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Custom Info/FAQ

IMPORTANT: most custom work takes up to 16 weeks right now* (please check out current make times here)  to complete once the design, gemstone selection, etc. are finalized. Please plan accordingly and reach out early to start your piece. 

**Once you've read through the FAQ, you may submit a custom inquiry via the custom/bespoke form.

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Customized pieces include designs that I've made previously on Knotandsplice.com or custom pieces posted to social media within the recent years OR pieces made in a certain style based on past work.

 

I only work in solid 14K gold or higher for custom work (no sterling silver or mixed metals for custom work at this time).

 
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Pricing:

 

Custom rings start at $2,000 USD for a 14k yellow/rose small solitaire/single stone ring (most custom engagement/right-hand rings are falling between $2,500–$5,000+). 14k palladium white gold is nearly the cost of platinum right now so these pieces will be a minimum of $3,000 unless very small stone/setting. 18K is running over $3,000 for most rings.

Bespoke work is a significant time commitment for me as a one-person small creative business, and as such, the pricing varies based on the skill, time, and materials used. For pieces that are recreated from designs where we've taken molds, there may be a lesser time involvement.

 

$500 deposit is invoiced via PayPal prior to discussing details or providing images of gemstones by email. This deposit must be paid within 3 business days.

 

The final invoice is also due within 3 business days unless other arrangements have been discussed prior. Please plan accordingly. I will set up a listing in my shop for the balance due and, if needed, installment plans are available to those who qualify through Shop Pay/Affirm (a third party financing company) at checkout. Please note that I don’t handle payment plans personally or have access to your payment plan information.

 

I cannot give pricing quotes without a deposit, but I will work within your budget (or let you know if the design idea needs to change to fit your budget prior to sending a deposit invoice).

 

The design deposit insures I can provide the best service to those serious about the custom process. This deposit is applied to your project’s full price and is non-refundable in the rare event of cancellation. It is my utmost goal that your piece will be one you love and are excited about and will cherish for years to come. I understand how it is a unique process working online with an artist and I have worked over 10 years in my craft with so many different types of people and jewelry—it should be a good but also painless experience for all involved.

 

If you are on a tight budget, please familiarize yourself with my shop offerings and current pricing, and check the shop first before reaching out for something custom. Custom typically will be priced higher than shop stock pieces.

 

An example of customizations to past work include changing the setting/setting type (prong, bezel, etc.), stone type (i.e. if a piece has a setting you like but it held a round sapphire and you instead would like a rosecut oval shaped diamond instead, this is something we can search for), adding or removing stone accents (i.e. adding diamonds into a band or adding small settings to the side of a center stone), or changing the gold karat/color (i.e. from 14K rose gold to 18K yellow gold, etc.).

 

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Client-owned gemstones:

 

Due to high order volume, as of 12/22, I may request that your heirloom piece of jewelry be appraised professionally by a gemologist prior to sending it to me for stone removal to use in new jewelry. This will give you peace of mind and identify characteristics of the original piece of jewelry and the gemstones used.

 

The heirloom diamond/sapphire service purpose is to create a new piece of jewelry with something that holds sentimental and/or ancestral value. You will lilely not be saving much money on using your own gemstones, as the cost of a handmade piece involves more than just the materials used.  

 

We do work with heirloom diamonds and sapphires upon inspection and approval (in which case a setting removal fee may also apply)…because of time constraints and liability, I do not typically work with other client owned gems unless they are heirloom and hold significant meaning for the final piece. You may be asked to provide a certificate of appraisal with your gemstone.

 

Please understand that a huge part of custom is the labor and skillset of the artist and not just the cost of materials, so I don't typically work with newer gemstones or those purchased by a client. Examples of sentimental gemstones include a parent's wedding band, a grandparent's ring, a grandparent's earrings, etc.

 

If interested in procuring a special gemstone for your piece, I offer excellent pricing on gemstones that I purchase for my work included in the full cost of your piece.

 

Please note that if I do accept your own heirloom diamonds (or sapphire) for a project, I will do my utmost to care for them, but I simply cannot be liable for damage to the stones. By working with me, you understand that I am not liable in the (rare) event that the stone breaks or chips. Inspection and damages to the stone will be photographed or noted before I use them (and you will be notified of any potential issues with your stones). You may be asked to sign a waiver of liability. Everything is done on a case by case basis. Thank you for understanding.

