Frequently Asked Questions
DO I NEED AN APPOINTMENT TO SPEAK WITH A GOLDSMITH?
For Custom Design, it’s not required, but we strongly suggest that you make an appointment. Our designers are not always available for walk-in clients. We like to carve away an hour of focus and attention from both of our busy schedules to ensure that we have time to discuss design and materials. Plus, we enjoy taking the time to get to know you!
If you are bringing in a repair or restoration, setting an appointment is not necessary. We can set a plan for recovery on the spot.
CAN I ORDER WHAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR PORTFOLIO?
Our portfolio is not a catalog. You are not limited only to what we have on display on this website or in our showroom; our vision is to create client designs with quality through innovation and creative problem solving. The things you see here are only some examples of where ideas can be taken with jewelry design. Each piece is individually created to our client’s specifications and ideas, and thus there is no comprehensive list of the only things available, nearly anything can be made after going through the involved staff production meeting.
I ALREADY HAVE DRAWINGS/CAD FILE OF WHAT I WANT, CAN I JUST SEND THEM TO YOU?
We frequently receive digital artwork from customers who wish to draw out or draft their own jewelry. We absolutely encourage this, and it can sometimes save many steps in the design process. However, we will need to make modifications for stone setting, metal flow, and structural integrity. We encourage you to make an appointment and bring your artwork along! No USB drive connection available.
Additionally, we do not accept, 3D print, or mill CAD files without approval by our CAD artists, and review does not guarantee that the file will be able to be utilized for production. Translating your digital file to a finish piece requires design time including items produced under our tradework and private label program.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH MY OLD JEWELRY?
Not only can we offset the cost of your new custom piece with existing jewelry, by request, we can actually use it in your piece. As we alloy and cast in house, we can even change the color of your gold too! Old chains, outdated family pieces, we’ve even had broken silver spoons. In the past, clients have been able to offset the entire cost of production using recycled materials. It’s also environmentally sound, as we don’t have to use freshly mined gold to create jewelry, and also allows our customers peace of mind to know that previously unworn or rarely used jewelry is being made into something new and treasured.
WHAT DO I NEED TO START A DESIGN?
Nothing really. A great way to provide both you and the designer with insight is to bring in or email a photo of pieces you like and a few you don’t. We prefer that our customers start with some idea of what they’d like to see in the end, but it’s our designers' jobs to show you the different options available and guide you to a design that is both feasible and affordable. We can work with vague notions of style, or specific concept drawings and measurements.
Ultimately, we will be able to narrow the options of what is possible and what you like, and create a piece based on that. Since we have control over all stages of design, we can also make changes to fit what you want at most stages of the process.
HOW LONG DOES THE CUSTOM PROCESS TAKE?
How long do you need it to take? Our standard turnaround time for a custom job is 6 to 8 weeks. However, with a rush fee we can accelerate this process exponentially. Let us know your time frame, and we will do everything in our power to accommodate it, while still delivering quality product.
HOW MUCH DOES A CUSTOM PIECE OF JEWELRY COST?
That’s a big question, and one that is extremely dependent on design and materials. For instance, a sterling silver piece using a client stone will have a very different price tag than butterflies holding a ruby on a necklace with lightning bolts and a photo realistic picture of your ferret engraved on the back. Once a piece is designed at one of our free design appointments, we break down the cost of creation: The necessary design time, recycling of client materials, casting costs, stone setting labor, etc. This not only creates transparency for you, but allows you and your designer to make budgetary decisions without compromising your design. If you can keep a secret, custom starts at $200.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING THE CUSTOM PROCESS?
We put the kettle on and begin with a no obligation design appointment, where a designer sketches your ideas, and helps guide you to which materials, stone settings, and other choices will best serve your design, lifestyle, and budget. When the design is finalized, your designer will give you a quote, including a breakdown, a deposit is taken and we move on to creating your project.
Based on your project, you may sit down with us to approve a computer render or wax model. You can make changes to your design, or give approval for casting. From there, we begin the production process, from casting, to stone setting, finishing, manager final check, photography and another final check by your designer who didn't look over the shoulder of the manager's previous final check that is not as important, Steve.
WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE MY CUSTOM JEWELRY?
Because clients are given the opportunity for input throughout the custom process, this problem is one we encounter very rarely. Under our warranty, one hour of labor is completely free for in-metal modifications. Additionally, any issues with your jewelry that affect your ability to wear it comfortably (i.e. the band is too wide) are covered under the warranty. Devices added to keep the ring from spinning are an additional cost under our repair service. We find that this resolves most issues that people have with a finished piece. If you are still not satisfied with your custom piece after we take these steps, you can return the piece and receive store credit, excluding diamond and gemstones which you have previously selected and purchased, to use in any way you would like. Please note though, that complete custom remake covered by store credit can only be utilized once.
WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU WORK WITH?
The only metals we do not work with are Tungsten and any base metals. Several cheeky alloys of silver, 9k (for you Britons) 10K, 14K, and 18K gold in white, yellow, rose, pink, royal and green gold, a trio of platinum alloys, 14K and 18K Palladium White Gold, Damascus Steel, Stainless Steel, Titanium, Wood, Meteorite, Mokume Gane, Shell, Opal, Onyx, Lapis, torq- turqoi- Turquoise, Pearl, Granite. Anything hard and durable enough for daily wear. We even inlaid a Social Distortion record into a ring once...
CAN YOU CHANGE THE COLOR OF MY GOLD?
Absolutely, the color of gold is determined by the alloy added to the pure gold before casting. When we recycle gold, whether for general use or in our process called Single Batch Refining, we remove all the impurities and old alloys and start with fine gold, and add standardized alloys to affect the color. By starting with fine gold, we can add the desired alloy to achieve the color and karat we want. Any combination of gold colors and karat weights can be recycled.
WHAT IS SINGLE BATCH REFINING?
Single Batch Refining is the process we use when our clients want specific gold, usually for sentimental reasons, to be used in their custom piece. A common example is a daughter using her mother’s yellow gold wedding band in her white gold engagement ring. By chemically refining the gold in an individual batch, we can guarantee that your special gold is being used in this individualized, beautiful, custom piece.
DO YOU RHODIUM PLATE YOUR JEWELRY?
We have the capacity to plate your jewelry, in black and white rhodium. While most commercial jewelry is rhodium plated to a chrome finish to eliminate the slight warm white tint of its gold content, we leave it up to you. In the case of some restorations, we may recommend it. However, because rhodium plating requires upkeep, often needed to be reapplied every six months to a year, we consider it to be a matter of preference.
HOW MUCH MATERIAL DO I HAVE TO PROVIDE FOR MY PIECE?
This is a difficult question to answer, it’s not about weight, it’s about value. Your material is credited towards the cost of the project. Additionally, if we are recycling a piece for sentimental reasons in Single Batch Refining, we can supplement the fine gold from your piece with our own gold, so the amount you provide is not an issue for production.
CAN YOU USE MY DIAMOND/GEMSTONE?
Yes. However, in taking diamonds over one carat we do require you utilize an independent appraisal service, for a fee to your chosen appraiser, so that your piece can be fully insured by you before and after production.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH MY STONES WHEN YOU RECYCLE MY GOLD?
All stones that can be removed without destroying them (glued in pearls, for example) are done so before we begin the refining process, and placed with the project file. Stones can then either be returned to you, or if specified, used in the new piece. Stones are individually assessed before being applied for credit, and are not guaranteed to be accepted as credit. As listed in our policy, we are not responsible for customer stones, although we do take every precaution in the refining process to preserve customer stones.
ARE ANY OF YOUR DIAMONDS TREATED?
The only diamonds we have that are treated in any way are our colored diamonds, which are sometimes irradiated to enhance the hue and saturation of the stone. You will always be aware upon inquiring, prior to purchasing a stone, if it has been treated in any way. We do not deal in any diamonds that have been treated to hide imperfections, such as fracture filled, bleaching and laser drilling.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATURAL AND CREATED GEMSTONES?
