Regular FAQs

I selected "check" as my payment option, but who do I make it out to and where do I send it? Please make your check out to: Janet Sterling Silver Design, and mail it to:

Janet Sterling Silver Design
P. O. Box 1369
New York, NY 10113

For check orders, I do not send the packages out until the payment is received & clears the bank, so please expect at least a one week delay.

Are all the jewelry pieces made by you? Yes it is! When I had the retail store, I used to have sales associates who doubled as jewelry elves. But now that I work out of my new home studio, I make all the pieces that go out! Some of the clearance items have been made by my jewelry elves before we closed the retail store, but otherwise, they are all done by me!

Do you make the chains as well as the pendants? In order to keep the cost down for my customers, I use machine made chains, unless otherwise noted, like the Queen of Hearts and Rough Around the Edges Heart Bracelet--you'll find the "completely handcrafted" pieces are more expensive because each link is like an individual pendant.

How long will my order take to get to me? It depends on how many orders I receive per day, and how many I have lined up from previous days, but as much as possible, I do my best to keep up with the orders, even if that means working until 3am. (I’m an insomniac anyway, so it’s not a big deal….) It also depends on if it’s something that’s easy to adjust (like a chain length), or if it’s something that’s much more customized, like the items in the Postmodern Candy Series. In other words, in my spare time, I try to stock up on popular items that can be made in advance, like the Abstract Kanji Necklaces, so if a customer orders that, I might be able to ship it out to a customer on the same day. On the other hand, if another person orders a Super Duper Candy Bracelet on the same day, that’s 5 customized Postmodern Candy pieces in one, which takes up a lot of time, so I might not be able to finish it for another day or so.

Do you charge sales tax? I only charge NYS sales tax to orders that are mailed within NYS--this is calculated automatically for you at checkout.

Do you pack the jewelry in boxes or bags? How is it all packaged when it’s sent to me? We have 2 options now for packaging!  Our usual "gift wrapped" option:  each piece is wrapped in chemically treated, anti-tarnish tissue and placed in our oatmeal colored custom gift boxes with your choice of ribbon color.  In  the box, we include cleaning instructions as well as a complimentary ziploc type bag, which we feel is the best option for you to maintain the finish of the piece and to slow down the tarnishing effect.  Some of our "Regulars" have told us that they no longer need a box since they have many, and wanted a simpler packaging option, so we now also offer a "Standard" non-boxed option.  For this, we simply package each jewelry piece in a ziploc type bag, wrap that with bubble wrap, and mail it to you.

Can you send a gift directly to a friend/relative for me? Sure! We’ll print your name on the packing slip (without the price, of course), and we will also include a handwritten gift card if you’d like, and we will separately send you the bill. On the online store, when you check out, you will be asked for the shipping and billing addresses. Make sure that the other person’s name and address is on the shipping portion, and that yours is on the billing portion.

I was thinking about ordering your jewelry as Christmas presents for friends and family. How can I have you send various items to different addresses? Sorry for the inconvenience, but you'll have to fill out separate orders for each address. That is the only way that we can insure that the right item goes to the right address, and it is the only way that we can keep up our high standard of packaging.

Do you have a store? I did, but we closed it in June 2008 so that I can spend more time with my daughter and work in my new home studio! Although I'm sad that I no longer have the store where I can meet and greet our customers, I think it's a better decision all around, and I hope to create more new pieces now that I don't have to manage the store!

What’s the best way to figure out what size I want? For necklaces, bracelets, and anklets, find a piece of yarn or string (make sure it's not stretchy!), and find a length that’s comfortable for you, mark it, and measure it out. If you have a favorite necklace or bracelet, even better—measure that. For thicker chains, please add a few millimeters on your measurement so that you give yourself room for the additional thickness of the chain (a thin yarn/string will measure the middle of a thick chain, so you need to account for the thickness).

What if I want a size that’s not listed? If you’d like a special length on any of my jewelry, please call or email me for a cost estimate. If it’s a thinner chain, I may be able to add a few additional inches without an additional cost; however, if it’s a thick, chunky, heavy weight chain, I may have to charge you an additional cost per inch.

For the Siginificant Others’ Rings, can I just put one name instead of two? Is that the cost per ring, or is it a set? You can put whatever you want, really…. It doesn’t even have to be a name! These rings are sold individually, and we have a lot of options, so if the description online is confusing, please email or call us.

