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Frequently Asked Questions

Handmade has a legal definition for precious metal jewelry and its imitations. It means using only wire, sheet, ingot, or clay and forming and shaping only by hand without automation. Nearly 100% of the time the word is used illegally.

I refine and manufacture precious metals in small batches myself. Thus, anything made from them technically begins at the atomic level. It's not just a catchphrase or marketing slogan.
NOTE: Products made from utensils, salvaged goods, and pre-existing items are not handmade.

They are both and more! Using scrap and recycled precious metals as a starting point, I manufacture all of my supplies and finished goods on-site from purified metallic dust courtesy of my refiners. There are no conflict minerals or questionable labor practices. It is socially responsible manufacturing that benefits the local economy. While there are guidelines for "eco" terms, each person interprets them to sound most beneficial to their items. Often it's a buzzword more than an action or belief.

You'll find gold jewelry as well! Copper, stainless steel, aluminum, steel, and more are incorporated in my sculptural and artistic metalworking. Sometimes they find uses in jewelry, too.

Forged silver is nearly as hard as sterling silver. It is OK in many applications but not suited for small, structural elements like rings with prongs and similar things.

It is the lunar metal and one of the first known to man. It is the shiniest metal, has unrivaled natural anti-microbial and anti-viral properties, an appreciable density, and is a great way to stash wealth. Pure silver is hypoallergenic. Read more here.

Almost every metal will oxidize, tarnish, and/or corrode. Thankfully, corrosion-resistant metals are legally defined. Other metals like titanium and niobium skirt the boundaries but the fancy colors result from oxidation. Like the word handmade, "corrosion-proof" and its ilk are most often used illegally.

None of them are solid gold. Gold-filled is the most durable and contains the highest gold content. Rolled gold and rolled gold plate are next, respectively. Gold-plated is generally a thin coating but may endure for years. Gold-washed has a microscopic coating easily worn away.

Law-abiding manufacturers have a registered trademark that must accompany purity stamps. Avoid gold altogether unless you (personally) know the manufacturer. Fake silver is more common than real silver so forego those items bearing only a '925' or 'STERLING' hallmark. More info is here.

Nickel is the most problematic; copper and zinc follow closely. Even surgical stainless steels affect some. Non-reactive metals include pure precious metals. Niobium, titanium, and a few others are generally safe in their pure form, too. More information is here.

True. While I can and have, it's a work in progress. Email me if interested.

Certainly, and they are among my best sellers! I have a full assortment of traditional jewelry including rings, cuffs, pendants and charms, earrings, utensil jewelry, and more.

Most of my work is custom. I begin once the order is placed. It is usually completed within a few days. I don't charge a premium except for unusual situations.

I have a variety of stamping fonts that can be used on many pieces. For engravings and other markings, I would send the item to a third party.

Saw cut rings are the only thing appropriate for jewelry! Pinch-cut and other rings have sharp edges, burrs, deformed ends, are less round and flat, and always leave a gap or misaligned end when closed. They will cut flesh and snag fabric. They are only capable of making low-quality products suitable for ridicule.

It means the ends perfectly align so the "join" or seam can't be felt or seen. There is no gap between the ends, either. Only saw-cut rings can have good closures.

Well-made chains have welded or soldered rings; precious metal chains always should or they are overpriced scrap metal. Failing that, unsoldered chains would only use saw-cut rings and have perfect closures. Nearly all chains fail at least one of these tests. Basic jewelry buying guidelines can be found here.

(This only applies to man-made chains since machine-made ones should be dirt cheap.) To make a quality chain, the jump rings must be welded or soldered closed. Irresponsible manufacturers neglect this step since it takes up to 50x longer and considerably more skill. Butted (i.e., not welded or soldered) precious metal chains are too weak for jewelry and worth little more than their scrap value.

Absolutely! There is no comparison between welded and soldered rings, which are the domain of high-quality jewelry, and butted rings, which are for low-quality novelty and craft items. Real jewelry will cost more but it will last longer, look better, be stronger, and should be of superior construction.

Welding is best. Filler metal can be identical to the original alloy so there is no visible seam or discoloration.

Forging has a much wider scope than hitting metal with a hammer. It includes bending, twisting, shaping, swaging, flaring, drawing, rolling, and forming. All of them increase strength and hardness.

It can be quite confusing. Luckily, science and math separate fact from fiction. There are laws that cover every aspect of advertising and selling. Ultimately, consumers need to weed out the dishonesty for themselves.

Yes. While mostly a marketing ploy with incredible placebo effects, we learn more about our natural world every day. The facts are quite intriguing. However, they won't grow a new limb!

Yes. It depends on the country, the item, and its value. It is best to email me for specifics.

Currently my handmade jewelry is only available on my website, at a show, through the grapevine, or the like. I do have some novelty items in stores.

If it involves metal, count me in! I have made copper clipboards, metal origami of all sizes, yard and garden ornaments, windcatchers, and more. I do (surreal) interpretive palindromic/reversible artwork with names and symbols in glass, paper, textiles, paint, fabric, and whatever else fancies me.

Many of my pieces are as gift-ready as possible housed in their custom wooden presentation cases! The remainder come in a fabric bag though the box can be substituted for an additional cost.


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