Although there is a perception that created gemstones are less desirable than their natural counterparts, chemically, created gemstones are identical. As the name suggests, created gemstones are man made, which lowers both their cost and environmental impact. When choosing between natural and created gemstones, appearance is often a deciding factor. For instance, emerald created in a lab is optically clear, while natural emerald is characterized by the textured depth created by internal inclusions. Which stone is best for your design is a matter of preference.
DO YOU SELL LAB DIAMONDS?
Yes. We find that the ethics of domestically produced lab diamonds are often seen as an extra layer in responsible jewelry. All lab diamonds are laser inscribed and verified independently from our sources.
Canadian diamonds have a life of their own. The three government controlled mines in Canada, with strict environmental oversight are presented to you with the rare characteristics that the Canada mines are famous for. Specific fluorescence and laser inscriptions tracking them through the cutting houses back to the mine make these a national treasure. Just like Justin Trudeau.
DO YOU SUPPLY UNTREATED GEMSTONES?
Some of our gemstones are untreated, and some gemstones naturally need no treatment. Many of our gemstones are treated in one of many ways, typically with heat, which is an industry standard for gemstones and neither harms nor lowers their quality in many circles in our industry. Several stones are heated to enhance color, and this in some cases prevents excessive mining since many natural gemstones have little or poor color. The difference between treated and untreated gemstones is essentially undetectable except under laboratory conditions.
I HAVE HAD ALLERGIC REACTIONS TO MY JEWELRY IN THE PAST. ARE THERE HYPOALLERGENIC CHOICES AVAILABLE?
Allergies to alloys used in jewelry are not uncommon. These most commonly include copper, nickel and zinc. We use hypoallergenic alloys in our pieces when requested, and if you have a known allergy to metals please let us know so we can make the necessary changes in the alloying of the gold, or explore other hypoallergenic avenues.
Ethics & Environment
WHAT DOES ECOLOGY HAVE TO DO WITH JEWELRY?
A great deal, for sure. All of the metals used to make rings have been mined from the earth at some point or another. Most of the stones used have also been mined, although as stone creation technologies progress, this is shifting. There is a large industry built up to create, transport and promote jewelry and all this takes resources. Through wise choices and good investments, we can reduce the effect that jewelry manufacturing and sales has on the environment. Darvier is doing its part by using recycled material and sourcing gemstones and diamonds using channels that are as equally committed to ethical, environmentally conscious practices as we are.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR DIAMONDS AND GEMSTONES ARE OF ETHICAL ORIGIN?
Our stones are purchased only from a select number of sources with whom we’ve worked with for many years. In much of the diamond and gemstone trade, most business is done on an introduction and a handshake, so trust is paramount. By carefully vetting and developing a personal relationship with our vendors, we avoid stones that appear to be of questionable origin. It is also one of the reasons why we have an extensive collection of lab created gems, as we can be absolutely certain that they are of ethical origin. Our diamond inventory is supplied by vendors who adhere to the Kimberley process of fair trading. http://www.kimberleyprocess.com/
REPAIR & RESTORATION
SAME DAY REPAIRS?
No. Our turnaround is just a few days. Restorations of any size demand thoughtful consideration. We intake your jewelry that needs repair with multiple photos and itemized receipts immediately. Our production staff then assess the repairs required for safe daily use, source the parts and break down the steps needed for the most thorough and cost effective repair or restoration that is appropriate to your jewelry. Our trained staff then follows up with you on the best course of action available in the industry with no obligation. We guarantee slow repairs allowing for the best possible outcome.
DO YOU PERFORM REPAIRS EVEN IF YOU DID NOT MAKE IT?
Certainly. We have an incredibly gifted team of metalsmiths to tackle restorations. Also, we use an industry standard pricing guide to ensure that our repair quotes are competitive.
I HAVE A VINTAGE PIECE, CAN YOU RESTORE OR MODIFY IT?
Yes. We have a very talented team that are able to repair and renew pieces that have been worn and damaged by time, stress or impact. With intensive repairs, we usually have our metalsmiths look over it and present you with options for proceeding. As always, these evaluations carry no cost or obligation.
