General Jewelry FAQs

How should I get my ring size measured?

If you are buying from us at a show, the best way is to simply let one of our staff measure you. If you are ordering over the internet, you will need to go to a jeweler to get measured if you do not already know your ring size. The entire jewelry trade buys our tools from the same dozen or so suppliers; gauge rings (the steel rings used to measure a finger) and sizing mandrels (long, conical steel or aluminum sticks a ring is measured on) are made in Germany, Switzerland, India, and China. Unfortunately, there can be a variation of a quarter- to a half-size in what are supposed to be standardized tools. We try to make sure our tools match, but certainly cannot guarantee the match with other goldsmiths and jewelers.

Please also make sure you are measured with a gauge that matches the style of the ring you are buying. A thin Celtic ring which fits right at the joint of your finger can be 1/2 to a full size smaller than a wide Celtic ring that rests from the joint up over a portion of the more thickly padded portion of the finger. Most of our rings will match a narrow gauge. A wide gauge should be used for our wider wedding band designs.

In the event that there is a difference between our sizing tools and those of the jeweler who measures you and your ring does not fit, we will resize it at no cost to you.

How should I clean my jewelry?

If you search the internet you will find so many do's and don'ts for cleaning jewelry that it can be extremely confusing! We always recommend a simple approach:

1) Remove, examine and clean your jewelry regularly. Ideally, do not bathe, workout, swim or use cleaning products while wearing jewelry. Dirt, bacteria, oils and chemicals can all lead to metal and skin reactions if these tips are not followed.

2) If cleaning is needed, use a soft bristled toothbrush and mild non gritty soap with water to gently wash the piece. Dry thoroughly. A soft polishing cloth (widely sold in stores for silver polishing) can be used to remove any tarnish and restore shine.

3) About once a year(or whenever a concern arises), have a professional look at your fine jewelry to check for any damage to the settings, metal and stones. This can help catch any issues early.

Help! My finger is turning green/black/red from a ring.

First, we only use the highest quality sterling silver and 14kt gold in our jewelry(see below for more information). We do not coat or plate any of our pieces. And while skin reactions to our jewelry are uncommon, they do occur for a variety of reasons. As we noted above, regarding cleaning jewelry, many skin reactions occur because we wear our jewelry too frequently without removing it. Chemicals and even natural ingredients can get caught between the jewelry and skin, causing reactions.

Generally, if a ring starts giving you problems after weeks/months/years or wearing it with no concerns, this strongly points to an outside agent. Cosmetics, lotions, soap, cleaning chemicals, etc can all get trapped under a ring and cause skin reactions like redness, swelling and even blistering.

If a new ring turns your finger green or black, we suggest removing the ring and cleaning it per the methods described above. Sometimes there are polishing compounds that did not get thoroughly removed before sale. These can react with skin. If you continue to react or the reaction is only on the palm side of your finger, it could be a reaction to the solder used for sizing. In this case, we may need to replace your ring or cast one in size so that solder is not used. Please contact us and we will discuss these options.

Are the stones real? Why aren't all the stones the same color as they are in the mall jewelry stores?

All the stones used in our jewelry are real.

The big jewelry stores have to be completely consistent in what they sell, so they buy stones that are exactly alike. In some cases, the stones can be treated to alter their color slightly to achieve that consistency.

Rob buys stones according to what strikes his artist's eye and imagination. This means that they can be very different from each other - but all will be beautiful, all will suit their individual settings, and they will certainly all be real.

What is fourteen karat gold if it's not pure gold?

Pure gold is 24 karat, and it's too soft to use in jewelry - it would bend, dent, or break very easily. Fourteen, ten, and nine karat gold are all blends of alloys (metals other than gold) and pure gold.

The karat number indicates how much alloy metal has been added to the pure gold, using the full 24 karat as the starting point for measurement. Fourteen karat gold is, therefore, 14/24 gold and 10/24 alloy metal; likewise, ten karat is 10/24 gold and 14/24 alloy metal.

For yellow gold, the base metals used are silver, copper, and zinc.

How do you get "rose" or "white" gold?

The different colors of gold are achieved by blending different alloy metals with the pure 24 karat gold. Fourteen karat yellow gold - the gold most commonly used in gold jewelry - is made with fourteen parts of pure gold and ten parts of a combination of silver, copper, and zinc.

Rose gold uses more copper and less silver than yellow gold.

White gold uses nickel instead of silver.

And green gold - which is more commonly seen in antique jewelry - uses more silver and less copper than yellow gold.

What is the difference between Sterling Silver, 925 Silver and Fine Silver?

Sterling Silver consists of 92.5% silver and the remaining 7.5% consists of other metal, mostly copper. This is the reason why Sterling Silver is popularly referred to as 925 Sterling Silver or just 925 Silver.

The reason silver needs to be combined with other metals is that it is very soft, making it difficult to work with. A bit of hardness has to be introduced, by adding other metals.

Fine silver is 99.9% silver and has a small content of other metals such as copper.