FAQ

Custom Work FAQ

Sign up for a Design Page first. Then, unless you know exactly what you want, you should save some favorites and note any special requests.

One of our designers will look through your Design Page Favorites, notes, and any images you upload, then reply to discuss your design ideas, help you choose a gemstone, determine a good time frame and budget, do quick sketches, and answer any questions that you have. We provide price quotes before we start a job, and don't believe in upselling our clients.

When a design is settled, a firm, written estimate will be given for the project, a deposit taken and the creation begins.

Next, we begin more detailed drawings, CAD models, wax models (we send them to you to try on if you like!), casting, detailing, stone setting, and final touches like filigree, hand engraving, etc.

Our custom made pieces are the quality of a high end designer brand, but priced much more competitively. Doing all our work in house, even our marketing, allows us to control costs to make you a better piece of fine jewelry at a fair price. Pricing is based on design complexity, metal, and gemstones, we have thousands of items with sample pricing, and our price quotes are free. Many custom shops are expensive, but we produce top quality original designs for less, simply because we sell direct to our clients, not through other stores.

Custom engagement rings start around $1000, carved or engraved bands, pendants and earrings all start around $500. Our most elaborate engagement rings, with lots of filigree, hand engraving and accent gems, can range up to $10,000 or so for our most complex work.

We work hard to keep prices reasonable by doing all work in-house. Look through our galleries to get a feel for price ranges, as most of our designs show pricing to custom design a similar piece.

Have you found a favorite design, but wonder how to keep the price down? Live chat, click HERE or call 206.527.1108 or 888.339.1709 nationwide. We have all kinds of ideas to make your favorite design perfect for you and your budget.

The time it takes to finish a custom band or mounting can vary greatly, but we can usually create a simpler piece to your specifications in 3-4 weeks, and more complex pieces at a good relaxed pace of decision making is more like our average of 6-8 weeks. Designing (the fun part!) can easily add a couple weeks to the process, taking into consideration hectic schedules and alteration requests.

Pieces do take longer sometimes, and the reasons vary. The key is that we make your schedule if you have one, and we tell you up front (and as we go) if a decision will add time to the process. We can meet most realistic schedules, so let us know what is important to you and we will do our very best to achieve it!

  • Design consult 1-2 hours
  • Appointments recommended
  • Simple Custom jobs 2-4 weeks
  • Complex custom jobs 4-8 weeks
  • Hand engraving 1-14 days
  • Appraisals- by appointment
  • Stone Cutting 7-14 days
  • Repairs 1-14 days
  • Same day service by appointment
A common schedule for a moderately complex custom piece
  • Design Time --- 1 hour and up
  • Stone Sourcing --- incl. in initial consult or up to 1-5 days
  • Sketches and/or CAD models --- incl. in initial consult or up to 1-5 days
  • Wax adjustments Quality control and stone fitting --- 1-2 days
    Even if a wax is approved by the client, it may need adjustments or perfecting to make sure everything is going to work correctly. We make sure every job is done right.
  • Wax Creation and Viewings --- 1-3 days each
    Repeat as needed… some customers make decisions after one meeting, others spend more time in design and wax creation phase.
  • Finishing Details, Stone setting, and Quality control --- 1-12 days
  • Casting into metal --- 2-7 days
  • Finishing (engraving, filigree, stone setting, etc) --- 1-5 days

We begin with a conversation on your Design Page to discuss your design ideas, choose a gemstone, determine a good time frame and budget, do quick sketches, and answer any questions that you have. We provide price quotes before we start a job, and don't believe in upselling our clients.

When a design is settled, a firm, written estimate will be given for the project, a deposit taken and the creation begins.

Next, we begin more detailed drawings, CAD models, wax models (we send them to you to try on if you like!), casting, detailing, stone setting, and final touches like filigree, hand engraving, etc.

We find that if price is not considered, platinum is almost always first choice for white metals. White gold is very popular, strong and whiter than ever. Newer white gold alloys are less likely to cause irritation than they used to.

Rose gold, green gold and high karat gold are all great options as well. We cast in all alloys of gold, and even do exotic alloys like stainless steel and titanium for certain types of work.

