FAQ

All orders will be shipped via USPS. Our shipping prices include shipping, handling and insurance. If your order is large in size or needs to be shipped quickly, please call us at 323-644-5699 or email artisanlajewelry@gmail.com so that we may expedite your order and meet your deadline. Overnight delivery is available for an additional fee which will be determined at that time.

Price Tier Shipping Rates

up to $50.00 $7.00

$50.01-100.00 $8.00

$100.01-200.00 $9.00

$200.01-500.00 $10.00

$500.01-1000.00 $13.00

 

Insurance might be applied to any shipping over $10,000.

As a rule, all orders will be shipped within 3-10 business days, excluding holidays. If we cannot ship within that amount of time, we will contact you via email.

For custom orders or Rings that are sold without the center stone, Please contact us to check the shipping and delivery time.

If an order requires expedited shipment, you will need to contact us directly via email or phone to ensure we can accommodate – specifically during holiday time.

All shipments within the state of California will be assessed 9.75 % sales tax.

All of our pieces are handcrafted, using only the best materials. We make every effort to ensure the colors on the website closely reflect the actual pieces. Due to the inherent nature of images on the internet and variations in individual monitors, slight variations in coloring and shape will occur. The actual colors you see on your monitor may vary, and we cannot guarantee accuracy of your screen. We only ask that you keep these things in mind when ordering.

 

Precious Metals

Precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, are a rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical element of high economic value. Chemically, precious metals tend to be less reactive than most elements (see noble metal). They are usually ductile and have a high luster. Historically, precious metals were important as currency but are now regarded mainly as investment and industrial commodities. For jewelry it is used as a alloy in combination with other metals such as:

Gold: in the USA, gold is mostly sold as 14 karat. While most yellow and rose gold does not cause allergies, some people need to wear it in a high purity (higher karat) to avoid allergies caused by the copper and silver mixed in the alloy. It is typically sold as 10kt, 14kt & 18kt, and 24kt.  In other words, 14kt means 14/24 in purity equal 58.33% of gold; whereas pure gold would be 24kt.  Other metals added to the composition will determine the color of the alloy.

Yellow Gold:  Adding copper and silver equal yellow gold

Rose Gold:  Adding copper and a bit of silver equal rose gold

White Gold:  This alloy was created to replace platinum and palladium as a commercial alloy to hold set diamonds. It is the industry choice for white metals nowadays. It is normally a combination of yellow gold plus copper, silver and nickel. Sometimes they add palladium or other metal where the idea is to eliminate or reduce nickel usage since it causes allergies in about 20% of the population. Nickel is needed to make the yellow gold in silver color. 

Sterling Silver 925: Oxidizes easily causing a darker patina. Even though some alloys like argentium silver reduce this property a lot, they still oxidize in the corners and places that are difficult to reach. Silver is the lightest of the white precious metals. If you compare all the other metals next to silver they will look like grey. 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals (usually copper).

Fine Silver 999: or pure silver, 99.9% silver with 0.1% trace elements/impurities.

Argentium Silver 935 & 960: 93.5% or 96.0% silver with 1-3% germanium to resist tarnishing.  Argentium is hypoallergenic due to it being nickel free.

Platinum: It is a good metal for those who have allergies. However, it is softer than people think, which is why it is normally combined with 10% iridium to harden it. It does scratch easily and its price has been pushed higher than most other precious metals. 90% platinum with 10% iridium to make it harder

Palladium: Palladium is normally combined with 30% iridium to harden it which makes it a great alloy for those who have allergies. It is light and affordable with prices today comparable to 14kt white gold. The only downside is that it is a darker grey compared with white gold and it does not take Rhodium plating well (which is what makes the white gold shiny and bright). Sold as 95%  – harder than the other metals, good for men’s band but tough for setting stones.

 

Alternative Metals

Alternate metals we see in jewelry are titanium, tungsten and stainless steel. We don’t provide these metals for rings because they cannot be re-sized due to the fact that the material has such a high melting point that it must be welded. Also tungsten’s hardness can cause it to break easily. 

Mokume: this material is not good for rings since, after sizing, it will show where the cut in the pattern was made. Also oxidation wears down the metal and it needs its patina retouched. 

Copper alloys like brass and bronze: not very good for your health as it is associated with reduction of zinc in the body.

 

Plating

Plating is a technique to add a very thin layer/covering of one metal over another metal. Plating can be of gold, silver, rhodium and others over any base metal. Plating is very thin and can wear off over time causing the loss of color, shine and sheen. But good news! Plating can be repeated and will restore you precious items very inexpensively.

