Custom Design FAQ

How long does it take?

The time your piece will take depends on the materials that need to be sourced, the methods of construction, and the complexity of your piece, as well as my current waiting list. Custom creations can range between 4-12 weeks depending on all of these factors.

We are currently fully booked for custom design orders until Winter 2020. 

Join the Custom Order Waiting List to be notified when the booking calendar re-opens.

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How much does a custom design piece cost?

My custom work starts at $2000 per piece. The cost of your piece will depend on the time it takes to create your piece and the materials that we settle on together. You will be given a firm quote to be agreed upon before work begins. 50% is due as a non-refundable down payment before work begins, and 50% will be due upon pick up of your finished work. The starting rate for custom work is non-negotiable.

Can you take my old jewelry and turn it into something new?

Yes, I can! I love taking jewelry that is old and no longer suits the client and finding new life for gemstones and diamonds. It is a wonderful way to carry forward family heirloom diamonds and gems into a piece that the current wearer will adore and find new meaning in. Old stones can be re-set into new pieces, and sometimes details can be cut from old pieces and used in a new and interesting way on a new piece.

What should I bring to our design consult?

Please bring any gemstones that you wish to incorporate in the new piece, as well as any gold that you wish to recycle as a credit towards your new piece. If you have some ideas for your new piece, forwarding me a pinterest board (as soon as possible) of things that inspire you can be immensely helpful for me to get an idea of your style and what moves you and start my creative process.

Can you melt down my old gold and silver and turn it into a new piece?

I do not melt down and reuse the old metals (gold, silver, platinum etc.) in a new piece, and there are several reasons why I have chosen not to do this (see below). I do however, accept old gold as scrap metal that I send to my refiner to be properly recycled and used as a credit towards the cost of the creation of your new piece.

QUALITY: Gold used in jewelry is made from an alloy of different metals, and it is very difficult to know the exact recipe that was used in the creation of your old pieces. When you melt down and mix multiple pieces together the results are not predictable and more often than not lead to a sub-quality piece with issues such as pitting (tiny surface dents in the piece), discolouration (not a true gold colour, or uneven colouration),  and porosity (brittle honeycomb areas inside your metal that are prone to cracking and breaking in time).

When we are working hard to create a meaningful and unique piece together, the last thing I would ever want is for it to break down before its time, or have surface flaws that are unable to be corrected.

We can send your old gold to our refiner as gold scrap, where it will be recycled and re-alloyed, and use this as a credit towards the cost of your new piece. We will then purchase newly recycled and re-alloyed gold to create your new piece. Knowing the source and integrity of the metals will ensure your jewelry is made from the highest quality materials and last for years and years to come.

MY HEALTH, AND A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT: In times past, and in many countries still today, one of the principle ingredients in solder was/is Cadmium as it has a low melting point which makes it very easy to work with. It was also used in creating the alloys of many gold items as it made the material flexible and easy to work with. However Cadmium is extremely toxic and is a known Carcinogen. Even very low level exposure to cadmium fumes over time (which are created when melting old gold), can lead to lung cancer, lung tissue damage, pulmonary edema, kidney damage and failure, heart damage and heart failure, liver damage and failure, anemia, and bone deterioration just to name a few. In small doses it is a sneaky, quiet poisoning that does not show up right away. It has a half life of 30 years in the body! I love my body, and my family, and want to live a healthy life as long as possible -  so I have chosen to limit my exposure to this hazardous material.

Venting fumes to the outside environment in order to avoid cadmium fumes during the meltdown process as much as possible might seem like a valid way to balance the risk, but those cadmium fumes are then released into the outdoor environment where they poison wildlife and the air that we all breath. There is no known level of cadmium exposure that is considered safe.

Every jeweller makes their own choices about the risks they are willing to take in this profession which has many hazardous materials - but cadmium is one item that I am not willing to risk working with. 

I saw a piece by another designer, but I would rather work with you. Can you re-create the piece that I show you?

No, I would not be the designer for you in this case. A designers work is protected by copyright, and they own the rights to their work. I hate it when somebody copies (steals) my work, and I won’t do that to another designer. Besides, if you are coming to work with me on a custom piece I would hope that it is because you are also inspired by my aesthetic and design, and want a piece that is a Kuriosities design!

I can however, look at pieces that inspire you and we can use that as a launching point to brainstorm and create a new piece that is entirely unique.