I LOST AN ANTIQUE CUT DIAMOND/GEMSTONE OUT OF MY VINTAGE RING. CAN YOU HELP ME FIND A REPLACEMENT?
Yes, and we have an in-house collection of antique cut diamonds. Something to keep in mind is that it can take some time and quite a bit of searching to find the correct or matching stones. Because of this, we are often unable to give an immediate estimate on what the actual replacement will cost, since the stones are fairly rare, and sometimes with unpredictable pricing. There are some fairly standard antique cuts that are easier to find than others. We also have the option of custom cutting a stone to match those in your vintage jewelry. Let us know what you need.
CAN YOU CREATE MATCHING BANDS TO VINTAGE PIECES?
Yes, we have often created matching pieces to vintage jewelry that shares design elements and stones with the original. With certain pieces it is difficult or near impossible to match the exact style of the original, as many antique pieces were created from soldered metal stampings, or through intensive fabrication. We can generally make a piece that still holds the original look and feel in a matching piece, and often photograph or sketch the original to use as a template for the matching piece. Additionally, we can use the piece to carve a shadow band that fits perfectly alongside the original, thereby further enhancing the appearance that the pieces were created together.
BY THE WAY, WHERE DO YOU PERFORM YOUR WORK?
All of our jewelry is created or restored in our private production facility here in Ft. Collins, Colorado. It's currently private to protect the anonymity and security of other jewelers we perform production services for. We like to have complete control over the creation process, and feel that some of the jewelry that is mass produced is of lighter quality than one should expect from a professional creative establishment. When we do have to order components or pieces for clients, we work with reputable manufacturers here in the USA when possible.
All Other Questions
AFTER WEARING MY RING FOR A BIT, THE STONE SEEMS TO BE VERY SLIGHTLY LOOSE, WHAT GIVES?
Rings, like many other things, sometimes need a little maintenance after wearing them in daily use. Since all our rings are created new and have never had your unique needs, it’s not uncommon for there to be a little bit of “play” in the stone setting after a few months. This can easily be corrected by a stone tightening, and usually sorts things out. Most frequently this happens with pressure type settings, although it can also happen on with prong type settings. Also, we offer free cleanings and stone inspection to catch it before it becomes a problem.
DO YOU BUY OLD JEWELRY/METAL?
Yes, we do! We highly recommend making an appointment if you are bringing a piece with a large center stone or medium to large estates to ensure maximum payout or store credit.
HOW DO YOU CALCULATE THE FINANCIAL VALUE OF JEWELRY I PROVIDE TO RECYCLE?
We electronically test the metal and gemstones during the intake process with you. We can determine the karat value of your gold, detect platinum pieces and classify the gemstone or diamond by the use of established industry testing equipment employed by leading gemstone and diamond appraisal services. As we cast twice per week, we have a unique need for recycled material. We strive to offer the highest purchase price publicly available.
HOW DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF EVERYONE’S GOLD & STONES FOR RECYCLING?
When we receive any customer jewelry, we weigh it, photograph it, catalog it, and associate these documents with the customer job in your presence. Once we’ve done this, if the gold is to be refined out for use in our Single Batch Refining process, we remove the stones from the mountings and put them back with the remainder of the customer information in our vault. We then refine the gold pieces separately from all other refining and process in an individually marked container. Once we’ve finished refining the gold, we put the gold back with the customer job, where it remains until we are ready to proceed with casting.
DO YOU OFFER APPRAISAL SERVICE?
Yes. Although, your custom jewelry from Darvier will be accompanied by a complimentary detailed receipt suitable for insurance appraisal purposes. However, if you provided diamonds or gemstones used in the creation of your piece, this will not be included. For that, we offer independent appraisal services at a rate of $150/hr in ten minute increments.
WHAT DOES YOUR WARRANTY COVER?
We've got your back. Please view our current warranty here.
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE DARVIER?
p.s. The Darvier family name originated in Lanarkshire Scotland which contains much of my favorite city in the Isles where I grew up: Glasgow. However, in the end, and most importantly, darvier.com was available.