Store Policies and Guarantee

Welcome to our online shop! If you are looking for original, one-of-a-kind handcrafted fine jewelry made by a wounded American veteran artisan, then you are right where you should be!

Payment

PayPal and credit cards directly through this website are the only forms of payment accepted. Sales tax is charged on all items shipped to Texas addresses. If you need to cancel an order, please do so within 24 hours of placing the order; just contact us for a full refund.

Shipping

All items, by default are shipped via USPS Priority Mail (both within the US and Internationally). Insurance is always added if the item’s retail price is over $100. Domestic US shipping via USPS priority mail takes approximately between 3 to 5 days for delivery, and is free. International shipping takes approximately 10 to 14 days and starts at $20. We can also ship items via UPS, and the cost varies. Other expedited shipping services are also available, please contact us for details.

Shipping time can vary depending on many things; Tara's production schedule; if the item purchased is already made and in stock at the time; and if we have an event coming up, among many other things. Upon your purchase, we will email to  inform you of a shipping date and tracking number. If the item is needed sooner, please contact us; we can figure out a resolution to make you happy.

Refunds and Exchanges

We are confident you will be 100% satisfied with your purchase from Tara Hutch Designs. If not, please contact us and give us the opportunity to make it right. We accept returns on regular merchandise within 15 days of purchase with previous authorization for full refund of purchase price, or exchange. We do not accept returns or exchanges on custom made or customized pieces; this has been individually created just for you. We also do not refund the deposit after any custom project has been started. Starting is considered to be the date the deposit is received. We do not refund shipping for any reason.

Additional Policies and FAQs

Ring Re-sizing Policy: we create our pieces in a variety of ring sizes. Our policy is to re-size most rings one size up or down at no charge, but some rings cannot be resized. Please contact us for details; we can figure out how to get the ring you fancy on your finger.

Custom Pieces/Special Orders: we love making custom jewelry for special occasions, re-working a heirloom brooch or because you can't find what you are looking for elsewhere! Please fill out our custom jewelry quote to initiate a custom design. A 50% down payment is required before any project is started, and the remainder will be due before delivery. We'll agree on a shipping date before the project is started.

Materials

We use the following materials to fabricate our jewelry:

Argentium sterling Silver: .935 silver. there are many benefits to using Argentium sterling silver over traditional sterling - it is a much whiter metal, has an incredibly hard finish, it is environmentally sound (no plating needed) 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 silver with the mineral Germanium.

Solid Gold: 100% gold. Most of the time we use 24K gold (.999 pure gold) for it’s rich gold color and it’s incredible working properties, but occasionally we use 18K and 22K. We also use 24K gold pressed very thin for a technique known as Kuem Boo, and we use colored golds. For example, we occasionally use rose gold ( 60% gold and 40% copper) and green gold (75% gold, 23% copper and 2% cadmium). Did you know there is a purple gold? How cool  is that?

Fine silver: as it comes out of the ground - but better. .999 fineness. Melts well, and makes great decorations and bezels.

Sterling Silver: Sterling silver is fine silver with a wee bit of copper added for strength and durability. The downside of this alloy is it tends to tarnish sooner. Exposure to oxygen, sulfur in foods, chlorine, and other chemicals can speed up this chemical reaction.

Gemstones: mostly we use a variety of different natural gemstones to construct our jewelry (i.e. chalcedony, sapphire, moonstone, etc.), but occasionally do use beach glass and found objects. we do our best to identify and explain each component of our jewelry to you before it is purchased.

Silk, Pearls, and Other Natural Materials: on many of our designs, we use silk to string beads. we don't treat the silk with any chemicals or other agents; it is 100% pure. As a result, more care must be taken in cleaning and storing your pearl jewelry. (see Care of Jewelry, below). The pearls we use are AAA graded black Tahitian pearls, white & golden South Sea pearls, Japanese Akoya Pearls and cultured 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 we use. 

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. We 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 drop them in a drawer. 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 tangled mess that can be impossible to untangle. The best way to store jewelry? This has been debated for centuries, but our opinion is to hang your necklaces and put your earrings in a jewelry box with separate compartments. we also don't recommend wearing your silver or gold alloy jewelry every day. Lastly, please don't go into a swimming pool, hot tub, or any other body of water with caustic chemicals in it like chlorine. 

Caring for Your Pearls

Store pearl jewelry 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 us for a cleaning cloth with your purchase. This is the only thing we recommend using to clean your pearl jewelry. **Please note: 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.

Legal Schmegal

Lifetime Component Guarantee: Tara Hutch Designs 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. The Guarantee Covers: any soldered connections; any non-soldered connections (ex. jump rings closed by tension); gemstone crazing or cracking from non-collision related situations; silver or gold that turns out to have a deficit; metal that snaps at a connection point; dyed gemstones that bleed onto skin when wet. 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. If you feel a piece should be covered by our guarantee, contact us to initiate the process. Once started, we will open a ticket to investigate the claim, and if the repair is authorized, we will repair or replace the item free of charge. The item will ship to us and back to you at no cost. We cannot stipulate how long this process will take - it will be based on our production schedule at the time the ticket is opened.

Things we Do and Do Not Do / Use

We always use precious metal and gemstones. We are very passionate about disclosing the treatments to your gemstones. We try our hardest to use 100% natural stones, but if they have been altered in any way (irradiated, dyed, glass filled, etc.) we always disclose this information to you.

We NEVER plate our jewelry, and never use plated metals to fabricate our jewelry. We NEVER use manufactured crystals instead of gemstones (i.e. Swarovski). This point also holds true for glass pearls, or any other gemstone substitute.