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Ed Bristol
  


Natural Gemstone Jewelry

Made by Hand & Earth.
Only the finest materials. And nothing but... gemstones!

See past projects.

    Price:
    $690.00
    2.70 ct untreated tourmaline 
    Tri-Colored Briolette
    18K yellow gold (allergy-free)
    Price:
    $

    4.09 ct Burma Ruby (sold)
    GRS Pigeon Blood Red
    18K Yellow Gold
    5.1 ct Diamonds (16 pieces)

    Price:
    $1,220.00

    1.15 ct chrys. cat's eye
    Ivory White 
    Cut from one
    rough stone
    Open Bezel Setting
    925 Sterling Silver

    Title 
    Natural Jewelry Workshop

    Can't find what you seek? Do you have your own design in mind?

    Then: Let us create exactly what you want.

    Choose a gemstone, or have one cut to your dimensions, and we will make your own personal jewelry.

    Wonder about the cost? Not as bad as one might think.

    Here are some price-tags to get a first idea:

     

     Re-cutting of a gem  $50 per carat

     925 Silver

     $50-$60 per gram

     18K Yellow/White Gold

     $150-$200 per gram

     18K Mix Gold (rose, pink etc.)

     $175-$225 per gram

     950 Platinum

     $250-$300 per gram

     Other materials (wood, steel etc.)

     min. $800+ per piece

     

     

     



     

     

     

     

     

     

    $US including labor, waste, design etc. but excluding gemstones

    A most slender gold ring in small size may start with 4 grams. The heaviest ring we have made was 58 gram of platinum. A "normal" men's ring may be around 15 grams.

     

    A pendant without chain will need at least five gram.

     

    Simple earrings (studs) may start with somewhere around 3 gram but need more work. Bracelets are usually heavy with 20 grams or more.

    Material

     

    Our gold comes from the Columbian "Oro Verde".

     

    Oro Verde ("Green Gold") is, like us, committed to bring the benefits of globalization to the mining areas while fighting ecological and social mismanagement. With only 10% premium on international gold prices, Oro Verde does a great job in developing the local communities and protecting their environment.

     

    We feel that is money well spend! Read more here.

    Budget

    Since every design is different, we make individual quotes for every project.

    Heavy and simple designs can be cheaper per gram, but light and complicated designs might be more expensive.

    However, the minimum budget for an individual design will start somewhere around $400 plus the cost of the stone.

    In any case: Our quote is binding. We will not exceed your given budget.

    Time

    After you have chosen a stone, we will work together on the design. In most cases we will create a model or sketch based on your in-put. 

    As soon as we have agreed on design and budget, we give you a time estimate for the production. Most designs can be done within one or two weeks plus shipping time.

    Return policy

    In the event that you reject the jewelry within seven days from delivery for any reason beyond our responsibility, we will charge you 25% of your project cost or minimum $400 US to cover external labour and waste material.

    If we have done faulty work we will repair (free of charge) or you will get a full refund.

    As always, we can only refund if you return the item undamaged and in the way described in our Return Policy.

    Copying designs

    It is normal and righteous to relate and discuss existing designs or stiles in order to create your own individual jewelry, but we will not steal other people's creative work or infringe any copyrighted designs.

     

    See past projects.

     

    Title 

    101-FAQ
    for precious gems
    in custom-jewelry

     

     

    What material?

     

    Gold

    Most mass-produced jewelry is done in 14k, or still worse in 8k. It looks terrible after a year or two; wears down; and turns dull and lusterless. 14k or less is not for real gemstones.

     

    22k is beautiful but too soft for jewelry.

    18k is the sweet point. It keeps the shine for years and is strong enough to protect the gem.


    Today, you may also choose from a variety of hues: Pink gold, rose, even purple or green are on offer. Prices will be slightly higher for exotic mixes (like 10-20%).

     

    Platinum is the prime choice for high-end gemstones. It is heavier and more expensive than gold; and it is also more demanding to work with. Not all goldsmiths can do it. It never looses luster and does not wear down. Estimate to at least double the cost from 18k gold to platinum.

     

    Silver is not much used for individual settings anymore. It is not sufficiently strong and durable for precious gems. Even if you wanted to use silver it is not easy to find good silversmiths.

     

    There are other materials like steel, wood or cotton that experienced jewelry artists work with, but they are not a first choice for precious gemstones.

     


    Bezel or prongs?

     

    Prongs lead the pack. They are delicate, offer many design varieties and show the most of any gem, its luster, color and size.

    However, they get do caught in stuff, bend open and loose gems; oh horror.

    If you do go for prongs, make sure they don't stand out. The finger tip should run smoothly over each prong's end and back. Try to hook up your favorite shirt before you go out. Better then than later.

     

    Bezels are the safest type of setting but they are also more expensive, need more material and extra work. For battered jewelry (rings and bracelets) in active lifestyles we recommend bezel settings.

     

     

    Swap-Anxiety

     

    If you fear being ripped-off by a goldsmith, there is only one way for you: Ready-made jewelry.

     

    People are unnecessarily worried here. Within the limits of human predictability no goldsmith will risk jail-time to pinch some gemstones. As much as car repair shop doesn't steal cars. It just isn't a profitable business model.

     

    The thorough mind may use inclusions to identify any gem. Inclusions are like fingerprints and can not be copied. Every natural gem has inclusions visible latest under a 30x magnification. In most cases you will only need a handheld 10x loupe ($25) to check the authenticity of your gem before and after setting. Take a good, deep look. Lacking photographic memory you can make a sketch of the gem's inner landscape: Five needles sitting in the upper left corner, a fracture in the second upper facet and an oval-shaped cloud in the lower center - you can be sure to indentify your gem anytime.   

