Frequently Asked Questions
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW...
QUESTIONS ABOUT VIRGINIA ANN DESIGNS
My workshop and studio is located in Frederick, Colorado. I want your jewelry to stay safe, therefore I do not openly advertise the exact location of the workshop and there is no signage indicating the type of work done in the building.
All the jewelry and jewelry components, whether we are starting from scratch or remaking jewelry you already own, is always kept in a fireproof safe when it’s not being worked on. The safe and workshop are located in a building protected by 24-hour security. In the unlikely event of theft, Virginia Ann Designs is fully insured to cover the loss of any of your possessions.
What can you imagine? At Virginia Ann Designs, I can make almost anything. Some examples include engagement rings, wedding rings, earrings, earring jackets, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, birthstone jewelry, and mothers’ or grandmothers’ jewelry. Feel free to contact me at any time to discuss your ideas.
At this time, I only repair jewelry that I have made, sold, or refurbished. I do not repair jewelry that was purchased elsewhere.
Yes! I can absolutely use jewelry, gemstones, or diamonds you already own to create new pieces of custom jewelry.
Absolutely. I have earned a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Graduate Gemologist certification. This allows me to carefully source the perfect diamond or gemstone specifically for each custom design project. Since each project is unique, I discuss exactly what you are looking for, answer any questions you have about diamond grading or gemstone quality, and provide you with one to two options to choose from.
We only purchase and sell diamonds from suppliers who abide by the Kimberly Process. To ensure “conflict diamonds” are no longer used to fund various illegal, violent, and unethical practices around the world, a coalition of governments, non-governmental organizations, and the United Nations created the Kimberly Process. Established in 2003, the Kimberly Process regulates the trade of rough diamonds and prevents the flow of conflict diamonds.
According to the KP collective, KP participants “are responsible for stemming 99.8% of the global production of conflict diamonds.” That means that blood diamonds have been almost completely eliminated from the market already. This also means that conflict-free diamonds are now the industry standard. Your chances of coming across a “conflict diamond” are nearly impossible. You can rest easy knowing that your jewelry only represents love, hope, and cherished memories.
Appraisals are complimentary for any piece of jewelry in which all the diamonds and gemstones are purchased through Virginia Ann Designs. The appraisal will come with your finished piece of jewelry. If I am using your gemstones or diamonds in a custom design, the appraisal will cost an additional $100. This additional charge is because I want to be sure to accurately value any diamonds or gemstones you already own. This takes extra time and attention.
QUESTIONS ABOUT CONSULTATIONS
The first consultation is free. Simply pick a convenient time on the schedule. Once you confirm an appointment, you will get an email confirmation with the link to join the appointment at the scheduled time. After the first free consultation, if you decide to move forward, you will pay a $300 design deposit which will cover all future consultations on one project.
The first consultation is always either through a video conference or through a phone call. Whichever you prefer. Any consultation after the initial meeting can be either a video conference, phone call, or an in-person meeting (if you live locally).
All you need for our first consultation is a phone or computer and your questions and ideas. You don’t need any prior jewelry knowledge or experience. That’s what we are here for.
I give clients thirty minutes for the initial, free consultation. If you would like more time to speak with me before you commit to the $300 design deposit, I charge $75 for each additional hour. Once you pay the $300 deposit, you get as much time as you need until your custom jewelry project is finished. On average, each appointment lasts 30 minutes.
QUESTIONS ABOUT PRICING
Yes and no. In many cases, custom jewelry can be more expensive than a similar piece of mass manufactured jewelry. The main reason for the price difference is because you are getting something uniquely tailored to you. This means you get one-on-one, personalized attention and full control over the piece of jewelry we are designing. We are making something one-of-a-kind, and it takes more time and care than a piece of jewelry that has been mass manufactured.
I can, however, also offer more price flexibility than some pieces of mass-manufactured jewelry. At Virginia Ann Designs, I work very hard to build beautiful pieces of custom jewelry within your desired budget.
Your first payment will be after our initial design consultation, if you decide to proceed with a custom jewelry project. A $300 design deposit will be required to move forward with a project. The $300 is non-refundable, but will go towards the final cost of your project.
The second payment will be requested once you decide on any focal stone valued above $500. I require full payment for any focal stones to be able to hold them for use in your custom jewelry project.
The third payment is requested once you finalize a custom jewelry design. At that time, I ask for 50% of the cost of the project, less any focal stones and your first $300 design deposit.
The final payment is requested once your jewelry is finished and ready for shipping. I will not ship any pieces of jewelry before the final balance is paid.
The cost of custom jewelry can vary a great deal. It all depends on the materials we use and the complexity of the design. My minimum cost for any custom jewelry project is $1500.00.
I should be able to give you a general price range in our first consultation. I will be able to give you exact pricing after your $300 deposit but before any further payments.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SHIPPING
I offer free shipping on all your purchases.
I ship any jewelry order over $500 via UPS 2-day shipping. Any order under $500 will ship USPS first class unless you request otherwise. If you do request a change in the shipping method, there may be an additional charge.
Any piece of jewelry valued over $300 will ship insured and require an adult signature for delivery. Please make sure that you give an address where someone will be able to sign for the package. If you need your jewelry delivered on a specific day (for signature purposes), please just let me know and I will do my best to accommodate your needs.
I strongly recommend shipping insurance on any piece of jewelry valued over $300 (or whatever number you are comfortable with). You are responsible for all shipping and insurance costs to and from my workshop for any repair work or cleaning. You can use your own shipping and insurance method when you ship to my workshop or, if you would prefer, you can use my shipping method and insurance. Simply contact me to schedule a time for you to drop off your package. I will then email you the appropriate shipping label.
ALWAYS contact me before shipping any jewelry to my workshop. I will discuss what your needs are and get you into my schedule.
I am not responsible for ANY lost or stolen packages shipped to my workshop if you do not use my shipping and insurance options.
The price of shipping varies depending on whether you need insurance and how valuable your piece of jewelry is. On average, using my shipping and insurance options, 2-day shipping costs $40-$60, one way with full insurance.
My insurance company recommends double-boxing expensive pieces of jewelry to help prevent theft or damage while in transit. Make sure your jewelry doesn’t move when the box is shaken and thoroughly tape both boxes. Do not put anything on the outer box that would indicate what is being shipped or that it might be valuable. Be sure to fully tape over the entire label or place the label in a label holder. Always hand your package directly to an associate and get a receipt when you drop off your package.