FAQs & Store Policies
How soon will my order ship?
When your order is received and paid for (deposit or in full depending on the type of purchase), it will be placed into a queue enabling Barb to complete and fulfill orders as they are received. All items are made and finished by hand, and I will keep you informed on timelines and shipping notifications. Please allow the following timeline guidance for delivery:
- Periodically, I do have items made and in stock. If the item is marked Ready to Ship, it will leave the studio within 3 business days.
- For Made To Order pieces, time is needed to make and finish the piece. Timelines can vary, but generally fall within a 3 - 4 week window for production, plus time for shipping.
- Custom Commission timelines will vary by scope and complexity of the project, but generally Commissions (designs from scratch) can take 4 - 16 weeks.
All orders shipped within North Carolina are subject to NC sales tax.
See the Shipping Page for Shipping details.
Do you offer a warranty?
Barb prides herself with selecting high quality materials and gives great attention during the fabrication and finishing processes of your chosen piece. We guarantee that our pieces are crafted with care, carefully inspected, and are free from known defects. We will repair or replace your piece of jewelry at no cost to you if we determine that the defect resulted during the fabrication process for a period of 1 year from the date of purchase.
What if I damage my piece and need repair?
If you accidentally damage your piece, Barb will be glad to repair it. Contact the studio to make arrangements. Once the damage is assessed, a quote will be given for the cost of the repair.
I lost an earring, can I order a replacement?
You sure can! Please contact Barb if you'd like to purchase a replacement earring. Depending on the piece, you may be asked to send your original in for a proper match.
How do I care for my jewelry?
- A little care goes a long way in preserving the beauty and life of your jewelry.
- Sterling silver, brass, or bronze alloys will oxidize over time. To prevent oxidation, store your jewelry in a small plastic bag.
- We recommend you remove your jewelry before swimming. Always apply hairspray and perfume before you put on your jewelry. Chemicals are not good for your stones or your metal.
- To clean your jewelry, wear your pieces! Periodically cleanse with a soft cloth or a gentle soap and water rinse is fine. We also recommend Sunshine Polishing Cloths - now offered in my shop! - as a great method to clean and brighten simultaneously!
- Over time, your matte or satin finish pieces may become increasingly shiny, and is completely normal. If you prefer a matte finish, you can gently rub the metal with a fine grey 3M pad, or contact us and we be glad to do it for you.
- We can re-matte or restore the original patina on jewelry purchased through Peterson MADE for the cost of shipping.
Can you tell me more about the different metal options?
Sterling silver is a 92.5% pure silver with most likely copper as the remaining metal. Sterling silver is considered a precious metal. Here are a few more facts about the metal:
- Although sterling silver is stronger than solid silver, it is softer than gold filled metal, and can be prone to scratching if not treated with care.
- Sterling silver tarnishes naturally and occurs with even the most expensive sterling silver. Tarnishing with sterling silver is caused by a chemical reaction between the sterling silver and the air and any chemicals that come in contact with it. Your skin oils and body chemistry may actually help to preserve the sterling silver, which is why we recommended you wear it frequently!
- Although rare, some individual body chemistries can react with sterling silver and cause tarnishing. Pregnancy, thyroid disorders, hormone levels, medications and more can affect body alkalinity versus acidity, and may cause a reaction with your piece. It’s definitely a wild-card and is based on the individual.
Pure gold is mixed with other metal elements while in the molten state to create alloys with different properties such as strength and various colors. The most common type of gold alloy is yellow in color and contains silver and zinc. The resulting material is more durable for long lasting jewelry that is easy to care for. You can also get a range of gold in different colors and karats if you vary the added metals in the alloys. White gold contains nickel, for example. The addition of copper to a gold alloy will result in the rose gold. With a little less copper and a different ratio of silver and zinc, it is possible to alloy green gold.