Can you do a custom kanji on your jewelry products? Yes, I can, but only on the Postmodern Candy Series, and only one custom kanji per glass piece. Here’s what I can do: I can insert a copy of the kanji (or other symbol if you wish) underneath the glass piece before I set the glass. Since it’ll have paper instead of stamped silver, it’ll have a different look (i.e. it’ll depend on the paper, but for example, white paper makes the kanji/sign really stand out), but it’s still kind of cool and one of a kind!

What is the difference between pure silver, "fine silver" and "sterling silver," and what do you use? Pure silver is very soft and not really practical to use for jewelry, so copper is used as an alloy to make the silver a bit harder. "Fine Silver," which I use for bezels (the silver part that I set the glass around) for the Postmodern Candy Series, is .999% silver, with .001% copper. "Sterling Silver" is .925% silver, with .075% copper alloy. This is regulated by law, which is why you'll find sterling silver things often marked "925." I use Sterling Silver for all my jewelry, for both handformed and cast pieces, and our new line of 14K Gold Vermeil jewelry is our original sterling silver jewelry pieces that have been electrolytically plated with fine gold a minimum thickness of 2.5 microns.

Do you plate the gold at the studio? No, we don't. Once we make the silver jewelry, we send it to another company which specializes in gold plating jewelry.

What’s the difference between hand formed pieces and cast pieces? A hand formed piece means that it is a piece of silver, either in sheet form or wire form, that has been hand cut (with pliers or hand saw), and manipulated individually by hand with the use of tools. The beauty of hand formed pieces, is that it gives it that "handmade" appearance and quality, where you can sometimes see the tool/hammer marks on the back. All the additions to the silver, like bails, must be soldered individually. For example, the Abstract Kanji Necklace is a good example of this. I hand saw each square, stamp the Kanji on it (I had steel stamps custom made for me), dome it by hand with the use of a dapping punch, dapping block and a hammer, sand the edges, solder the bail on the back, oxidize the indentation, then polish it. I use an electric tumbler to mass polish the pieces in order to give it an even, high gloss.

A cast piece means that the original is made out of wax, then a mold is made of it, and hot, molten silver is shot into the place of the wax. This is called the lost wax method. The Origami Tsuru Pendant is a good example of this. I originally carved the little tsuru piece out of wax (and that’s not as easy as it sounds! I made several wax pieces before I ended up with the one I wanted!), and I took that to a company that specializes in casting metal. The reason why I do not do this part at, is that this require space and expensive machinery, so to keep the cost down, I send this part out to the specialists. When I pick up the raw cast from the casting company, the texture is still rough, and it still has sprues on it (the little area where the silver was shot into the mold), so I hand saw that off, sand it, and finish/polish it in an electric tumbler. Again, I mass finish all cast pieces at the end to keep the labor/costs down. Once the prototype is complete, I make a mold of it and it is ready for production. The tricky part, however, is that metal shrinks as it cools, so the prototype must be a little bigger than what you want the production pieces to be. And I’m not quite the mathmetician…. For a visual tour of the casting process, check out my "cast pieces: how are they made?" page.

Your prices didn't go up in years, but all of the sudden, it almost doubled in 2006. What happened? Since we started in 1997, the price of silver was low and didn't fluctuate much, so we were able to extend the same to our customers. However, due to the significant increase in the spot price of silver (market rate), we had no choice but to raise our prices, too. 

My boyfriend and I have the Significant Others’ Rings. Mine is fine, but his turns black within a few days. What’s up with that? Some people consider silver "self cleaning." For most people, the tarnish on the silver is rubbed off with every day use. However, others have an allergic reaction to various metals whether it’s silver, white gold, or whatever. If the jewelry item in question turns black quickly but it doesn’t itch or make the skin red, it’s fine for the wearer; their body chemistry just doesn’t go with the metal, and they’ll just need to clean it with a silver polishing cloth more often. I’m not a scientist, but I’ve noticed that people who sweat a lot seem to have a problem with the silver tarnishing faster. But be aware, that if your skin turns red, itches, or becomes swollen, immediately take it off and clean it with hydrogen peroxide. It’s probably not a good idea for you to wear that particular metal. For example, even though I’m fine with silver, gold, and platinum, but I’m very allergic to white gold, where my skin will immediately swell, get red, and become oozy if I’m not careful. Sounds gross? It is. Go with your instinct; listen to your body! Seek your physician’s advice for severe reactions.

What is your return policy? 
I stand behind my jewelry 100%! Please return any item that does not satisfy you completely within 30 days. I'll be glad to make an exchange, credit your account, or refund your payment. Custom orders are non-refundable and non-exchangeable except for spelling correction (if the mistake is on our part). Shipping and handling fees are non-refundable.