We offer this as a service for sentimental reasons only, as it is rarely cost effective, for a fee of $350.00 (Yellow gold only).

In order to separate your ring from all others in the casting process, we actually need more gold than what you see in the ring to cast one item alone. Even then, mixing your gold with our gold we cannot offer a guarantee of success as there is a possibility that the ring will have impurities which could show up later.

A better option is to trade in your metal towards the cost of your custom piece. Ask a designer for details.

We produce a large volume of custom rings every month and have a weekly casting schedule; grouping the same metal types into the same flask of metal.

We promise that you will love your custom Original from Green Lake Jewelry Works or we will modify, redesign or start over one time for free! (The only charge may be for the difference in price if the new design would have cost more originally.) We do ask that you share any concerns within 30 days of delivery...this rarely happens, as most design issues are caught early as we keep you involved every step of the way.
This doesn't apply to surprise designs, only if the recipient was included in the original design process...
There are rare designs when we exclude the design Promise, but we will tell you before we start if so. Even in these cases we always guarantee our craftsmanship & the overall quality of the piece.

Diamond & Gems FAQ

  • Every diamond is chosen for maximum sparkle and value
  • We buy direct from sight holders, not middle-men
  • We pay cash and pass the savings on to our clients
  • We reject 20-50 stones for each one we buy
  • Extensive diamond inventory, not just a feed from overseas
  • Our diamond professionals are simply choosier than most
  • A custom ring deserves a better diamond

Getting a better diamond simply takes time and experience to weed out the so-so stones.
We go to the source, evaluate hundreds of diamonds, and only select the best looking, most sparkly for the money.
Our cutters, small and large, from Antwerp to India, give us first choice and accept our pickiness because we pay on the spot, and don't just borrow stones on memo.
They seek out Green Lake because of our long reputation of leadership in custom design, ethics, sustainability, and quality. Plus they know that many custom jewelers follow our lead in choosing diamond vendors.
All our diamonds are conflict-free, sourced from mines, countries and cutters with the highest environmental, societal and workplace standards.

Yes!
We are early adopters of blockchain enabled provenance and other technologies to go above and beyond industry standards.
Our Conflict-free diamonds are mined, cut, polished and distributed in ethical ways, do not fund wars, terrorism, the drug trade, or other criminal activity.
The Kimberly process was set up to guide and monitor the Diamond industry and is conformed to by almost all governments of the world and by all the important diamond producing, cutting and distribution companies of the world.
However, the Kimberly process is not enough, so we go Above and Beyond TM Kimberly to vet our cutters more closely. We evaluate everything from the rough sourcing to the cutting factory environmental standards and more. Some elements we consider are factory LEED best practices, worker conditions, child care options, worker pay levels and overall sustainability practices.

When you purchase a gemstone, we ship it to you with any accompanying gemstone grading report or certificate if there is any. These grading reports are detailed documents created by gemstone grading experts & are expensive to replace. Because of this, we require each certificate to be included with each returned gemstone. If you do not include the original certificate with your return, you will be charged a replacement fee of $200.

LAB Diamonds

Yes!
Because grown diamonds cost less than mined diamonds, custom engagement ring clients can own a bigger, better, more beautiful diamond that’s even brighter all within the same budget.
Also, because lab diamonds are chemically and structurally identical to naturally occurring diamonds, they last as long and are just as durable as mined diamonds.

Yes we can, as long as your stones are in good condition, they can be reset into a new piece. Contact us for stone setting fees, as they vary with the value, difficulty and durability of the stone.

We carry all shapes and cut styles of diamonds, as well as vintage cuts like old Euro and mine cut diamonds.
We also cut our own sapphire from rough, and cut Rose cuts, trapezoid, hex cuts, unique cushions and many others.