The karat system describes the ratio of pure gold to other metals in the alloys. In the United States, the standard for solid gold jewelry is 14 karat gold. If you apply the ratio 14/24 karats, you can calculate that it is 58.3% pure gold. It is the most common alloy in our country but, other alloys are available with lower and higher karats and a range of colors. Other examples at the low and high end of the market are
- 10 karat gold (10/24), which is 41.6% pure
- 18 karat gold (18/24), which is 75% pure gold.
- 24 karat gold is the element in its purest form. It is a rich yellow color but, pure gold is pliable and easy to dent and scratch, and not practical for jewelry. Today, 24 karat gold (or close to it) is most frequently used for surface applications of plating, or bonding via a technique called keum-boo that involves bolding high karat gold foil to silver through a heating and burnishing process.
- The karat of the alloy affects the price points of the finished items. It also affects the color of the metal with higher karat alloys being more yellow and lower karat varieties appearing more muted.
- Gold-filled contains a substantial layer of 14kt gold, rather than a microscopic layer of gold plating (or gold dipped). Gold-filled is required by law to have at least 5% or 1/20 of gold by weight. Consequently, gold-filled is worth more and maintains its value better than gold plated, which has a minimal amount of gold.
- The process of pressure bonding makes the jewelry tarnish and chip resistant, unlike gold plating. This is why gold-filled jewelry is about double the price of gold-plated jewelry. A gold-filled finish will not flake off or chip and is tarnish resistant, if properly maintain and cleaned.
Vermeil or Vermeil-Style:
Vermeil (pronounced ver-may) is a high quality form of gold plating in which a thick layer of gold is coated upon sterling silver (14k – 24k). The heavy plating is achieved through electroplating or fire-gilding. True vermeil must be 14k or higher and contain 2.5 microns of gold over sterling silver, and not have any other metals layered in between.
Gold vermeil is a technique of gold plating that was originally developed in France in the 18th century. During this period, the majority of large objects produced by goldsmiths featured gold vermeil and today gold vermeil is used in many of the Crown Jewels, Olympic gold medals and contemporary jewelry too.
"Vermeil-style" follows the same principle - items are gem-quality plated with with at least 40 micro inches (1 micron) of 98.5% pure gold plated over sterling silver with a fine layer of a white metal ( e.g., nickel, palladium, or rhodium) in between for wearability and longevity.
- Jeweler's brass is a great choice when you want a color as close as possible to 14K yellow gold at a base-metal price point.
- Bronze consists of copper, tin or or other metals, and the resulting alloy has a warm, brown tone. *Most sculpture you see is cast in Bronze.
- Brass and Bronze alloys oxidize naturally and fairly quickly to create a warm patina over time - it can occur over days or weeks, depending on your climate and care of your jewelry.
- You can keep your brass/bronze pieces polished or let nature take its course where it will take on a beautiful warm and darker hue.
- Depending on your body chemistry, brass or bronze may react with your skin, creating a dark or greenish hue. Any metals alloyed with copper can lead to skin discoloration, which can be a common reaction and does not hurt or harm your skin.
Exchanges & Returns:
We want you to be happy with your purchase. If you aren't, please contact us within 48 hours of delivery. Since many pieces are made to order, we generally do not accept returns, but please contact us so we can find a mutually agreeable solution.
Made to Order, personalized, commissioned, and sale pieces are not eligible for a return nor a refund.
Personalization, ring size, etc. will be made exactly as written, provided, or ordered by the buyer. Errors made based on the customers' submissions are not refundable. Of course, if we make an error - we will correct it free of charge.
Our Exchange / Return Policy is 7 days from delivery date for eligible purchases. To be eligible for a return, please contact me within 48 hours of delivery to make arrangements. The item must be unused, undamaged, and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging. Shipping expense will not be refunded or reimbursed.
Some items are exempt from exchange, return or refund eligibility:
~ personalized, customized or commissioned pieces
~ sale items
~ gift cards
~ any item not in its original condition, is damaged or missing parts for reasons not due to our error
~ any item that exceeds our policy timelines or eligibility criteria
Note: If a return / refund is approved and accepted, the original purchase amount will be subject to a 20% Restocking Fee. In addition, the client will hold all responsibilities for return shipping fees and associated insurance.