Gold plated: Gold plating is very popular over a base of sterling silver, which is called Gold Vermeil. If the base metal is anything other than sterling silver, it’s simply gold plated. 

Silver plated: Silver plating 

Rhodium plated: is common on white gold jewelry, to make it lighter in color, brighter, and to prevent allergies.

Black Rhodium Plated: is a proprietary alloy that combines rhodium with other metals to create a gunmetal look.

Black metals: there are no black metals that will stand the sizing process. There are enamel and patina, but they wear off with time. Enamel is not good for rings because it cracks.

 

Why don’t we use harder metals? 

It would be impossible to set stones in hard metals. We need to fold the metal on top of the stone to hold it. Most of the precious metal alloys are non-allergenic when in touch with the skin. 

 

Why we don’t use cheaper metals: 

They give allergies or chemical reactions with the skin. They are not easy to work with, or to set stones. Or they cannot be soldered. 

 

Why does the ring need to be sized? 

The soft tissue changes its mass with the time, as well as, the pressure of the ring in the first few months of wearing it. The finger knuckle gets bigger over time. 

 

Gemstones

A gemstone (also called a gem, fine gem, jewel, precious stone, or semi-precious stone) is a piece of mineral crystal which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments. The most precious colored stones are sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. They are typically the alternative stone option for engagement rings. Sapphire and rubies are the second to diamonds in hardness. Sapphires are a very popular option for an engagement ring due to Princess Diana’s famous ring. Rubies were traditional in Europe before diamonds, and emeralds are far more rare than diamonds. Certain rocks (such as lapis lazuli, opal, and jade) or organic materials that are not minerals (such as amber, jet, and pearl) are also used for jewelry and are therefore often considered to be gemstones as well. Most gemstones are hard, but some soft minerals are used in jewelry because of their luster or other physical properties that have aesthetic value. Rarity is another characteristic that lends value to a gemstone.

For more information about 4C’s and other information about gemstones go to our About Gemstone page.

 

Treatment

Gemstones are often treated to enhance the color or clarity of the stone. Depending on the type and extent of treatment, they can affect the value of the stone. Some treatments are widely used because the resulting gem is stable, while others are not accepted most commonly because the gem color is unstable and may revert to the original tone.

Heat: Heat can improve gemstone color or clarity. The heating process has been well known to gem miners and cutters for centuries and in many stone types heating is a common practice. Most citrine is made by heating amethyst. Aquamarine is often heated to remove yellow tones, or to change green colors into the more desirable blue, or enhance its existing blue color to a purer blue.

Nearly all tanzanite is heated at low temperatures to remove brown undertones and give a more desirable blue/purple color. A considerable portion of all sapphire and ruby is treated with a variety of heat treatments to improve both color and clarity.

Radiation: Virtually all blue topaz, both the lighter and the darker blue shades such as “London” blue, has been irradiated to change the color from white to blue. Most greened quartz is also irradiated to achieve the yellow-green color. Diamonds are irradiated to produce fancy-color diamonds (which occur naturally, though rarely in a gem quality).

Waxing/oiling: Emeralds containing natural fissures are sometimes filled with wax or oil to disguise them. This wax or oil is also colored to make the emerald appear of better color as well as clarity. Turquoise is also commonly treated in a similar manner.

Fracture filling: Fracture filling has been in use with different gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. In 2006 “glass filled rubies” received publicity. Rubies over 10 carats (2 g) with large fractures were filled with lead glass, thus dramatically improving the appearance (of larger rubies in particular). Such treatments are fairly easy to detect.

Synthetic and artificial gemstones

It is important to distinguish between synthetic gemstones and imitation or simulated gems.

Synthetic gems are physically, optically and chemically identical to the natural stone, but are created in controlled conditions in a laboratory. Imitation or simulated stones are chemically different than the natural stone but may be optically similar to it; they can be glass, plastic, resins or other compounds.

 

Hardness

Measurements in the Mohs scale of mineral hardness: is a qualitative ordinal scale characterizing scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of harder material to scratch softer material.

Most of the stones below 7 are not suitable for engagement rings as they will wear down and scratch on everyday use. Bracelets and rings are the pieces that get most of the abrasions on everyday use. 

