Common Questions

What is hand stamping?

Hand stamping is an ancient form of engraving.  Each letter is placed and stamped one at a time by hammering a steel rod with a letter into metal to create an impression.  Every piece made is one-of-a-kind because of this unique technique.


One of the letters on my piece looks a little crooked.  Is this a defect?

Not at all!  Every letter and design is stamped by hand using a metal shank with the letter/design on it (kind of like a metal rubber stamp) and a hammer to pound it into the metal.  Because of this unique technique, not every letter will be stamped exactly the same or perfectly in line with each other.  This is what makes hand stamping different (and more special!) than engraving.  Even when we make multiples of the same piece, each one is a little bit different.  But rest assured, we have a very high standard of quality and we will never send you a piece that doesn't exceed that standard.  We will only send you one that we would be proud to wear ourselves!


What about these marks on the back of my jewelry?  Are they a defect?

Nope.  They are actually one of the "hallmarks", if you will, of true hand stamping.  When we stamp a piece, the piece of metal is set on a block of steel, a stamp is placed on the metal, and the stamp is hit with a hammer.  The marks on the back are caused by the force of the hammer hitting the stamp and making the impression.  The marks are actually a slight impression from the steel block.  The marks occur with all hand stamping and are unavoidable.  The metal displaced from where the stamped image is has to go somewhere!  The only way to avoid these marks is to use an engraving machine, but we refuse to use one because we feel it takes the artistry and "handmade" out of making our jewelry.  Some metals and styles show the marks more than others due to the softness of the metal and the finishing process.  In no way, however, are these marks a defect or detract from the beauty of your piece.  In fact, they actually show off that your piece is truly hand stamped, even if you're the only one to ever see the back!


Can you stamp on the back?

Unfortunately, we are unable to stamp on the back.  The backs of hand stamped jewelry have marks left from the stamping process (see above for more info on the marks).  These marks show on the opposite side of the side that is stamped, meaning that if a piece is stamped on both the front and back, there are marks from the opposite side showing on both sides.  While this is completely normal for hand stamped jewelry, we find that the marks distract the eye from the stamping.  For this reason, we do not offer back stamping.


Does aluminum tarnish?

No!  Well, technically, yes, but you can't see it.  Unlike sterling silver, copper, and many other metals, which turn colors (or dark) when exposed to air, moisture, chemicals, etc, aluminum has an invisible tarnish that does not effect the look of the aluminum.  Your aluminum jewelry will look the same on day one as it will later on.


I'm allergic to nickel.  Can I wear aluminum?

Yes!  Aluminum is nickel-free, so it can easily be worn by those with nickel sensitivies.


Will my copper, pewter, or silver jewelry tarnish?

Yes, it will, and this is normal!  I do apply a special coating to most of my copper jewelry to help slow down the process.  However, everyone's body chemistry and environment is different, so the speed at which the metal will tarnish is unpredictable.  You can read more about caring for your jewelry on our Caring for your Jewelry page.


Can I go swimming or shower in my new jewelry?

We highly discourage this for many reasons, including damage that may be caused by chemicals like chlorine, salts, soaps, and shampoos.  Water itself can also dull the finish of certain types of metals, cause excess tarnishing on other types, and remove the dark/colored patina and darkening in recesses such as letters and designs.  We highly suggest removing all of your jewelry, including earrings, before bathing, showering, swimming, exercising, etc. 


What do I do if the darkening comes out of the letters/design?

It can easily be touched up at home using a permanent marker.  Instructions can be found here.  Also, we are able to clean up your jewelry and redarken it professionally in our studio.  Contact us if you are interested.


Can I use jewelry cleaning solution on my new jewelry?

No!  Jewelry cleaning solutions are not designed for hand stamped jewelry as they take off all of the tarnish, including that which we chemically induce in the letters.  Also, the solutions are not designed for most of the metals that we use and have the potential to damage your jewelry.  You can read more about the proper way to clean our jewelry on our Caring for your Jewelry page.


What is your return/exchange policy?

Our return and exchanges policy can be found here.