     

     

    Chains


    Hand-made chains are very expensive and generally too gangsterish for a conservative scenery. Chains from a real goldsmith can be $10k and then some.

     

    If you want something special you can order high-end chains made in Swiss or Germany. They are exquisite and come in various designs and materials. A fine gemstone pendant deserves a fine chain. Calculate at least $1k for a high-end gold chain and 3k for platinum.

     

    Regardless of your budget, it is recommended to source the chain after the pendant is done. With pendant in hand it is much easier so find a perfectly matching chain.

     

    Chinese machine-made chains should not cost much more than the material plus some margin for the trade. Think of very few hundred dollars for good-enough quality, but don't penny-pinch or your pendant will be gone one day.

     

     

    Damage of stones


    This happens but you can not ask the goldsmith to cover the risk. Ask the seller to take the risk for his stone. Again, if you can't trust your goldsmith forget about it. See also further down the page.

     

     

    How long?

     

    A dedicated goldsmith can create a standard setting in a day's work if all is well prepared. More time is needed for logistics and creative work. A realistic turn-over for an individual but familiar design at the local bench is a week. If it is your first time and you plan a christmas present or an important yes-or-no-question start a few months ahead. 


     

    How many carats?

     

    Well, that all depends.

     

    As a rule, the smaller the gem the more luster it will need to be visible; the bigger a gem, the more will its color be important.  

     

    After a few project you get a good personal feeling for carats and dimensions.

     

    The totally inexperienced may check the following sign posts:


    0.2 carat is tiny - hardly big enough as stand-alone gem in jewelry.

    0.4 carat is still tiny for most occasions but in a terrific quality and in an equally delicate design it may just become visible.

    0.8 can be considered as a solitary ring gem but, again, you need good quality; and some diamonds will help.

    1-3 carat is the standard go-to size for a ladies ring and the smallest size for a pendant.

    3-6 carats can be opulent in a ladies ring, perfectly sized in a gents ring and make a still modest pendant.

    6-10 carat makes a big stone, needing full ring sizes, heavy designs, and the willingness to bear the weight (and the cost). Ten carats are probably not every-days choice in a ladies ring but can be worn on special occasions. In pendants ten carats will be very visible but not yet bulky.

    Over 10 carats we enter the world of posh pendant-only jewelry. Citrine or Topaz is sometimes seen in 20+ carat sizes but heavy-weight precious gems are rare in jewelry (without bodyguards).

     

    For cabochons double the scale. Less than one carat in a cabochon is small. 10 carat cabochons are still good measure.  

    Disclaimer: Honestly, there are a million things to learn. But don't be discouraged. It is much more rewarding to create good quality hands-on than buying bad quality hands-off. If you do not want to make any mistakes on your first project, set two carats in an 18k gold bezel and little can go wrong.

     

    Any Qs, let us know.

    Title 

     

    Advice on taking our gems to a local goldsmith.

     

    While we do mount roughly a third of our gems, another third is taken to local goldsmiths (the rest is bought for collection only).

     

    This is a good way to combine the choices of the web with the touch and feel of a goldsmith's workbench, but it often ends in discord.

    Some advice to avoid problems:


    1. Margin: Let them live.
    A goldsmith used to earn from his craft and he had a margin from selling stones and metals. Today, the margin is threatened. Gold prices are public knowledge and gems sell on Ebay. Setting somebody's gemstone is a completely different business than selling a finished product. A goldsmith who has not yet found a way around this problem will react negative to somebody walking in with his own stone. He needs to re-calculate his margin for a walk-in gemstone. Be prepared to pay more for such a job than you would on a ready-made piece from the same guy. Also, a local goldsmith will charge significantly more than a dot.com using a Chinese goldsmith factory. If you want the extra service you have to pay for it.

    2. Guarantees: Cover the risk.
    When a goldsmith sets his own gemstones he takes the risk and gets the profit. For a walk-in gemstone he is left with only the risk. Gems do sometimes break or suffer; stuff does go wrong. Any goldsmith working on somebody else's gem needs to be freed of liability for the gem. Especially if you want him to set an apatite or some other sensitive animal you can not expect any guarantees. Let's assume he does not destroy it on purpose, nor steals it; then the rest-risk is yours. Get a guarantee from your seller: If a gem breaks under normal working pressure it is the seller's responsibility. In any case you need to take the risk from the goldsmith. If you buy a gem from us we guarantee for it.

    3. Knowledge: Be kind.
    Do not expect a local goldsmith to know everything about cc apatite or rutile pezzottaite. If you are reading here, you are likely to have as much knowledge of colored gemstones as the average goldsmith. Most goldsmiths work regular only with the big four, some topaz and maybe a cat's-eye. Be polite; help them along. You may print out some data on your stone, or simply let them research a small variety before you pester them about a setting.

    As so often, it burns down to good old values:

    Be generous, fair and kind.

     

     

    Title 
    WildFishGems supports the World Land Trust
     
    As of April 2013 we have started a new charity program with the World Land Trust.
     
    For every sale that goes through our company we purchase rainforest to be conserved by the WLT. Each $ will buy one square meter of rainforest in Columbia and customers will get their own certificates issued to their name.
     
    We hope you like it!
     
    Best
     
    Edward Bristol
     
    Title 

    How big is "two carat"?

    Read here to judge gemstone sizes for jewelry.

     

     

     

    Natural Gemstones Only!

    No Heat, No Radiation.
    No Bleaching, No Oil.
    No Filler, No Diffusion.
    No BE, No Chemicals.

    Nothing but... gems!

    Made by Earth.
    Title 
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    Title 

    See our gemstone pairs.


    See our ready to go jewerly.

     The International Jeweler Update:
    'Natural Gemstone Jewelry'

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    1-800-540-340-3

    Title 
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