Frequently asked questions
Where and how are your pieces made?
All of our pieces are entirely hand crafted in our Toronto studio by our small, talented team. Laurie hand-carves the designs, they are not 3D modelled on CAD and 3D printed— this includes our bespoke pieces. Each one is carved from wax, polished and stone-set by hand. Every piece is highly considered at every angle and carved from wax to perfectly compliment the stones that will be set. We don’t use pre-fabricated, mass-produced settings made for fitting various stones and solder them on. Every setting is carved in-studio, in our signature style with special attention paid to how it will frame the stone and overall design, and how it will wear. Every small detail, down to our claw-shaped prongs, are shaped meticulously by hand.
Our pieces are made with: Canadian origin & recycled gold | Responsibly sourced and custom cut gemstones | Recycled and responsibly sourced diamonds | Gemstones cut by master lapidary artists
Will my jewellery include an appraisal?
Appraisals are a third party service that determines the value of your piece for insurance and resale purposes. If you know your insurance provider requires an appraisal, or you would just like one, we can bring your engagement ring, or high value piece, to an appraiser on your behalf when it’s finished for a fee. This fee is generally less than what it would cost to have an appraisal done if you were to take it to an appraisal company independently (though fees vary from company to company). If the piece has already been shipped to you, it’s best to save on shipping costs (and risks of shipping) and bring the piece straight to your local appraiser. If you have a lab certification, bring that with you, along with your invoice from us. They may also ask about the other details/accent stones on the piece— if you have any questions about those please reach out via email!
What metals do you work in?
All of our pieces are made with Canadian origin & recycled gold. We offer most of our pieces in 14k yellow, rose, and white gold (some pieces are only available in certain colours of gold).
A note on plating: please be advised that we do not plate our white gold in rhodium. Our white gold alloy is already quite white! Plating is generally used by jewellers to hide a warmer tone (from the actual gold) in the metal and make it appear whiter. Plating does not last a lifetime and requires re-plating every so often, which is also a process that uses chemicals that are not great for the environment. If you would like to ensure your metal is as white as possible, we can custom-make the piece in 18k or 19k white (“super white”) or platinum.
The only plated white gold we use includes any sourced chains or earring backs, which the manufacturers generally always plate— this is out of our control.
Our white gold contains small amounts of nickel, which is normal for white gold alloys in North America. If you have any strong sensitivities, please get in touch to create your piece in palladium white gold (which uses hypoallergenic palladium instead of nickel) or platinum.
We also offer 14k champagne gold, 18k yellow, rose, white, and champagne gold, and platinum by special request. Alternate metals will have different pricing. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information prior to placing your order!
Please note that we do not work in sterling silver.
What is champagne gold?
Champagne gold is a custom alloy that is mixed just for Laurie Fleming. It's coloured between yellow and rose gold, but cooler in tone, making it more neutral. Click here for photos, videos, and more information.
What is in your gold alloys exactly?
Gold alloy recipes are kept completely guarded by casting houses. Our casting house has their own secret recipes for each alloy, which are specially formulated for desirable colours, durability and workability (they will not even disclose exact metals and quantities to us!). Though most of the time, gold alloys generally contain the same mix of metals from caster to caster, but quantities will vary. You may notice that 14k yellow gold from one jeweller does not match 14k yellow from another jeweller; this is because every caster keeps their recipe as a trade secret and each one will be a little different from the next. This means that the metals will generally not absolutely, perfectly match if you are purchasing pieces from different jewellers. The karat purity will of course stay the same in each alloy from various casters (ie. any 14k gold alloy means it contains roughly 58% pure gold, with the remaining 42% is a mix of other metals). It is the other mix of metals that are adjusted in each recipe, not the quantity of pure gold.
Why is my gold jewellery causing a reaction/discolouring?
While pure gold is inert, the other metals in the alloy are not. Gold must be alloyed with other metals so it has durability— pure gold is extremely soft and jewellers would not be able to create their meticulous designs/set stones in the metal with the intention that the piece will have any level of durability. Pieces would be bent out of shape and stones will be lost immediately upon wear if the metal is very soft like 22k or 24k gold.
Sometimes gold alloys can react due to the other metals in the alloy coming into contact with high acidity from skin PH (fairly uncommon, but it happens), chemicals from various products, or living somewhere with high sulphur content in your water. Chlorine, like from swimming pools, breaks down gold alloys and can cause the piece to become irreparable— remember to always take care of your gold around chemicals and pools. Going with platinum eliminates these issues, or going with 18k gold can also help (though care is still required).
If you have a skin reaction to gold, it could be that you are highly sensitive to the other metals in the alloy and need to go with a higher karat like 18k, or try palladium white gold, or stick to platinum. Although gold is viewed as hypoallergenic, there are cases of people being allergic to gold itself, in which case platinum would be the best option. Lastly, if you are wearing a somewhat snug-fitting wider band and know your skin is normally fine with gold, it may not be the metal that’s causing a reaction. Most commonly, any skin reactions are actually from contact dermatitis. This happens when things like soapy water (or other chemicals) get trapped between your ring and your skin and stay there, causing a reaction. Remove your ring and clean your hands (as well as the piece). Give it some time to heal and contact your doctor as needed.