Warranties / Returns

We do all of our work right here in our own shop using the highest quality materials. Each piece is carefully inspected prior to shipment and we guarantee workmanship for the life of the item.
If anything were ever to happen to your ring or other item that is clearly a manufacturing defect we will make it right. We do not cover against wear and tear issues so over time you will need to maintain your ring including prong retipping, re-engraving, etc.
In the event that there is ever a problem with your jewelry, it can be mailed back to our offices for inspection. If the problem is determined to be from a structural defect, we will repair or replace the item at no charge to you.
You may also return your jewelry to our shop for free prong tightening, re-polishing, and cleaning for the life of your fine jewelry, with only nominal shipping fees.
Please contact us if you have questions or would like to return your item for any of our free warranty services.
We also offer a stone loss warranty program, complimentary with any stone that we set.

We work very closely with each customer to ensure that the design is what they want. We promise that you will love your custom jewelry or tell us within 30 days of completion and we will modify, re-design or start over one time for free! The only charge will be for the difference in price if the new design would have cost more originally.
We will re-design and re-make one time for free, as long as the recipient is included in the design process all the way till the end. This is not for surprise designs. In the event a surprise design is not loved like you thought it might be, we will give a partial credit toward a new custom piece that will vary depending on many factors.
Ask us if you want to do a surprise design and we will work this out in advance. We also (rarely) reserve the right to exclude the custom promise on designs using experimental materials or structural elements. Customers creating designs that are exempt from having the custom promise will be notified before a deposit is taken and the job has begun.

We at Green Lake Jewelry Works stand behind our craftsmanship.

*Non-Custom merchandise is returnable for refund up to 30 days after purchase. We understand that a jewelry purchase can be a big decision, and we want you to feel excited about your purchase with us. To make sure you are completely happy, we allow you 30 days from your invoice date to Return or Exchange any item bought from the case (non-custom) that has not been altered. The item(s) must be in good condition. If additional work was completed on the item that does not affect its ability to be resold, you will only be charged for the labor completed on the piece.

*If you are past the initial 30 day Return/Exchange time frame, we still allow Exchanges on all un-altered items in good condition for 90 days from date of invoice.

*All Diamonds and Colored Gemstones $500 or more in value (purchase price) must be returned or exchanged within 14 days of purchase.

For other stones, (under 500.00 in purchase price) purchased from our owned stock there is a 30 day return policy from the date of purchase (as long as there is no wear on the stone i.e.: abrasions or chips that weren’t there when the stone was purchase).

For other stones under 500.00 in purchase price) that are on MEMO (loaned to us from a vendor), there is a 14 day return policy from the date of purchase (as long as there is no wear on the stone). The reason MEMO stones have a shorter return period is because we do not own them and if the customer returns the stone after 14 days then we are forced to own stock that we would not have otherwise purchased.

Should a gemstone we set fall out of your ring we will replace it up to a stone value of $500.00 USD, at No Charge, or pay the insurance deductible up to $500.00. It is important that  the piece is insured under a homeowners, renters or individual jewelry insurance policy, as the maximum liability we can accept is $500.00. Gemstones of higher value should be insured by you and you will need to contact your insurance company in the case of a loss. If we feel the mounting is not secure we will tell you before any work is done and we will not provide a stone loss warranty.

We do not guarantee against gemstones breaking or chipping. All Gemstones can crack, break or chip, even diamonds! You should add all fine jewelry to a homeowners or renters policy, which usually protect against loss, damage or theft.

In order to qualify for the stone loss warranty, you agree to have your stone checked by us, or a reputable jeweler, for tightness and wear, at least once every 6 months. You must also have any needed maintenance done at that time. Please contact us if you need any maintenance.

We don't guarantee stones we didn't set, in jewelry we didn't make.
This may seem obvious, but to be clear, for repairs & restorations, stone tightening and any other maintenance, we only guarantee the work we do. (So, for example, if we size a ring we will do our best to check the quality of the settings, but we don't take liability for work done by other shops.)

We guarantee our work for one year, however normal wear and tear happens, and you will need to maintain your piece over the years, including (eventually) re-tipping prongs and replacing worn metal.  Just like a pair of tires on a car, metals wear down over time. Platinum is the most resistant to wear of  all the precious metals and will need less maintenance than Gold, Silver or Palladium alloys.