4 fluorite
5 apatite , obsidian (volcanic glass)
5.5 glass
6 Orthoclase, nephrite jade
6–7 Opal (5 – 61/2), peridot, tanzanite, jadeite jade
7 Quartz, some garnets, tourmalines
7.5–8 Beryl (emerald, green beryl, morganite, aquamarine, heliodore) , spinel, some garnets
8 topaz
8.5 Chrysoberyl (alexandrite, chrysoberyl cat eyes, and colored chrysoberyl)
9 Corundum (sapphires and ruby)
10 diamond

 

Birthstones by cultures

Month 15th- 20th century U.S. (1912) U.S. (2012) Britain  Hindu
January garnet garnet garnet garnet serpent stone
February amethyst, hyacinth, pearl amethyst amethyst amethyst chandrakanta
March bloodstone, jasper bloodstone, aquamarine aquamarine, bloodstone aquamarine, bloodstone Gold Siva-linga
April diamond, sapphire diamond diamond diamond, rock crystal diamond
May emerald, agate emerald emerald emerald, chrysoprase emerald
June cat’s eye, turquoise, agate pearl, moonstone pearl, moonstone, alexandrite pearl, moonstone pearl
July turquoise, onyx ruby ruby ruby, cornelian sapphire
August sardonyx, carnelian, moonstone, topaz sardonyx, peridot peridot peridot, sardonyx ruby
September chrysolite sapphire sapphire sapphire, lapis lazuli zircon
October opal, aquamarine opal, tourmaline opal, tourmaline opal coral
November topaz, pearl topaz topaz, citrine topaz, citrine cat’s-eye
December bloodstone, ruby turquoise, lapis lazuli turquoise, zircon, tanzanite tanzanite, turquoise topaz

 

Production process:

In a production of a ring using a 3d design process we will:

Sketch – 3D design – 3D print – cast – clean and polish – set stones

 

In a production of a ring using a fabrication process we will:

Sketch – cut or buy the parts – solder – clean and polish – set stones

 

Jewelry casting: is the lost wax casting process, that requires a burning material to make the mold. It can be done with a copy of the ring that has been 3D printed. It takes about a business day.

Jewelry fabrication: is the process of making jewelry with parts, cutting, soldering, wrapping wires, etc… 

3d printing: after getting the 3D design done, a printer can print it in plastic or resin. It takes a business day (from 3 – 12 hours depending on the resolution). We don’t use a milling machine as it is an old process. 

CAD design: It takes hours to create a new design as we use multiple software applications, depending on the desired design. The process is smoother if the entire idea is already decided upon before the design process begins. Due to the amount of time it takes, there will be overcharges for design edits when the desired piece’s design has changed.  

 

Repairs: Repairs is the process of putting a broken piece together, reset a loose stone, or size a ring. It requires fabrication and the process is different from piece to piece. We don’t do repairs. 

 

Remake: making another copy of a ring that already exists. For example, remaking a vintage ring. Or it could be to make another copy of a ring that has been designed on the CAD and we just need to finish the 3d printing/casting/cleaning/setting the stones process. 

 

Custom orders:

When we are making a single piece, we use the same process of when we are making a series of the same design. It is very important to know what you want before we start. We offer 3 changes in the design for free, with extra charges after that. We only start the process of sketching the piece after the deposit (average of 50%) has been paid. 

It is easier to make a ring for a stone than find a stone for a ring. For a perfect fit we typically request to find a stone and then we make a bespoke ring or setting. 

The design process, with finding the perfect style, sketch and 3d design, can take about 80% of the time of the entire process. Knowing what you want is very important.

Returns and Exchanges

We will gladly make exchanges for most items, unless it is a custom order. Custom orders sales are final, and may not be returned, or exchanged. Returns need to be requested by phone or email and are offered to our customers on an individual basis.

Sale items are final. Any items being returned for exchange or repair must be received by Artisan LA within 7 days of receipt. We do require that you call first, or email for a Return Authorization (RA) code. Returns or exchanges do not include reimbursement of original shipping and handling charges. All returns must come back to us insured. Artisan LA is not responsible for returns which are lost in transit, so for your protection, please make sure the item has some method of tracking.

Any items damaged via shipping will be replaced by us at no additional cost. Items damaged by misuse of the purchased piece will be assessed for repair on a case by case basis and may be charged labor, plus cost of additional materials and shipping. If an item needs to be repaired due to faulty craftsmanship, Artisan LA will gladly repair it free of charge up to 30 days after purchase.

Privacy Policy

All information submitted to us via this website is kept confidential and used expressly for Artisan LA’s business needs.

We may contact you occasionally via email for special sales and promotions. If you would like to be removed from this list, simply follow the removal instructions and link at the bottom of the email.

Indemnification

You agree to defend, indemnify and hold Artisan LA and its assigns harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, costs and expenses, including attorneys? fees, arising from or related to your use of the Artisan LA website and any products bought or received either directly or indirectly from the Artisan LA retail store.

Have any questions?

Call us at the store 323.644.5699, visit us in Los Feliz at 1856 N Vermont Ave., (one block south of Franklin) or email us at artisanlajewelry@gmail.com