GEMSTONES & DIAMONDS
Will the stones in my jewellery be certified?
Pieces that come with GIA certificates for diamond centre stones are indicated under the product’s description. Not all types of diamonds come with certifications, which includes diamonds that are small (ie. accent stones) or diamonds of certain cuts/qualities.
It is possible for other coloured gemstones to be graded in labs (ie. sapphires, rubies or others). It is more so generally done on very very fine quality and larger stones and cost reflects that. It’s not commonly seen for most coloured gemstones, and information provided on the lab certificate is more limited and different than what you would see on a diamond certificate.
GIA (or other labs) do not include statements of value on the stone; they only provide information on the quality, treatments, or sometimes origin of the stone. Appraisers and insurance providers do not require lab certificates. If your piece comes with a certificate, appraisers will use it to help determine the piece’s value.
What are recycled diamonds?
What are recycled diamonds? These are post-consumer diamonds that have been reclaimed from old pieces of jewellery. They get re-cut and re-graded so they are in perfect condition before they are set into a new piece of jewellery. (There are of course some larger re-claimed stones that are antiques that we may use in OOAK pieces— these are not always recut and may retain their old world, worn charm. This would be noted in the product description).
All our round brilliant diamonds 3.1mm and under are recycled stones, sourced from a company in NYC that specializes in them. These are the most environmentally responsible type of stones because they are not newly mined, nor are they lab created (which requires a lot of energy to create, most of which is not renewable). However, it’s important to note that because there is no mining, these diamonds don’t support any mining communities or other jobs in the supply chain that rely on mined diamonds to support them.
The pros and cons of mined diamonds, recycled diamonds and lab grown diamonds are not completely black and white; one is not necessarily the best solution in every way. However, recycled diamonds do have the least environmental impact out of the three types. Lab grown diamonds are often advertised as environmentally friendly and tend to be green-washed, but recycled diamonds are actually the better choice if you are concerned about the environmental impact of your stones. We can use a recycled diamond as your centre stone as well; please email us or use our bespoke form to explore recycled and antique options.
Bespoke & Custom
For additional information about the bespoke process, please visit our bespoke page and the FAQ at the bottom of the page.
Would you be able to turn pieces or heirlooms I already have into something new?
Unfortunately we can not work with customer supplied materials at this time (gemstones or metal), with no plans to in the future! Thank you so much for understanding.
Would you be able to send me a piece without the centre stone (or side stones) set? I would like to take it to another jeweller to have a stone set.
We are sorry but we don’t ship out our pieces unfinished to be set elsewhere. If there is a particular type of stone you are seeking, we would be happy to source one for you and create something bespoke! We can also make edits to our designs through the bespoke process. To get started on a custom piece, check out our Bespoke page, or visit us at our Toronto Flagship - 919 Queen West. If you have an idea of what you’d like to create and would like to start the bespoke process in-shop, please book an appointment. Walk-ins are also always welcome, but appointments will allow us dedicated time (up to ~an hour and a half) to discuss your custom piece without interruption.
I have an idea for a completely custom piece, can you create that? Can you create another design I’ve seen elsewhere?
We only customize pieces from our own collection; for example, changing the centre stone on an Ilona Ring, or removing/altering the accent stones on it. We aren’t able to create fully bespoke pieces (a completely new design) at this time, with no plans to in the future.
We also don’t copy other designer’s work or recreate pieces you’ve seen elsewhere, which is unethical. Our creations and our collection is our art; it is Laurie’s vision for the pieces and we don’t generally design anything outside of that realm. For more details on our bespoke process, please check out the Bespoke page.
Can you create a piece with lab-grown stones?
We work with lab grown diamonds upon request, through our bespoke process. We only work with colourless lab grown diamonds; we have no plans in the future to ever work with coloured lab grown diamonds (such as pink/blue, etc). We don’t work with imitation stones, stones with unacceptable treatments (ie. glass-filled rubies), and we don’t work with lab grown coloured gemstones, such as lab grown sapphires or lab grown alexandrite.
How do I care for my jewellery?
- Please be gentle with the pieces as they are hand-crafted with natural stones and thin, delicate chains.
- After wearing, gently wipe with a soft cloth and store in a fabric lined jewellery box out of the sun to maintain the condition of the metal and other materials.
- To maintain the shine of your diamonds, you can use a soft toothbrush and a little bit of original Dawn (or some type of natural grease cutting soap) and gently brush in the hard-to-reach areas, such as underneath the stone.
- To AVOID: Please avoid all contact with nail polish remover/rubbing alcohol, etc. Avoid prolonged contact with water (salt or fresh), sweat, heat and chemicals such as chlorine, sulfur, perfume, detergent and lotion.
What special considerations are required for mother of pearl jewellery?
