F.A.Q for custom work
Hopefully I can address some concerns you might have before committing to a custom commission. Read this frequently asked questions page and if you have any other questions feel free to contact me HERE
I'm worried about spending so much money without being able to try on beforehand, how can I be sure I'll like my custom piece?
I understand your concerns, buying jewellery online without being able to see it in person is a risk. That's why I take the time to fully understand your desires and needs for the custom piece we are creating. I hope you have already seen my work and style and that's why you have chosen me to design and create for you, if not, please familiarize yourself with my design style.
I promise you that we only proceed to the next step once we've refined our options enough to move to the next stage. I want you to be 100% happy with your piece and there is no limit to the amount of communication we exchange during the designing process.
I provide sketched illustrations of multiple stone and setting layouts for you to choose from. If I am having your piece casted due to a complicated design you will receive digital renders.
How much is shipping?
Shipping rates vary depending on where you live. I am based in Oakland, California, USA. I value the package correctly and insure for the full amount and ship via UPS or USPS or Fedex.
Do you ship internationally and how long does it take?
Yes. I ship worldwide to all countries that USPS and UPS service. Please be aware that in many countries, you will need to pay import duties which is dependent on the value and materials of the piece being shipped. This can be several hundred dollars so please bear that in mind when considering your budget.
Any customs and import duty fees are your responsibility. Please look into customs fees in your country before ordering. Legally, I must list the item's correct value. I am unable to undervalue on customs forms as this is illegal.
Shipping high value jewellery can also be a long process since it is a controlled item that requires vigorous screening, especially when diamonds are included as they must be traced. It will be going through several clearance agencies, customs and borders before arriving at your destination and at each stage it will be thoroughly inspected. I do my best to keep track of any packages sent overseas. Occasionally some jurisdictions request further customs information which can lead to a delay in shipping.
All of my packages are insured for their full amount.
An example price for shipping for a $5000 diamond engagement ring being sent to Europe could be $160, with a shipping period of 10-15 days, with several holds and delays at borders for inspection and a customs duty fee of $200 before collecting. Please understand that your delivery date may often change throughout the international delivery service.
How long will my piece take to make?
Lead time on any piece begins once all details are finalized and once a first or full payment is made. Currently, my lead time due to Covid-19 is 10-12 weeks. If your piece is particularly complicated it may exceed the lead time.
Made to order pieces currently have a leads time of 2 weeks.
How do I find out my ring size?
I recommend getting professionally sized. Most friendly jewellery stores will size you for free. Sorry, I can't guess a ring size and don't recommend that you do either. Some of my designs cannot be resized and if you do require a resizing there is a $75 resizing fee. This is a process whereby stones are removed for their safety and the piece must be entirely republished, it is not a simple process.
Can you work to my budget?
Yes. Price really depends on what stones and alloys you choose but I can help guide you on what's available within your budget. Custom work commands a higher price compared to made-to-order or ready to ship, the simple reason is because there is a lot more work involved. Custom work usually begins around $1500 and I only take custom work in gold.
Do you take payment plans?
No. I take a deposit to secure the commission and once I have provided you with a quote for your custom piece you have the choice of paying half immediately and half on completion or paying in full up front.
Why is the piece I want so much more expensive than what I've seen on Etsy?
If you can find exactly what you want on Etsy then I recommend you purchase there. Secondly, custom work requires a lot more time. It is a one to one consultation process where I carefully refine exactly what you want and translate that into a design. I spend many hours searching for the perfect gemstones, color-matching and creating layouts and designs as well as responding to emails which can take hours. I then spend many days working up further designs where you only receive the most favorable and workable sketches. In most cases, the design and consultation process is where I spend most of my time working as it is one of the most involved parts of the process.
With regards to Etsy pricing, it is no longer a platform for handmade items, it allows machined, factory made items from all over the world with unknown worker practices allowing artificially for low prices. A very low price on a piece of solid gold jewellery usually denotes one of the following: poor craftsmanship, poorly paid labour/sweatshop work and/or unethical sourcing. It can also mean a novice jeweller who does not yet know how to correctly price their jewellery and is unwittingly undermining the industry.
Do you work with customer's stones?
Generally, no. If you really wish me to work with your stones you will need to sign a waiver releasing me of liability should anything happen to the stone. I'm not insured to replace broken or lost stones during the setting process so you provide stones at your own risk and they will need to be replaced at your own cost. If you wish me to work with diamonds then I will need to see a certificate of appraisal or equivalent, describe any and all inclusions - basically a detailed description so that I can see if they are capable of being set in the design you chose and for peace of mind that you are receiving the same stones back. I source my stones carefully and as of 2020 made a commitment to use traceable stones where possible.
