Store Policies and Guarantee
Welcome to my online shop! If you are looking for original, slightly edgy, one-of-a kind handcrafted fine jewelry made by an artisan, then you are right where you should be!
PayPal and credit cards directly through this website are the only forms of payment accepted.I charge sales tax on all items shipped to Texas addresses.If you need to cancel an order, please do so within 24 hours of placing it. Just contact me. No worries!
All items are sent by USPS Priority Mail (both within the US and Internationally). Insurance is added if the item’s retail price is over $100. Domestic US shipping takes approximately between 3 to 5 days for delivery, and costs... NOTHING for priority mail! International shipping takes approximately 10 to 14 days and costs $20. Please contact me for more information.
Other expedited shipping services are also available, please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like further details.
This varies depending on many things; my production schedule, if the item purchased is already made and in stock at the time, if I have a show coming up, among many other things. If you are purchasing for an event and you need jewelry like yesterday, click HERE. My website is the place to shop if you want unique, one-of-a kind jewelry that will last a lifetime. You might have to wait a teensy bit longer for it, but it will be SO MUCH more worth it!
Upon your purchase, I will email (to say hi and thank you!) to inform you of a shipping date. If you need it sooner, please let me know; I’m positive we can figure out a resolution to make you happy without making me crazy!
Refunds and Exchanges
I’m confident you’ll be 100% satisfied with your purchase from Tara Hutch Fine Jewelry Studio. If not, please email me. Communication is what makes everything work smoothly to ensure you're pleased with your new jewelry. I accept returns on regular merchandise within 15 days of purchase with previous notice for full refund of purchase price, or exchange.
I do not accept returns or exchanges on custom made or customized pieces; this has been made specifically for you, with prior approval from you before starting each step of the process.
I do not refund the deposit after I start any custom project. Starting is considered to be the date the deposit is received.
I do not refund shipping for any reason.
Additional Policies and FAQs
Ring Re-sizing Policy: I create my pieces in a variety of ring sizes. THFJ policy is to re-size most rings one size up or down at no charge. Some rings cannot be resized. Contact me for details; I'm sure we can figure out how to get the ring you want on your finger.
Custom Pieces/Special Orders: I love making custom jewelry for special occasions, re-working a heirloom brooch or because you can't find what you are looking for elsewhere! Contact me to initiate a custom piece. I require a 50% down payment before I begin the project, and the remainder will be due upon completion before delivery. We'll agree on a shipping date before we sign the contact.
I use the following materials to fabricate my jewelry (metals in order of most likely to use - least likely to use):
Argentium Silver: this is the BEST invention EVER! For you, the consumer, the benefits of Argentium are it is a much whiter metal, has an incredibly hard finish, it is environmentally sound (no plating over firescale) and tarnish resistant. It is a relatively recent alloy, invented in the 1990’s, and was created by simply replacing some of the copper in sterling with the mineral Germanium. Metalsmiths can still be heard cheering.
Solid Gold: by this, I mean 100% gold, through and through. Most of the time I use 14K gold (58% pure gold), but occasionally I use 18K and 22K. I also use 23K and 24K gold pressed very very thin (about ¼ the thickness of paper) for Kum Boo applications. I also use colored golds. For example, I frequently use rose gold (40% copper and 60% gold) and green gold (75% gold, 23% copper and 2% cadmium). Did you know there is a purple gold? How cool is that?
Sterling Silver. Sterling silver is fine silver with a wee bit of copper added for strength and durability. The downside of this copper is that it tends to tarnish sooner. Exposure to oxygen, sulfur, chlorine, and other chemicals can speed up this chemical reaction.
Fine silver. As it comes out of the ground - but better. .999 fineness. Melts well, and makes great decorations and bezels.
14K Gold-Filled Metal: (I don’t much use this anymore) Gold-filled metal is composed of a solid layer of gold bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal such as brass. If the gold layer is 12K or higher the minimum layer of karat gold in an item stamped, GF must equal at least 1/20 the weight of the total item. The gold layer on gold-plated jewelry varies greatly depending on manufacturer, so there is no single comparison. Gold-filled items are 50 to 100,000 times thicker than regular gold plating. With proper care, they will last a lifetime. (see Care of Jewelry, below)
Alternative Metals: In some of my pieces, there are inexpensive brass and bronze options. I also sometimes use copper when I feel the designs warrant it. I always clearly state the composition of the metals in the description of the product, and expect the buyer to use common sense when caring for their new jewelry. (see below)
Gemstones, Beach Glass and other Stones. Mostly I use a variety of different natural gemstones to construct my jewelry (i.e. chalcedony, sapphire, moonstone, etc.), but occasionally do use beach glass and found objects. I do my best to identify and explain each component of my jewelry to you, the buyer.
Silk, Pearls, and Other Natural Materials: On many of my designs, I use pearls strung with silk. I don't treat my silk with any chemicals or other agents; it is 100% pure. As a result, strung pearls + a long romantic bubble bath ≠ nicely strung pearls the next morning. Please keep your beautiful pearls out of water. The pearls I use in my creations are AAA graded freshwater pearls, and because they came from a living substance (the inside of a mussel shell), they are more delicate than most of the gemstones I use from day-to-day. To you, this means more care must be taken in cleaning and storing your pearl jewelry. (see Care of Jewelry, below) Every so often, I use hemp, linen, cotton, or rayon (or a blend) cord to string my jewelry. As these are all natural materials (including silk), they do degrade over time.
