Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

We guarantee our work. If you have a repair (our fault or otherwise) we would like to know so that we can try to assist. We do our own repairs and can help locate someone in your area if your problem falls outside our area of expertise. 

Right of Refusal: The Flying Fox is committed to offering the highest quality of customer care possible. There are occasions wherein we recognize that our clients may have a more pleasant experience working with another jewelry designer. When this occurs, we do our best to keep our clients well informed as we refer them to fairer fields. We ask for your understanding and want you to know that we have everyone's best interest in mind in this event. Threats and abuse are NOT tolerated at the Flying Fox, and can result in your order being cancelled at our discretion.

Custom Orders: Custom orders are welcome. We offer several levels of custom design and fabrication that include one of a kind designs and redesign services to slight adjustments to existing, customizable designs. We generally allow for three complimentary changes to designs and charge for adjustments thereafter. We do offer the option of sending a limited number of photographs required for design purposes, however, step-by-step photographs of process or above and beyond initial design require an additional fee.  Unpurchased custom designs remain the property of The Flying Fox Art and Design and are not authorized for reproduction. Thank you for your understanding. *A non-refundable fee of $500.00 USD applies to all One of a Kind custom designs.* 

Rush Orders: For those customers requiring a quicker timeline for delivery, we require an additional fee equalling double the amount of your original purchase. For example, if your piece originally cost $100 and you require it to be rushed, we will need to charge you up to an additional $200. This is to cover costs of both our staff and our vendors working outside of regular studio hours to make your deadline.

Rush on Repairs: Normally, if a piece is returning for repair under warranty, it is subject to a 6 – 8 week repair timeline, the basic cost for repairs {i.e. sizing up or down requires a 435.00 laser soldering fee}. If you would like to rush the repair, we require an additional fee equalling up to the original cost of the piece. For example, if your piece originally cost $300 and you require the repair to be rushed, we will need to charge you up to an additional $300. This is to cover costs of both our staff and our vendors working outside of regular studio hours to make your deadline. 

Instalment Plans: We typically accept two or three instalments, and do not offer refunds on partial payments. This is to cover our materials, vendor, staff, and administration costs. No exceptions. 

About Oxidized Silver: NOTE: Flying Fox no longer offers complimentary in-house oxidation services. Oxidized silver is essentially silver that has been prepared in citric acid and dipped in liver of sulphur gel then sealed with a museum quality microcrystalline wax for a longer lasting finish. The oxidized finish lasts typically between 3 days to 4 weeks before it requires another dipping, due to variations in individual pH levels. This can be accomplished at home with a variety of sulphur products, XLGel being our preference, and can even be applied with a hard boiled egg yolk. Please see the lovely Cool Tools video tutorial here for an initiation into the process; http://www.cooltools.us/Cool-Tools-Patina-Gel-Liver-of-Sulfur-in-Gel-For-p/pol-804.htm

For moonstones and labradorite, we suggest applying the liver of sulphur gel directly onto the silver band and prongs with a dedicated paintbrush, and then submersing into hot water with a plastic or copper utensil. *NEVER USE STAINLESS STEEL UTENSILSl*, as it will plate your lovely pieces with a layer of steel, causing your jewelry to appear an awful, steely grey. Also, who wants to dine with flatware used to plate silver? The direct application process, as demonstrated by Makes Silver Jewelry http://makesilverjewelry.com/oxidizing-silver/ 

Blackened silver designs are created with a temporary finish of liver of sulphur, that fades, changes, is reapplied if desired, and is never the same way twice. It's a favourite material for those who celebrate the constant flow of life. THINGS IT IS NOT: ENAMEL, PERMANENT, EASY TO MAINTAIN IN A PERPETUALLY BLACKENED STATE.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

1. How do you price your services? 

a.    Our final prices are arrived at in consideration of labour, the market values for gold and silver, gems and stones, as well as other common variables. Our custom design services range in price and are based on the above pricing, with a fee for materials research and for changes beyond the complimentary 3 outlined in our the Custom Pieces section of our Policies Guide. **We offer one hour of complimentary design consultation or 10 back and forth Conversations, whichever is of higher value in terms of labour costs, after which we require a deposit on custom or customized pieces. Please be aware of our non-refundable $500.00 One of a Kind custom design piece deposit. Thank you for your understanding and assistance in keeping our labour costs reasonable!** 

2. Do you offer custom pieces? 

a.    Yes! We love custom! We offer several levels of custom design and fabrication ranging from sizing up or down, to sourcing stones and recycled metals, to custom settings, refurbishing, redesigning, recycling, to one of a kind custom design and fabrication. Please see the Custom Pieces section of our Policies Guide.

3. Do you buy jewelry?

a.    We do not currently buy jewelry, however we do offer a redesign service from time to time if you wish to melt your existing jewelry down and turn it into a fabulous new piece. Things to consider are elevated costs associated with recycled jewelry, such as casting container fees, reclamation if solder is present and undetected, and a host of other techie details of which you would most likely rather not be aware. Recycled jewelry is unfortunately a luxury item, and will remain so until the majority of consumers demand it; a day we very much look forward to. 

4. Do you trade?

a.    We don’t usually trade, however from time to time we will trade between businesses or between trusted clientele. 

5. Can you redesign my old pieces of jewelry?

a.    The Flying Fox Art and Design offers a redesigning service for your jewelry. We first agree on a design in wax, and then your pieces can be melted into your new design. Please see Question 3 above for further details. The design is executed by The Flying Fox, and master wax casters in Vancouver, BC carry out the lost wax casting method. In certain cases, casting can be achieved in Southern California and shipped directly to you. 