We will tighten any stone set by us at no charge for the life of the ring. We guarantee our workmanship and will repair any defect caused by us at no charge indefinitely.
We very strongly recommend that you have your ring inspected every 6 months and have any needed maintenance done as needed.
We don't pay for items to be shipped for inspections or work unless there is an original workmanship problem. We promise to always make a good faith effort to fairly and honestly deal with all of our customers in every way. Our stone loss warranty can be an important part of your satisfaction and trust in our shop, so feel free to ask any questions about our policy.

All Diamonds and Colored Gemstones $500 or more must be returned or exchanged within 14 days of purchase.
Stones under $500.00 purchased from our owned stock may be returned for refund up to 30 days after invoice date. (as long as there is no wear on the stone i.e. abrasions or chips that weren’t there when the stone was purchase).

For other stones that are on MEMO (loaned to us from a vendor), there is a 14 day return policy from the date of purchase (as long as there is no wear on the stone). The reason MEMO stones have a shorter return period is because we do not own them and if the customer returns the stone after 14 days then we are forced to own stock that we would not have otherwise purchased. Restocking fees may apply to canceled or returned stones after 14 days.

Repair FAQ

Yes!
We have a full scale shop with many highly experienced repair and restoration specialists who repair hundreds of items every month.

  • All work done on premises
  • Extraordinary attention to detail
  • The same level of craftsmanship we give to our custom pieces
  • All our jewelers have laser welders, microscopes, etc.
  • Extensive parts and gem inventory
  • All jewelry insured when in our possession
  • High resolution digital color photograph
  • Detailed description of the item
  • Measurements of the item
  • Precious metal content and weights
  • Plot of the main diamond that maps the internal characteristics (For diamonds 0.50 carats and larger)
  • Current precious metal price per troy ounce
  • Diamond or gemstone qualities
  • Cut grade analysis
  • Total value

Appraisals FAQ

We offer appraisals by appointment in both shops and via drop off service.
Our appraisals are performed by independent GIA trained Graduate gemologist who are members of.
All current staff were once staff gemologists at the world renowned GIA Gem Trade Laboratory in Carlsbad, CA.

There are many types of jewelry appraisals. Appraisals are usually for a specific purpose. The most common type of appraisal is for insurance replacement. If you need help determining the type of appraisal you need, please consult our staff. We will prepare the appropriate documentation.

Jewelry appraisals should be kept up-to-date reflecting the current value. Diamond, gemstone and precious metal prices fluctuate. It is important to appraise your items every 2-3 years.

Most insurance companies do not cover jewelry items over $1,000 without an appraisal. The items must also be specifically listed in the policy. Many insurance companies do not insure loose diamonds or gemstones. Contact your insurance provider to discuss your policy.

Jewelry stores sometimes offer a “free appraisal” with the purchase of an item. NAGL strongly advises that you obtain a second, independent opinion to confirm the value and quality of the diamonds, gemstones and precious metals.
Free appraisals or certificates are often prepared by unqualified store associates. Frequently the price is inflated and the qualities of the diamonds or gemstones are exaggerated. Our independent laboratory provides an un-biased written second opinion by a qualified professional.

Product FAQ

Most precious metals and gemstones will need very little care to keep them looking fresh and new.
A few pointers:

  • We suggest having your piece inspected every 6 months for wear and gemstone security.
  • To keep your piece looking great, try to avoid wearing in the shower or the ocean and put your jewelry on last to avoid getting cosmetics or perfumes on them.
  • You can clean most gemstones in commercial jewelry cleaning solution, but don't submerge pearls, emeralds, opals or anything glued in or inlaid.
  • We also do not suggest regular polishing as microscopic amounts of metal are removed each time.
  • Many of our matte finishes can be restored with a very soft rub using a Scotch-Brite pad (again, be careful not to scuff softer gemstones.)
  • You can expect to need your prongs and shanks built up every 5-15 years for gold alloys, every 10-20 years for palladium and once or twice in a lifetime for platinum. Pendants and earrings don't get the same wear and should last a lifetime without these issues, but pendant bails may need to be built up on occasion.
  • The only gemstones we recommend for engagement and wedding rings, where they will be worn daily for decades, are diamonds, sapphires and rubies. Since even these gemstones can scratch or chip, all other gemstones are likely to be damaged much sooner, so be careful when choosing lesser gems for everyday jewelry.

