Shipping / Returns
How long does is take to process orders?
As a growing small-business, at the moment, we are experiencing a massive influx of orders (grateful!). Being that each order is handmade, right now orders are taking about 3 to 4 weeks to process before shipping out. If you need a quicker turnaround time due to an upcoming event, please, please reach out to use BEFORE you place the order. In most cases, we will do our best to accommodate, but please be sure to get confirmation before you place the order.
Do you you offer repairs / adjustments?
Yes, we offer repairs and adjustments on all items specifically marked 'handmade by Alex Messbarger'. Please reach out to us and we will work with you to make sure your pieces are perfect!
*If excessive damage has occurred, additional fees may be charged.
Can I cancel my order after having placed it?
Unfortunately, once an order is placed, it cannot be canceled.
Do you offer free shipping?
Yes, we do! We are currently offering free shipping in the U.S. on orders over $100.
Can I order outside of the U.S.?
We are delighted to ship internationally. Simply enter your address upon checkout. Please note that we are not responsible for any import, customs or tax fees your order may incur upon arrival.
What is your return policy?
We do allow returns for store credit for jewelry that is sent back to us provided that the jewelry is in the same condition as originally shipped. However, there are NO RETURNS for any sale/discount code items and there are NO REFUNDS.
If an item must be returned for store credit, please contact the shop via email within 14 days of the delivery date of your item to initiate a return. If you do not contact us within 14 days, your order will no longer be eligible for a return.
Do you pay for the cost of returning an item?
Unfortunately, the customer is responsible for paying all costs associated with returning an item.
What if an item has been damaged in transit or the wrong item was sent to me?
If this is the case, please contact us immediately! For damaged items, photos may be requested.
Do you do custom orders?
We know that everyone has a unique vision, and we are happy to work with you in order to bring that creation to life. If you are interested in a custom item, please reach out to us and we will do our best to work with you. If there is a necklace or bracelet that you would like in a different length to better fit you, please also reach out.
Why do you choose gold-filled for most of your items?
We choose to work with gold-filled because it allows us to offer top-of-the-line quality at an affordable price. The thick outer layer of gold makes it highly durable and safe for people with allergies or sensitive skin.
What is gold-filled?
“Gold-filled” is a USA industry standard that legally requires 1/20th, or 5% pure gold by weight. It is a strictly regulated process that involves pressure bonding multiple layers of solid 14k gold with extreme heat over a core of high quality jeweler’s brass resulting in a durable, quality real gold product.
Is gold-filled actually "filled with gold"?
Actually, all the gold is on the outside, so yep, it is strange. I am not sure why the industry decided on “gold-filled” to identify this kind of jewelry—it is confusing, since it really has nothing to do with being filled with gold. The only thing you need to know is that the term refers to a thick outer layer of durable, pressure-bonded, real, solid gold...on the outside. No filling.
Is gold-filled jewelry real gold?
The gold in 14k gold-filled is definitely real. There is a thick layer of real, solid 14k gold on the outside of a brass core. The 14k gold that is on the outside of gold-filled is the same gold as you would get from a solid 14k piece.
How much real gold is in gold-filled?
Gold-filled jewelry is required to have a minimum of 1/20th (5%) gold by weight. The 5% gold in gold-filled jewelry may not sound like a lot, but it is all on the outside and it is plenty to keep your jewelry looking great for many years.
What is the difference between gold-filled and gold plated?
There is a lot more gold in gold-filled and the gold is attached in a way that is much more durable. Also, the standards for 14k gold-filled are strictly regulated, while the standards for "gold plated" encompass a broad range of thicknesses, so you cannot be sure how much gold is in the plated layer.
Is gold-filled better than plated?
Yes. While solid gold all the way through is the highest quality gold jewelry you can purchase, gold-filled is certainly your second best option.
Why are ALL of your items not gold-filled?
While nearly all of our chains are gold-filled, some of our shaped charms are plated gold rather than gold-filled because more complicated “molded” designs must be cast - a process that is incompatible with gold-filled material.