Can you melt down my grandmother's wedding ring to be made into something else?
I can but it's determined on a case by case basis. The piece cannot be plated, it must be hallmarked and there will need to be new gold added into the piece, it is not a more economical way to create new heirlooms as it is high intensity work.
What if I don't like my ring or custom design when I receive it?
There should be no reason why you are unhappy with your custom piece. While it can be difficult for some people to imagine a sketched design as a real life piece of jewellery, I endeavor to make the piece exactly to the dimensions I have designed for you. Familiarise yourself with my work for a greater understanding of how your piece will turn out. I have never had a customer unhappy with their custom designed jewellery. My most up to date work can be seen on instagram
I have a nickel allergy but I want my piece in white gold?
You're in luck! I only use palladium white gold which is nickel free. I use this as standard since anyone can develop an allergy to nickel at any stage of life. Palladium white gold is higher value than nickel based white gold as palladium is a precious metal so bear in mind there will be a price discrepancy of sometimes several hundred dollars.
Do you work in platinum?
I do not fabricate in platinum as I do with gold and silver as it requires certain gases that I do not work with. I am able to have pieces cast into platinum where I can set the stones and give the finishing touches to the design we created together. This is a premium design service reserved for higher end pieces of jewellery such as engagement rings that I am happy to provide for you.
I changed my mind and want to return my piece of jewellery, can I do that?
All sales are final and I cannot offer any exchanges or refunds unless I have made a clear mistake on my end. With this in mind please order with great consideration.
Under no circumstances are there refunds for custom made pieces.
It is important to know your ring size before ordering, I cannot guess for you. Some of my designs can be resized (for a fee) and others cannot, please bear this in mind before you purchase.
I proposed to my fiancee/fiance and they said no, can I send the ring back for a refund?
I'm sorry that happened, but no.
My jewellery arrived broken or damaged, what do I do?
I'm sorry that happened! I will need to see photographic evidence of the broken piece, the damaged packaging and any other evidence since I will need to provide this to my shipping courier to make an insurance claim. You must inform me of this immediately, I cannot make insurance claims on packages beyond seven days after receiving the item. It is your responsibility to make sure you are home to receive your Amy Ambrose jewellery. Lost or stolen packages are not my responsibility after they have been confirmed delivered.
My pieces ship in sturdy mailer boxes and the jewellery within is held in rigid card gift boxes and ring boxes.
I have not yet had a customer who has received a damaged item.
My stone or stones are wobbly in my setting, what do I do?
Stop wearing the piece immediately! If you have noticed that stones are moving about in their settings and it is less than a year after you purchased your piece then I will be more than happy to tighten up the setting for you. This can occasionally happen with prong set stones and smaller faceted gemstones due to prongs lifting and is normal from time to time. It is important you stop wearing the piece immediately after you notice this issue. Get in touch with me for a shipping address to return your ring to me. All shipping costs are your responsibility for this service.
Additionally, if you notice your stones are loose in their settings and you have had your piece for over a year, there is a $50 service fee to tighten and spruce up your piece. Not including insured shipping costs.
A prong lifting is a result of lovingly wearing your piece, some people are harder on their jewellery than others (👋 hello) and require an annual prong tightening just to make sure everything is still set in place, you'll also receive a nice polish too!
How can I care for my jewellery?
Please see my jewellery care page HERE
I have decided against a custom piece of jewellery but the design process is already underway and I think you have already started creating my piece, can I get a refund?
No, absolutely not. I cannot provide any refunds on confirmed commissions. If you have paid in full or made your initial payment it is likely that the piece is well into the design and making process with supplies already ordered. As a small business, I take on commissions based on my availability and this is factored into projected revenue. Revenue based on the number of commissions I have down the pipeline is calculated into my monthly business expenses, I cannot provide a refund because your circumstances have changed. This is something you must consider very carefully before committing to custom design work.
Can I see photos of the process?
I love taking progress photos but sometimes when I am in the flow of working it is difficult to break away and take photographs. I endeavor to take at least one photograph of the piece being made if it is a fabricated piece. For designs that are outsourced for casting and ornate gemstone setting you can request photographs of some stages of the ring being made. However, these only include the CAD/CAM images of the design, wax model and final piece and also cost an additional $50 as this is not within my control when the piece is outsourced for particular services.