Nikki Stark Jewellery

FAQs

Here are some of the questions I am most frequently asked, if you have any suggestions for more questions, or something specific you would like to know please send me an email.

So you make jewellery?

Yes. I have a teeny workshop with a selection of basic hand tools. I make each piece individually to order using traditional techniques.

Making to order this way allows me to offer all UK ring sizes and half sizes to get you the perfect fit, and to be flexible with my designs.

What materials do you use?

All my pieces are made of solid precious metals.

I work in sterling silver, 9ct, 14ct and 18ct gold, palladium and a little bit of platinum. Platinum is a very dense metal, without getting too much into the science I can only create enough heat in my tiny workshop to make quite delicate pieces in this material.

9ct gold is my comfort zone, this is what I work in most often. It’s a really beautiful, hard wearing material that can be quite affordable in comparison to the higher carats.

How much do your pieces cost?

My prices range from around £20 - £1,200, depending mostly on the material used.

Stacking and skinny rings in sterling silver tend to be in the £20 - £100 range

Similar items in 9ct gold will be £35-£200

A pair of wedding rings in 9ct gold is generally somewhere around £300-£700

In 18ct gold a pair of rings is more likely to be £600-£1200

I’m able to offer far more than is on the website so if you don’t see the metal/width/shape/finish combination you want please send me an email.

Can you make a ring with a larger stone / wider band?

Yes, making each piece to order means that the potential to tweak and amend designs to create something unique is really endless.

If you have seen a ring style you like but would prefer a different stone, material, or proportions please send me an email for a quote.

Natural gemstones do vary in terms of hardness and translucency. Some softer stones aren’t able to be cut into more complex shapes. (no baguette rings in turquoise or labradorite, sorry, they would be lovely.)

Can you shape a ring around my engagement ring?

Yes, this is pretty much my bread and butter. I make wishbones and curved rings to fit around all different types of engagement ring. I offer a silver trial service to get a great fit between the two pieces.

Can you add engraving to a piece?

I don’t engrave by hand, it takes many years of very diligent practice and I haven’t managed it. I can arrange laser engraving via the London assay office to add dates/names/song lyrics/coordinates etc into your rings. Send me an email for a quote.

Can you add tiny stones to a thin wishbone or band?

This is an enquiry I have quite a lot, and I have discussed with some specialist stone setters. Thin bands or wishbones can have a tendency to flex, so any small stones added can become unset over time. It’s a service I have decided not to offer as the thought of those teeny stones disappearing down the sink (Please remove your jewellery to wash up, particularly if it is stone set!) is quite stressful.

There are a lot of these kind of styles around at the moment and I totally see the appeal, just be aware that you need to budget over the lifetime of a piece for regular maintenance and probably occasional replacement stones, and ask someone else to make it. Try a hammered wishbone, this has a lovely subtle sparkle and you can wash up in it.

Is your jewellery ethical?

I think this can be quite a complex question, but I do try to do everything I can to make my work as ethical as possible. All pieces are made by hand by me in the UK. My standard gift boxes are made of a plant based, biodegradable material, and I use plastic free envelopes for sending out orders.

Solid precious metals are much longer lasting than anything which has a temporary plated surface. Although more of an upfront investment, pieces which can be worn for decades rather than a year or two will provide much better value in the long run, as well as reduce waste.

Do you use fairtrade / recycled materials?

I buy recycled gold and silver whenever possible from my suppliers, the options are limited. There is a section on my website with all the pieces which are currently 100% recycled, and some other pieces will contain partly recycled metals. I hope to keep increasing this.

I am registered as a fairtrade goldsmith, but again can only offer a few pieces in fairtrade metals at the moment.

Can you rework my old jewellery?

I don’t currently have the equipment necessary to melt down old pieces of jewellery and reuse them.

Can you set a stone I already have?

I am not a specialist stone setter, and there is always a very slim possibility stones won’t survive the setting process, so if your Grandfather brought back some rubies 60 years ago that are indescribably precious and totally irreplaceable the pressure would be too much for me.

I can source a huge variety of stones, so if you don’t see what you are looking for on the website please do get in touch. Gemstone pricing can be complex, but there is a lot of focus on the most well known options, blue sapphire, emerald, ruby etc. Looking beyond these to something a bit more unusual can make stunning natural gemstone jewellery more affordable than you might think.

Do you make bespoke jewellery?

The word bespoke does make me a little nervous. Before running this business I worked in high end bespoke furniture, so I have seen many possible iterations of when bespoke goes wrong. Creating a unique design for a specific person can be a really wonderful thing to do, and it can be an expensive disaster if expectations on both sides aren’t perfectly in line.

My making methods tend to be quite instinctual, I don’t create computer models or detailed technical drawings.

If you are looking for something which is a good fit with my style then I am very happy to discuss ideas.

I would never copy another jewellers work, and I’m very unlikely to be able to improve on a price for any basic designs from the high street.

Can you rush some pieces through, I’m getting married next week!

A week is probably too quick, but I can sometimes turn things around more quickly if I know before you order and can plan out ordering materials / making / polishing / hallmarking to fit the time available.

If you order something for a specific date please let me know so I can make a note.

I don’t know my ring size:

Don’t go anywhere near a tape measure!

The best option for ring sizing is professional metal sizers in a shop. The second best is a reusable plastic sizer. The gaps between ring sizes are fractions of a millimetre so getting an accurate measurement with paper is very difficult. I normally find anyone using the dreaded tape measure is somewhere between 5 and 8 sizes out, potentially more.

Bear in mind that your fingers will have some natural variation in them depending on their shape, they will be larger when you are warm and smaller when you are cold, my fingers swell up 2 sizes whenever I take the tube. Different shapes of ring also fit differently.

If that all sounds like a nightmare do get in touch. I’m generally able to offer free or very affordable resizing for metal only rings, and for stone set rings I can send out sizing bands to be worn for a few days to ensure the size you order is accurate.

I meet a lot of people who have their engagement rings resized twice, so it’s worth taking time to make the right decision.

I still have a question

nikki@nikkistarkjewellery.co.uk