Wedding rings are worn daily and need to withstand a great deal of wear and tear over the years. Platinum is your best choice as it is malleable and forgiving and doesn't wear down nearly as fast as white gold over time. The fine scratches that appear in platinum are completely normal.

Any precious metal soft enough to set a gemstone or engrave will show dings and scratches, but Platinum doesn't lose material like gold alloys, so the fine scratches stay visible. The dings and scratches can be burnished and polished out, but that will remove a little material each time, whereas white gold alloys will wear away (slowly) with everyday wear and therefore appear more polished.

Platinum is also your best option for a hypoallergenic family heirloom quality material that will last for generations. It is a true silver color where 14k white gold has a light yellow color to it because it is yellow gold mixed with Nickel and Zinc to make it white. Most people are allergic to Nickel or can develop an allergy to it while wearing the ring over time.

The only metal used for jewelry that is guaranteed not to scratch is Tungsten. This is an industrial grade material which is a ceramic powder heated to form in a metal mold. However, it cannot be customized, engraved, or sized and is subject to breaking or cracking if dropped on a ceramic tile floor. It is essentially too hard which is why we don't work with it.

Sometimes with the volume of orders we receive, an item shown on the site may not be in stock. If this happens, we will contact you directly to discuss possible options. Also, Data, including prices, may be inaccurately displayed on our Site due to system or typographical errors. While we make every attempt to avoid these errors, they may occur. We reserve the right to correct any and all errors when they do occur, and we do not honor inaccurate or erroneous prices. If a product's listed price is lower than its actual price, we will, at our discretion, either contact you for instructions before shipping the product or cancel the order and notify you of such cancellation. If the order has been shipped, you agree to either return the product or pay the difference between the actual and charged prices. Our prices are also subject to change without notice. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@greenlakejewelry.com or 888-339-1709.

Prices on Easy Order items and Custom Price ranges do not include center gems unless clearly noted. Although many jewelers will not set stones they do not supply, in most cases we can set your gemstones. Setting fees are based on job difficulty and the value of the Gemstone. Please ask your designer for information on setting fees.

Shipping and Taxes

Free Shipping On All Domestic Orders

Once completed, orders will be shipped via FedEx or UPS 2 day air (U.S. addresses) or USPS to APO address at no additional charge.

International Orders & Shipping

International customers will be quoted shipping as part of their order, and are responsible for any duties, VAT, taxes or surcharges levied or charged by their country. Please check with local authorities prior to placing your order to confirm taxes and duties. Military personnel located overseas may also have their packages shipped to an APO or FPO location free of charge. APO/FPO shipments are done through the US Post Office and can take longer (sometimes up to three weeks) to arrive.

We currently collect sales tax only for items delivered in Washington.

Qualified Non-Residents

Effective 7/1/19, residents of Alaska, Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, Delaware, Colorado, American Samoa, Alberta, Yukon, NW Territories and Nunavut will be required to pay Washington Sales Tax for any purchases picked up in our stores.
You may request a refund of part or all of the tax from the State of Washington Department of Revenue the year following your purchase. We will provide a link to the Washington Department of Revenue website as soon as they post instructions to Qualified Non-Residents.

Washington

State sales tax will be collected on taxable purchases delivered in the state.

Other States

We do not collect sales tax.
However, sales tax rules and laws are subject to change at any time.


Our Mission and Values

Our goal is to elevate the custom jewelry business to a new level.
We go above and beyond our peers to translate our client’s ideas into beautiful designs, using precious materials to craft original jewelry that signifies the most important moments in their life.

Core Beliefs

Above and Beyond TM Metals & Gems

We care about the earth, so we make our jewelry in the most carefully and responsible way. We hand-select fine gemstones that are conflict free; we choose suppliers who care and who make sure that these precious gems are mined responsibly too. We use recycled and responsibly-mined metals to make your fine jewelry too.

As pioneers in large scale custom work, we feel responsible to push the industry to improve sources and consider the earth first, selecting the most sustainable, low impact sources for all products we use.