Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I view your work?
I plan to keep my website updated with the latest work but due to the privacy requests of some of my clients, I won’t post images of everything I do. However, it will be the best place to see my work. If you want to see the real thing, I am based in Hokitika and I can meet you by appointment. Otherwise, you could nominate a local Jeweller and I could try to arrange to supply them with one or two pieces of jewellery for you to view. Extra costs may be involved for this service.
Please contact me if there is something you are interested in and I am happy to send more photos/videos/information. I do travel around NZ, so feel free to contact me to see if I might be in your area and to arrange a viewing.
Where and how do you ship my Purchase?
Within New Zealand I use CourierPost and their “Signature Required” courier service. To most areas “next day” delivery is possible. All items are trackable and insured up to $1500.00. Please note only CourierPost can deliver to P.O.boxes. Rural Delivery and urgent deliveries may incur extra costs.
Please supply a DAYTIME address for delivery and mobile number. Often a work address is best as the item will need to be signed for.
Please email me to arrange overseas shipment.
I can’t find the piece I want on your site anymore. Can I still get it?
No. All my designs are “one-offs” The nuggets are never the same and gemstones are very unique so often there is not another one the same.
However, if you want something similar, or are after a particular aspect of that design, I can create your own special piece.
Are all the gold nuggets from New Zealand?
Yes, all my gold nuggets come straight from a local alluvial goldmine here near Hokitika. You can’t get more local than that!
Where do you get your gemstones and diamonds from?
I buy gemstones from New Zealand based merchants wherever possible. These merchants are well established and trustworthy, and share my concern for the ethical treatment of all involved in the mining, cutting and supply networks. Most travel overseas themselves to deal direct with the miners and their families.
New Zealand is a proud Foundation Member to the “Kimberley Process” (KP) in regards to the elimination of “conflict” diamonds from Africa. As a result, all the diamonds I supply and in fact, all diamonds sold in New Zealand by New Zealand companies comply with the KP principles. I support NZ business where I can.
Are all pieces made by you?
Yes, they are, and they all come off my workbench!
By dealing directly with me you are dealing with the designer, the artist AND the maker. No two pieces of mine are identical and are made by hand. I cherish the skills I have learnt and intend to keep my work “one-off”.
For some pieces, I may choose to use the services of a specialist gem-setter for secure the gemstones into some of the more “challenging” pieces I make. This too is an art and workmanship of its own and completed by hand.
Can you include Birthstones, and stones of other meaning and significance in your designs?
Yes, I can. Just ask and I can quote to supply almost any type of gemstone.
The origin of birthstones is believed to date back to the breastplate of Aaron which contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
The modern birthstone list was established by the National Association of Jewellers in 1912, with a few updates over the years…. hence some months have more than one.
Here is the most widely used Birthstone List in New Zealand.
March- Aquamarine, bloodstone
May- Emerald, Agate
June- Pearl and moonstone
October- Opal and tourmaline
November- Topaz and Citrine
December- Turquoise and Tanzanite, Topaz
How do I find out my ring / finger / band size?
There are several ways to do help estimate this, but the best way is if I measure it myself!
However, this not being very feasible I would recommend finding a trusted local manufacturing Jeweller and ask them to do this for you. They may ask for a fee, but it will be worth it!
Jewellers around the world use special sizing gauges and while different countries use different systems, I can convert the measured size into the British system of Alphabet letters that we use.
Remember if the intended ring design is wider than 3mm you will need to have them use wider ring size gauges to get a correct size.
You could also download the attached PDF chart and lay an existing ring over it to find the closest match. Just be sure to make sure your printer is set for A4 paper and check the measurement scale printed on it with a ruler to see if it has printed out accurately! It also needs to be a ring of similar width to your proposed design, and one that fits the same finger that you’d like to wear it on.
Guessing someone’s finger size is somewhat tricky. Whilst we can try, its best to check with me first to see if your proposed design is re-sizable or not. Mistakes or guesses can lead to costly resizing later down the track!
I’m worried about durability, What’s the right Gemstone for me?
In jewellery, we use “Moh’s scale of hardness” to determine a gemstones scratch resistance. It rates certain gem materials in accordance to their hardness relative to each other gem material on the scale. This scale runs from 1-10, Talc being the softest at 1, through to diamond being the hardest at 10.
A gemstone’s placement on this scale can help to determine what type of jewellery the gem is appropriate for use in and how much “normal” wear it can handle.
In a very general way, the higher on the scale the more suited they are for everyday wear. Again, generally speaking, any stone above 7 (quartz, including amethyst, citrine) should be ok for everyday wear, and anything below this should only be worn on special occasions. All jewellery needs to be worn with some care, even diamonds can be damaged, and a skilled jeweller should clean, check and maintain your jewellery on a regular basis.
Sapphires, Diamonds, and Spinel are among the more durable of gemstones and if looked after should provide a lifetime of beauty.
How do I care for my jewellery?
I suggest for longevity you remove jewellery before any activity that may damage it, whether it be doing housework, going to the gym, or changing a hydraulic line on your digger!
Once a gemstone is chipped it near impossible to resurface and can only be replaced. This can be difficult as many of the gems I use a “one-off”.
Store your Nugget Jewellery in the box supplied, or wrapped in a soft fabric. Never store it touching another item. Clean with warm soapy water and rinse with clean water. Dry with a clean cotton or microfibre cloth.
Clean all other items EXCEPT pearls and other porous gems like Turquoise in a mix of warm water and a squirt of mild dish-washing liquid or lemon juice. Gently scrub with a soft toothbrush. And rinse thoroughly. Clean all other items like pearls with a clean dry soft cloth.
Apply colognes and toiletries before you put on your jewellery.
All jewellery should be cleaned and checked by an experienced jeweller on a regular basis.
What gold do you use?
I can use any of the common gold alloys you like.
The gold I use for the mounts and supporting sections for the raw gold Nuggets is alloyed to a standardized ratio or percentage of “Fine Gold” (99.99% pure gold) present in the mix. This gives us the “Karat” or “Carat” value. Common percentages or Carat values include 9 Karat at 37.5% fine gold, 14 Karat is 58.3% fine gold, and 18 Karat is 75% fine gold.
The other metals in the recipe can include silver, copper, and zinc. There is no nickel in my yellow gold.
The white gold is also free of nickel and contains a mixture of fine gold, palladium, silver, and copper.
The silver pieces are sterling silver, which is composed of 92.5% silver. They are 100% free of nickel.
Generally speaking, the Platinum and Palladium typically used in New Zealand are alloyed to 95% pure and are hypo-allergenic. For both common alloys of platinum and palladium, the other 5% of the alloy is composed of other platinum group metals: ruthenium, iridium, or a combination of the two, which varies from design to design.
What do I need to know when ordering a custom piece?
If you have entered the exciting process to get a custom piece made, time frame will be discussed once a design is finalised. Depending on what raw materials are needed to be sourced and on the workload at that time (approx. 4 – 6 weeks) A 50% deposit is required to get underway on all custom made piece. 25% of this is non-refundable. Each job is different and will be accessed individually in a professional mannerism.