Care of Jewelry
Do not use harsh chemicals to clean your jewelry. The best solution to use is warm soap and water, and a soft brush. If you want to polish your silver jewelry, use Wenol polish. I have found it to be the mildest and least corrosive of all metal cleaning compounds. Use common sense when storing your pieces. Please don't throw them on your vanity, and then scoop them up a few days later and drop them into your jewelry box. This method of storage is harmful to your jewelry for a few reasons. If you expose your precious metals and delicate stones to the air, hairspray, perfume, possibly makeup, etc., it can cause tarnish and residue build-up that's hard to clean. Secondly, throwing it into a drawer will inevitably lead to A. a tangled mess that you eventually give in and take the scissors to in exasperation or B. chipped gemstones. The best way to store jewelry? This has been debated for centuries, but my opinion is hang your necklaces and put your earrings in a jewelry box with separate compartments. I also don't recommend wearing your jewelry every day, all day. This practice works for platinum or titanium, NOT sterling silver or gold alloys. Lastly, please don't go into a swimming pool, hot tub, or any other body of water with caustic chemicals in it like chlorine. These will just eat away your jewelry bit by bit.
Caring for Your Pearls
Store pearls in individual plastic bags with anti-tarnish tissue paper, to prevent them from rubbing against one another (did you know that’s why the knots in ‘knotted pearls’ were invented?), and lay them in the drawers of your jewelry box. For earrings, put them in little baggies with a tiny bit of tissue between each earring. To clean your pearls, ask me for a cleaning cloth with your purchase. This is the only thing I recommend using to clean pearl jewelry! FYI, ALL pearl jewelry needs to be restrung every 4-6 years, depending on how often it’s worn and how it’s stored when not worn. When the knots seem to be saggy and extra space appears out of nowhere between the pearls, it’s time.
Care of Raised Bezels
Occasionally, I set a thin stone in a raised bezel to make it more attractive. The filler I use inside the bezel is sometimes sawdust (practiced by Native Americans for thousands of years). These types of bezels require special care:
Avoid excessive pressure on top of the stone. This includes shock pressure, such as dropping or percussion type pressure, as well as dull squeezing, vice-like pressure. Light tapping pressure can also be harmful: this type of pressure can be built up over long periods of time, and eventually the stone can weaken along natural inclusion lines and break.
Avoid doing things that would thin out the bezel walls. Over time, the natural wear and tear of the ring will thin the metal normally. Anything that is done to add to this thinning only shortens the life span of your ring. Things to avoid include: buffing or sanding with a nail file (I know! I had a customer do this), wearing the ring when working with chemicals (this too), or using grinding or sanding machines when the ring is worn (yup). You should have the ring inspected by a qualified jeweler every 2-4 years, with a note to inspect the bezel strength.
While getting water inside the ring is inevitable, It should be avoided. This can be damaging to the bezel, as the moisture can bind with the wood shavings and cause it to collapse inward. The ring should be removed while showering and bathing, washing hands, and especially swimming.
Lifetime Component Guarantee: Tara Hutch Fine Jewelry offers a lifetime limited guarantee on the components that constitute her work. This includes the gemstones and the metal or other material holding the piece together.
Things the Guarantee Covers: Any soldered connections; any non-soldered connections (ex. jump rings held closed by tension); gemstone crazing or cracking from non-collision related situations; silver or gold or gold-filled that turns out to be deficient (ex. 14K gold filled that turns out to be gold plated brass, and the gold plating chips off over time); metal that snaps at a connection point from normal wear; gemstones that turn out to have dye in them and bleed onto skin when wet.
Things the Guarantee Does Not Cover: Misuse or unsuitable usage of the jewelry; everyday wear causing damage; inappropriate wear (ex. in a hot tub or in the shower); natural wear and tear of jewelry (ex. pearls that had to be restrung after 8 years); careless storage of jewelry causing items to be damaged; any other mishandling or negligent treatment of pieces resulting in damage not related to or not as a direct result of imprudent actions of the artist, Tara Hutchinson.
If you, the buyer, feels a piece should be covered by my guarantee, contact me to initiate the process. Once started, I will open a ticket to investigate the claim, and if I deem the repair is authorized, I will repair or replace the item free of charge. Plus, I will ship it back to you, priority mail, also at no cost to you. I cannot stipulate how long this process will take, it will be based on my production schedule at the time the ticket is opened, but I can tell you it will be a first concern for my shop.
Things I Do and Do Not Use
I always use precious metal and gemstones. I am very passionate about disclosing the alterations that have been made to your gemstones. I try my hardest to use 100% natural stones, but if they have been altered in any way (irradiated, dyed, glass filled, etc.) I always disclose this information to you.
I NEVER plate my jewelry, and I never use plated metals to fabricate my jewelry. I NEVER use crystals instead of gemstones. This point also holds true for glass pearls, or any other fake substitute for a gemstone.