What is the difference between Gold-Plated, Vermeil and Gold-Filled?

Gold-filled jewelry is a great alternative to gold-plated or vermeil, as it is built to last. It has a clear advantage in terms of durability, with 100x more gold alloy layers providing an extra layer of protection against nicks and scratches. While gold plated pieces may only be layered with gold for a few microns, gold-filled jewelry can have gold alloy layers up to 10k thick. That strength means gold filled jewelry won't easily wear away the gold from the surface like gold plated pieces and will consequently look more attractive for longer. 

 What is Moissanite?

Moissanite is truly a gemstone born from the stars – it was first discovered in 1893 by Henri Moissan, the French scientist who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He initially thought he had discovered diamonds, but instead found microscopic particles of silicon carbide. Due to its rarity, natural moissanite is no longer available; today, scientists have managed to successfully synthesize it in order to produce one of the world’s most scintillating gemstones.

What is the difference between Diamond and Moissanite?

Moissanite gemstones are nearly as hard as diamonds—they are a 9.25 on the Mohs Scale (which measures gemstone hardness), while diamonds are a perfect 10. Both boast high wearability; neither gem is likely to chip or crack. 

Another difference between the two is their ability to shine. The brilliance of the stones is measured by the amount of light reflected from the interior of the stone. Moissanite has a refractive index of 2.65 to 2.69, which is actually higher than a natural diamond at 2.4. Moissanites exhibit an excessive amount of colored sparkles. Some people describe it as a ‘disco-ball’ like sparkle. Unlike the cool, white sparkle of a diamond, the light reflected by a moissanite will look more like a rainbow.

How long will a custom order take?

Custom orders take 6 to 8 weeks.  If you need a piece before that time we can usually do a rush order.  For Memory Seed pieces or pieces using Cremains or other earth based materials the 6 to 8 week period begins at the day materials are delivered. 

Why do custom orders and some other items take up to 8 weeks to ship?

It takes up to 8 weeks to complete a custom order as each piece is handcrafted by Brienna with care and attention.  She creates every piece herself as well as runs all other aspects of Shrine Jewelry.  If you need it sooner, rush orders can usually be accommodated.

How do I care for my jewelry?

Keep pieces in a cool dark space. Put on jewelry AFTER you have put on any fragrance, hair product, lotion or makeup.  Avoid wearing jewelry in the spa/gym. Keep away from harsh chemicals. 

How much of the cremains or sand do I need to send you for the Memory Seed pieces?

With the Memory Seed jewelry, you can memorialize your loved ones or a precious place in a unique and special way. Each piece only requires 1/2 of a teaspoon of ash or sand to create the jewelry. For the cremains if you choose to add their name, I'll light a candle and write it on paper with intention during the making process. Any unused ash or sand from memorial jewelry is sent back to you with the final product.

What is Keum-Boo and how do I care for it?

Keum-boo is a traditional Korean gilding technique with a rich cultural history. Meaning 'attached gold', Keum-boo involves fusing thin sheets of 24 karat gold onto silver surfaces with heat and pressure. Although Keum-Boo provides an elegant sparkle and depth to any piece, areas exposed to excessive wear may begin to show signs of deterioration over time. Keum-boo can be gently cleaned with a very soft cloth and mild soapy water.  Never put Keum-boo in an ultrasonic cleaner. 

What is oxidized silver and how do I care for it?

The oxidation process of sterling silver gives its surface a beautiful rich black finish. It adds a modern style to the jewelry that reflects your individual wear patterns over time.  We will re-patina any piece of jewelry purchased from us for no added charge, so you can enjoy the look of oxidization for as long as possible. It's one of our favorite ways to give sterling silver a unique touch.