How long is the waiting list?
Everything is handmade here and it takes time to create your piece from scratch. There is currently a waiting list of around 6 months, so it's best to join it as soon as possible – you can get in touch with us by email of facebook private message. Details on how to contact us can be found here.
I want to repurpose some of my own jewellery - how much metal do I need?
When it comes to redesigning existing jewellery there is no such thing as an average amount or weight that will be needed.
Every single piece is designed and handcrafted to very precise specifications ie your ring size, the width of the piece, the exact number of stones etc therefore no two designs are ever the same.
However it is worth bearing in mind that asterlingidea's designs are chunkier and heavier than more traditional, fine jewellery. Which may mean extra metal needs to be added in if you don't have quite enough - this isn't always the case, we are happy to work with what you have.
With this in mind we cannot give you even a rough idea of how much metal you'll need or the price until you get in touch and we go through the design process. By going through the design process and receiving a quote there is no obligation to go ahead.
What metals or stones can we work with?
We use all types of Gold and Silver but don't work with Platinum, Palladium or base metals (ie Copper, Brass etc) If you are repurposing existing jewellery it could be that we can remove stones from items made from Platinum.
We work with most precious and semi-precious stones but try to avoid some of the softer ones such as Abalone which tends to be not very hard wearing and doesn't lend itself to every day wear.
If you aren't too sure what metals you have you might be able to spot a hallmark and we can tell you what it is. If not then we can always test the metal when it is sent in to be worked with.
If you have a selection of jewellery that has different karats of gold eg 9k and 18k, these can be melted together to create a hybrid which can sometimes be hallmarked at 14k for example. Silver and Gold can be used in the same piece. There are no hard and fast rules, just ask.
Sometimes we get requests to work with more obscure items such as Gold Teeth, Cutlery and Sentimental items - let us know if you have something like this that you would like to include and we can tell you if it might be possible.
Can you buy any jewellery from me?
We don't buy metal or stones but if you are having some of your jewellery repurposed and there is some additional metal or stones remaining then this will be returned to you alongside your new piece.
How much will it cost?
Like "How much metal do I need?" this question is awfully tricky without a design. Having a commission made for you does mean there is no set scale on which you can be given a guide price ie. "so much for a ring" or "this much for a bangle" because it really does depend on the design - the size, the detail, the time taken to make it, the stones or metals added in, the stone settings, the finish. All of these things will have an impact. The cost of a simple ring band versus a thick, detailed band with flush set stones will be quite different.
Hannah will go through the design with you in as much detail as possible to get a really clear idea of how you would like your finished piece to look and then a quote will be created. To give you an idea of how this is worked out, it comprises of the following:
Metal and Stones.
Regardless of whether the metal is being sourced here or if more needs to be added to your own - An estimate of how much is needed will be given and this is mostly impacted by how you invision your design. Stones too can vary in price. Diamonds will cost much more than Amethysts for example.
Hannah charges an hourly rate of £32.50. An estimate of how many hours of work involved in creating your piece will be given in your quote. The process is roughly broken down in to the following - removing stones from your own jewellery, melting down metal and casting it in to an ingot, drawing the metal in to sheet or wire, constructing the piece, stone setting and the final finish/polish
Hallmarking & Postage costs
Your final piece will be sent off to the Edinburgh Assay Office to have the metal tested and stamped with a Hallmark - this Hallmark is your legal guarantee of the quality of the metal. Once the item is finished we'll post it Special Delivery so that it is insured and can be tracked until it arrives safely with you.
If you have a budget in mind, please do tell us and we'll work with you to try to create something that fits with that. We aren't mind readers and there is absolutely no judgement on any budget you might have. Please tell us upfront and where possible we'll try to work within the budget or try to come up with creative alternatives. To give you an idea - commission work generally starts with a minimum of 10 hours work (starting at £325).
Can I pay in installments?
No, we are not a regulated financial entity so it's not possible to take installments or deposits.
Full payment is required up front before work can begin. Once you have been through the design process and you are provided with your quote, there is no obligation to go ahead. If you do decide to proceed then we'll pop a custom listing on to the website to make payment. Payments are processed by PayPal, but there is no need to login or create a PayPal account - you can checkout as a guest and pay by credit/debit card.
We do not engage in "bartering" of our products for your goods or services.
How long will it take?
Sometimes it can take up to 3 months from when the settlement of payment through to Hallmarking and getting it out to you. This can vary and you will be given a timescale when you get in touch. If you need it for a specific date - please let us know early on so that we can tell you if it will be possible or not.
I've seen this design can it be recreated?
If you have seen anything from the asterlingidea social media pages or this website then that's a great way of illustrating the type of finish, settings and style that you would like from your jewellery. If perhaps you have seen something from elsewhere - that's fine for inspiration too - but is largely different to the asterlingidea style then it may be something that would be better suited to another Jeweller. We wouldn't take on traditional or fine styles of design. The plagiarism of other Artists is something we feel very strongly about, under no circumstances will we replicate somebody elses design - please don't ask.
Head over to our design process page for more detailed information.
I've seen a commissioned piece on asterlingidea's social media – how much does it cost?
Seeing some of the commission's posted on Social Media is a good place to gather inspiration for your deisgn – however when it comes to giving you a “Ball park figure” for the one you've seen on facebook, it is unlikely that the price would be identical each and every time. This is impacted by the amount of metal/stones that you might be having remodelled, the size (ie your ring size could be largely different to that of the one you had seen), more metal might need to be added to your design and the type of stones and their settings. What might seem like a minute detail to change, can lead to a difference in price.
The formula used to create a quote is the same for every commission, it is only the details that change with each one.
There isn't any secrecy regarding pricing but we do value our client's confidentiality, and as such won't enter into any discussion about how much they paid for their piece.
Do I need to be local?
Absolutely not! Designs can be discussed remotely be it through our facebook page or email. Getting your jewellery to us is easy too - we use Royal Mail special delivery for everything as it can be tracked and insured.
Head over to our contact page for all of the best ways to get in touch.