Why can you not cast gold-filled?
The casting process involves pouring liquid metal into a mold. If you melted down gold-filled material, the gold would no longer be only concentrated on the outside and you would end up with something more like 2k gold, instead of 14k gold on the outside of a brass core. The only way to make gold-filled requires massive amounts of pressure and heat. Like, massive. Not something that you would be able to do outside a dedicated factory.
What is the solution?
Well, we just make sure there is as much gold as we can get onto the shaped charms that are not able to be made with gold-filled and we use 14k gold-filled material for everything else. We will often also add an additional layer of protection over any gold-plated components to increase durability. We figure that this way, you can have the shaped charm that you want at the best gold quality possible (apart from a solid 14k option).
Do you personally make all of the jewelry?
There are some pieces, which are hand-made with love and made by me. In the item description, it will specify this. However, I do not take credit for making all of the jewelry. For those that are not made by me, I do my best to curate a jewelry collection that is hand-made by other artists and to collect quality vintage pieces.
Quality of gold-filled
Is gold-filled good quality?
Gold-filled is absolutely your best option after solid gold for quality and durability. It will not flake off or turn your skin green and offers a great option for people with sensitive skin. We only use the best made gold-filled components and stand behind our product’s quality. Gold-filled jewelry can stay beautiful for a lifetime, especially with a little care.
Is gold-filled jewelry durable? How long does it last?
After solid options, gold-filled jewelry is certainly your best quality for gold pieces. In theory, gold-filled items can last a lifetime. Indeed, some gold-filled jewelry still exists from the Victorian era (over 100 years old). In practice, actual longevity will depend on how you care for it and a variety of other factors.
Does gold-filled tarnish?
14k gold-filled materials are not supposed to tarnish for a long time. It is possible for gold-filled to tarnish under certain circumstances, but it should not tarnish easily.
Does it contain nickel?
No. None of our jewelry contains nickel.
Is gold-filled jewelry okay for people with sensitive skin?
Yes. 99.9% of people find they have no sensitivity to gold-filled jewelry. Because the outside of the piece is solid 14k gold, it interacts with your skin in the same way solid 14k gold would. If you do not have any sensitivities to solid gold, you will find gold-filled agrees well with your skin.
Will it turn my skin green?
No. There are very rare instances where certain people's body chemistry reacts with the 14k gold to leave a green residue on the skin, but this happens in approximately 0.001% of people, so it should not be a concern. Body chemistry is a fascinating thing, and often times it is actually medications present in the system that can react with the gold.
Will it flake off?
No. With gold-filled jewelry, the process involves mechanically bonding the gold to the core through extreme pressure and heat. It results in a resilient exterior that is not prone to flaking or cracking. Flaking is more common with certain types of gold plating.
Does it rust?
Nope. Rust is not possible with the metals present in gold-filled material.
Caring for gold-filled jewelry
Do I have to take it off to shower?
Not if you use mild soaps. It can actually be good for cleaning gold-filled jewelry to shower with it on. BUT, MAKE SURE that your shampoos and soaps are gentle as certain chemicals can negatively impact the look of the gold. (We would not recommend this if the jewelry is also made with pearls!) If you are not sure, take your jewelry off to shower.
Can I sleep in my gold-filled jewelry?
Yes, but it will not last as long. Sleeping in your jewelry will not damage the gold-filled surfaces, but for delicate pieces such as dainty chains on necklaces or bracelets, snagging on the fabric of your sheets or nightclothes can be an issue. If you can remember to take your pieces off before bed, they will thank you by staying bright longer. It is also nice if you can give them a wipe down after a day's wear just to get body oils off the surface.
How do I take care of it?
The best care you can give your pieces is to clean them gently with water, mild soap, and a soft cloth (eyeglass chamois works great!) and only polish them when they really need it. It also helps to avoid exposure to lotions or wash them off your jewelry immediately, especially gold-filled chain, which can capture bits of lotion in all the nooks and crannies.