 

I do not work with client provided gold or melt down old jewelry.

 

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Precious metals prices fluctuate daily:

 

Please be aware that precious metal markets (gold, silver, palladium, platinum) and other precious natural resources (diamonds, sapphires, etc.) are at historical highs right now. Metal markets and gemstone markets fluctuate daily so pricing can change almost weekly dependent on the market.

 

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Time frame:


Most custom work is created and shipped within 15 weeks* (increased timing through the holiday season due to high order volume), although sometimes sooner (depending on the gemstone sourcing, complexity of design, materials needed (i.e. if the piece is carved and cast, etc.). If you have a sooner date you need the piece by, please include in this note on your form

 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

 

1) What is your approx. budget?

 

Custom sapphire and diamond rings typically start at $2,000 for smaller single gemstone pieces and in 14K yellow or rose gold (please be aware that 14K palladium white gold can run several hundreds of dollars more in difference of 14k yellow/rose gold, depending on the amount of gold used), depending on precious metal gemstone market pricing (this can vary greatly depending on the type of gemstone(s) and other materials (metal markets and diamond costs can fluctuate daily)), as well as labor (design, emailing, photography...all of these will impact the cost of a final piece). High-clarity white diamonds will be much higher than salt & pepper diamonds, although every stone is priced individually. 

 

Diamonds and sapphires, as well as other unique gemstones, can greatly range in price so this will be discussed during consultation after the deposit is paid. If you have flexibility in your budget, this will increase your options. We have many diamonds and smaller sapphires in stock, and have several gem cutters and dealers to work with for specific requests (i.e. carat size, style/cut, color, origin, etc.). Lab gemstones are available for some types of gems and shapes/sizes.

 

Please keep in mind that custom-cut gemstones can vary greatly in price, but are typically more expensive than gemstones we would have in stock or purchase from gem dealers' existing inventory. Custom-cut gems are usually hand-cut by a skilled faceter/lapidarist (gem cutting) who is very skilled/established in a highly-specialized and precise craft.

 

If your budget is less than my custom minimum, I am hoping to continuously stock the shop with new pieces. Please also peruse the available gemstones under the Create your own rings. Many ready-to-ship rings in the online shop include a free resizing prior to shipping, as well.

 

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2) What types of gemstones do you work with? Why shouldn't I select opal for my engagement ring?

 

Bridal appropriate gemstones: bridal or ceremonial pieces (rings worn as engagement or wedding rings and worn daily): we recommend diamonds, sapphires, rubies, or moissanite for engagement/bridal pieces as they are harder stones that can withstand 24/7 wear (but we can share other options on a case by case basis). Other gemstone options are available, but please keep in mind how you wear your jewelry and how you intend to take care of it (some gemstones or settings will require a bit more care). We do have morganite available which has been a recent alternative bridal trend.

 

Soft gemstones: Soft stones like turquoise, moonstone, and opal are beautiful choices for rings that are removed daily or worn on special occasions (i.e. not worn 24/7), but are not the best choice for wedding and engagement or daily hard wear. These stones are soft and can scratch or break when trying to stand up to the daily wear that wedding rings endure. A good whack on a hard surface could break or chip any gemstone, but particularly those that are under 7 Mohs hardness (or ones that are known to have fractures). We can advise you on the best option for you (or your loved one's) lifestyle, as well as what type of aesthetic you are looking for. Although every gemstone is beautiful, not every gemstone will be appropriate for each person’s individual lifestyle.

 

If you wear a ring most days of the week, but remove it at bedtime and showering (and any situation where the stone or ring can be damaged), turquoise and opal can be good choices for the careful, non-adventurous lifestyle. During a time when chemical use is at an all-time high (hand sanitizers, harsh soaps, cleaners, etc.), one must take into consideration that jewelry is not indestructible and natural gemstones can be affected by these products over time.


Please keep in mind that you can choose any stone you wish (it is your ring and decision after all), but selecting a softer stone may require extra care (removing your jewelry whenever washing your hands, showering, exercising, swimming, sleeping, etc.) and/or eventual stone replacement (often with the cost of a new setting and stone) in the somewhat near future.

 

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3) What metals do you work with for custom work?

 

(I am accepting custom work for 14K, 18K, 22K, 24K gold (yellow gold and rose gold options available; 14K and 18K palladium white gold are often available upon request (palladium white gold is nickel free)). Please note that metal markets can fluctuate daily.

