaction due to their own personal body chemistry. People are different and not everyone can wear the same metals.

The most common metal allergies are copper and nickel. I have a completely nickel free studio, though there are small amounts of copper in all of the alloys I use. I have had some great feedback for the palladium sterling and palladium white gold. Some customers w/ a slight intolerance to regular sterling have worn the palladium sterling with no problem. Since there is no nickel in the palladium white gold, it is an excellent alternative to customers who have had problems with standard white gold.

Rhodium plating often tricks people in to thinking they are not allergic to certain metals - though as they plating wears off, they may find that they are in fact allergic to the metal underneath. None of my rings are plated with rhodium or any other metal.


No, at this time I do not do any wholesale or consignment. I like to work directly with my customers, though I know at times this does not allow for seeing the work up close. Some designs may be available for a sample ring to be sent.

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