6. How do I find my ring size?

a.    The best method is to visit a local jeweler for an onsite sizing. There are various ring sizers available for purchase and in print online, however none can claim reliability, and there is no replacement for a professional sizing.  Please note, when sizing your finger that our bodies are not symmetrical, and sometimes one hand can be larger or smaller than the other. Always ensure that you are sizing the correct finger! Also, be aware of whether your body swells at certain times of the day or year, as this can be a factor in determining a proper fit. 

7. Are your materials ethical?

a.    They are! Details are outlined in each item's description. Please feel free to contact us regarding additional stone or metal options, such as Canadian Diamonds from the First Nations owned and operated  Diavik Mine, or Fair Trade/Fair Mined Gold. Both options are considered luxury, and will carry appropriate pricing.

8. How do I care for my metals?

a.    We now offer a list of information and resources upon request.

9. How do I care for my stones?

a.                We offer a list of information and resources upon request.

10. Can I choose my own moonstones from your existing stock?

a.     In terms of seeing the stone that will be used for the setting, it can take more than hour to take a really great photo of moonstones and labradorites due to the nature of the stone (it's difficult to get a great representation of the stone's shifting colour in various lighting). Flying Fox reserves the right to apply our shop rate of $240/hour. 

 

11. How can I tell if a black diamond is really a diamond?

a.    Irradiated black diamonds do not respond to electrical or energy frequency tests as natural diamonds do. The only method available to verify a black diamond is to shine a black light through the stone onto a white surface. If the light shines blue, you’ve got a real, irradiated diamond. If the light shines blue/green, you’ve got a moissonite (which is held at approximately the same value as a black diamond). We find black diamonds interesting in that some forms of natural black diamonds are wholly or partially derived from extra terrestrial materials (i.e. meteorite/stardust). 

12. Do you offer certification for your stones?

a.    We do offer GIC Certification for gems and diamonds upon request. Please let us know if you are looking for a GIC {Gemmology Institute of Canada} Certification and we will let you know what our cost for certification is. You may decide that a certified gemmologist in your area is an option as well. 

13. Is your work guaranteed?

a.    We generally guarantee our work for 1 year of wear and offer an open repair policy, unless otherwise noted. Sizing and postage are not covered in our Warranty. General Guidelines to Caring for Jewelry: No chopping wood or roughhousing in your Flying Fox! Diamonds and gold…alright…roughhouse away to your heart's content! Moonstones, opals, emeralds, and other softer stones will require removal first. Prongs will need regular tightening, by Flying Fox or a local jeweler. In-house prong tightening is always free. Certified gem and diamond pieces come with a broad, conditional lifetime guarantee and instructions for care and repair. We include care and cautions in each listing as basic guidelines. 

14. Where do you find your stones?

a.    We have longstanding relationships with mines, gem cutters, gem and lapidary specialists and international buyers. We also source our materials at estate sales and auctions.

15. Are your diamonds ethically sourced? 

a.    Yes. Here is the breakdown: Our rough, raw and semi-polished diamonds are Certified Conflict-Free and are sourced from a reputable dealer based in the People’s Republic of Congo. Our faceted diamonds are mined in alluvial flood plains in India and Thailand and are sourced through reputable dealers in Antwerp and Canada. We offer the option of Canadian Diamonds from the Diavik Mine upon request. 

16. Is your gold and silver ethically sourced?

a.    Yes! As of June 2014 we are now working with Butterfly recycled precious metals, a product line offered through Umicore. This program is independently audited by Scientific Certification Systems. Together with its ISO9001 (quality), ISO14001 (environment) and Responsible Jewellry Council certifications the Butterfly recycled precious metals complement Umicore’s initiatives as a sustainable source for precious metals. We are currently certified through Fair Trade Gold to offer the artisanaly mined gold and silver.

17. Do you offer design services other than jewelry?

a.    We offer chandelier design and other light industrial design and manufacture, furniture and home accessories (as opposed to heavy industrial design). We also offer a local display and decorating service and a vintage sourcing service. 

18. Where do you get your packaging?

a.    Our kraft paper packaging is manufactured in the American Mid-West, and our maple pillboxes are manufactured in the Vancouver, BC, Canada area. Our packaging and stationery is hand-embellished, built to last, minimally treated and/or processed and recyclable, provided by www.stationerybike.com. We buy in bulk to reduce emissions. 

19. What is your wholesale and consignment policy?

a.    We currently offer a 50% wholesale discount with a minimum of 10 items and a 30% local consignment discount for select retail locations within the Coastal and Interior BC areas. Please contact us for an up to date line sheet.

20. Do you ship to Africa and India?

a.    We do not at this time. 

21. I live in the Vancouver area. Do you have a retail shop that I can visit?

a.    We are available for viewings by appointment only. Please contact us at 604-356-5083 M - F/9 - 5 PST for details. 

22.    Do you have sales?

a.    We will have two 25% sales per year – a Holiday Sale in November and a Customer Appreciation Sale in May/June. VIP and Facebook Fan discounts do not apply to these sales. 

23.  Where did you learn about designing jewelry?

a.     My Grandmother, Lillian Errington instilled her formidable jewelry making skills in me at a very young age. She was a lapidary specialist, designer, and bench jeweler. Her mother was a jeweler as well, and her daughter, my mother. In truth, I never felt that I had time for jewelry design and fabrication, which was not a chosen or favoured task as a young lady and total rebel, preferring to devote time to dance and generally being outside as much as possible. While searching for the perfect {impossible} wedding set in 2007, I remembered that I had the skills and technology to create my own special pieces, and discovered a passion for jewelry.