 

White gold: Palladium 14K/18K white gold is available by request, but it is more expensive than yellow or rose gold of the same karat. Palladium white gold is a much safer and stronger option than typical white gold as regular white gold contains nickel which is a common metal allergy and is claimed to be carcinogenic for the jeweler to work with. Nickel-alloyed white gold becomes brittle in chlorinated water (such as a swimming pool), whereas palladium white gold doesn’t have this issue. Also, palladium white gold gets its white color from palladium and is entirely nickel free. It is a beautiful steely-gray color.

 

Please note I do not offer plating of any kind as it often involves the use of hazardous chemicals (it is quite typical to find traditional white gold that is plated with rhodium which is a temporary solution that makes the piece appear whiter). The rhodium treatment has to be repeated every year or two (sometimes more often for people whose skin chemistry (sweat, oils) are acidic) which is a cost to the jewelry buyer that is be avoided. I make high quality jewelry that requires minimum upkeep (as well as is best for the environment and everyone involved). It is for this reason I will not plate jewelry or use nickel-containing metals or cyanide in my studio. Palladium white gold is beautiful on its own!


 

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4) How long does custom work take to complete?

 

Please see updated timing above or on our FAQ page 

 

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5) Do you work with ashes for custom memorial pieces?

 

Yes, I can work with ashes and work with you to create the best setting to securely hold them in your piece.

 

I do recommend waiting at least 3 months after your loss to explore working on a special piece as it can be an emotional experience for many. Grief is a very individual process and should not be rushed. I’ll be here to help you create something special when you feel truly ready. 

 

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Design deposit/Payment policy:

 

Please note that we don’t offer or manage payment plans for custom work.

 

A $500 deposit (nonrefundable, but applies to the balance of your piece) is due to discuss details, pricing, provide images of available gemstones, etc. No detailed ideas will be discussed without a design fee. This enables me to provide the best service possible to my custom clients. This will be applied to the final cost of your piece. The deposit should be paid within 3 business days unless a different arrangement is discussed beforehand.

 

Please be prepared to pay for your piece (based on your budget filled out in the form) in full PRIOR to contacting me for design consulting (full payment is due after the maximum two week consultation by email, and we will set up a custom listing for your piece in the shop). The shop listing offers a wide variety of payment at checkout including Shop Pay installments (this is a third party financing company through Affirm so I have no control or access to the approval process or your payment plans) for qualifying orders. I also offer PayPal and a wide range of credit cards can be used to pay.

 

All new bespoke/custom work will be invoiced by PayPal or created as a hidden custom listing in the shop. You do not need a PayPal account to pay with PayPal (all major cards accepted). Please let me know if you prefer PayPal invoicing as I am currently setting up listings in the shop for most orders due to a greater number of payment options.

 

Full payment (after 1–2 week email consult unless otherwise noted) is due upon decision of the final piece within 3 business days of the invoice being sent. No work will begin on the piece until the final invoice is paid. We reserve the right to decline a project that isn’t paid according to the policies outlined here and/or anyone who does not comply with our payment policies.


I recognize that your time is valuable and I’m humbled and honored you've chosen to create a special piece with me. Maintaining good work ethic and creating the highest quality work is of utmost importance to me so I can provide the best service to every custom client. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns if you have them. I am happy to address any concerns or questions you may have. Let’s create some magic together!

 

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Design rights, etc.:

 

Please note that Knot & Splice and Nicole Melton holds the rights to all designs. Pieces made for you may be posted by the creator to social media, on the website, or elsewhere at any time without tagging or notification. Knot & Splice designs may be replicated and sold in the online shop or to stockists by the designer at any time.

 

 

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Resizing after shipment, etc.:

 

Although it's best to know the correct ring size when ordering, if your ring is for a proposal and the ring size cannot be obtained until after the fact, please let me know on the custom form. I can also send you a complimentary plastic ring sizer to determine your ring size at home.

 

Some rings cannot be resized without difficulty, so the design details will determine this. We do not have access to laser welding technology and do everything the old school way (most pieces are fused when possible instead of soldering which makes for a seamless join), therefore resizing usually takes several careful hours of work and additional gold will be required if sizing up.

 If resizing is needed once the ring is received, I can help you with shipping your piece back to me for adjustment. The cost of shipping and resizing will be the responsibility of the client which will be discussed with you prior to shipping.