Mother of pearl is a natural material, harvested from the inner lining of pearl oyster shells. It's best to wear your mother of pearl and pearl jewellery fairly often to keep the stones strong and lustrous. Your skin's natural oils will absorb into the stones, protecting them and giving them a more beautiful glow over time. If you live in an especially arid climate, be sure to store your stones closer to a washroom or humidifier, where more humidity can keep your stones from drying out over time. Avoid storing your mother of pearl in the sun or where other metal jewellery can scratch and damage your delicate stones.
Please note: mother of pearl and pearls are too delicate and porous to be worn constantly and as wedding/engagement pieces. To maintain them over time and prevent scratches, damage, wearing of facets, and breakage, please remove them whenever you’re washing your hands/showering/using cosmetics and chemicals and are doing anything with your hands that could damage very delicate stones. Jewellery is made of metal and gemstones, however, it is very far from indestructible. No matter the materials used in the piece, please think of them as tiny sculptures to be cared for at all times, and be mindful of when you’re wearing them.
If you are interested in a mother of pearl or pearl ring style from us and would like to use a stone that is durable enough for more constant wear, please check out our diamond/sapphire versions of our pieces or email us to customize a piece at email@example.com. Diamonds, sapphires, high quality rubies and alexandrite are some of the only suitable gemstones for wedding/engagement pieces or pieces that will be worn more constantly. There are a couple of alternative options to those gemstones, but that is the general guideline.
Placing an order
Do you offer payment plans?
We do! We can schedule PayPal Invoices to arrive in your inbox over the period of production. We begin making the piece in-studio once the first payment is received. Once the last payment is received, we will ship the piece to you. We are flexible with how many payments can be made and how long the payment plan is, though we generally recommend 2-4 payments through the course of production.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss a payment plan for a piece from the site or a bespoke piece. PayPal Invoices do not require a PayPal account; you can click the link and check out with a credit card similarly to how you would check out on the site.
For example, a total amount could be broken into 4 payments, with an invoice arriving in your inbox every 3 weeks. That would mean we ship the piece in 9 weeks, once the last payment is completed.
How long will it take to receive my order?
Our production lead time is about 4-6 weeks before shipping out the finished piece.
For additional information about our shipping policies, please visit our Shipping Information page.
How are orders packaged?
Pieces are packaged with care in sturdy, branded jewellery boxes that are wrapped by hand in a piece of gossamer silk.
We ship orders in a white, non-descript box. Our from address does not include the term "jewellery," so the parcel is somewhat inconspicuous.
How does your shipping work?
We have two methods available:
1) Canada Post - Express (domestic) or Expedited (USA/Intl): Includes tracking but not insurance. This method is intended for small, <$200 pieces like Moondew Earrings, Hidden Fairy Rings, etc. We highly recommend using FedEx for orders above $400.
2) FedEx Priority: Includes tracking and insurance. Signature upon delivery may be required. It’s very important to select FedEx if you require your order by a certain date, or around the holidays (Nov/Dec orders).
FedEx is mandatory and complimentary for orders above:
For detailed information about shipping methods please visit our Shipping page.
Which countries do you ship to?
Please refer to our shipping policies page for the most up to date information regarding our shipping availability.
When do pieces ship?
All made-to-order pieces indicate the production time on the product page. All made-to-order pieces take generally 4-6 weeks to make in our studio before shipping them out, although in some cases (or certain times of year) we can ship out sooner. If you require a piece by a certain date, please get in touch via email first and we’ll see how we can help!
All ready-to-ship pieces generally take 1-3 business days to ship, if they don’t require resizing. Resizing can be 1-2 weeks, though sometimes faster if we are able!
*During our annual holiday studio closure at the end of Dec/early Jan, production, shipping and email customer service are all paused while we take a short break for the holidays. Holiday studio closure dates are posted at the top of the FAQ page and announced on our Instagram.
My package has not arrived but tracking says it has, what's happening?
This is very common, especially around busy seasons like the holidays. Couriers/the Post may have marked it as delivered (possibly because they ran out of time that day), but will actually deliver the package the following day. Don’t panic yet; the quickest way to resolve this is to reach out to the courier/the Post and inquire about the package. You will most likely see it delivered the next day though! Also, check to make sure a neighbour hasn’t received it on your behalf. This is generally not an issue with FedEx Priority; so if you would like the most secure method of shipment, please select FedEx at checkout, especially around the holiday season.
FedEx is trying to contact me about customs clearance information, what am I supposed to do?
Please do answer it and fill out any forms they have sent right away! They are brokering your package through customs on your behalf and often require extra information. For higher value packages to the USA, this requires filling out a 5106 form, which does include some personal information. This is not a scam or an email to ignore; the package will be rejected by customs and returned to us if this is not completed within a couple days. Please reach out to FedEx if you have any questions.
If you refuse to cooperate with FedEx for the clearance process the package may be returned to us, in which case there will be a fee. Please review our shipping policy ("Refused Shipments Returned to Us by the courier") for more information.
I've received my tracking information but it hasn't been updated; why?
If you notice that your tracking has not updated immediately or is unavailable right after we shipped, it is likely just a delay from the courier in scanning. This is common, especially during busy periods, and nothing to worry about unless your package hasn’t arrived within a couple days. Please check back a day or two later and your tracking will likely be updated. If you would like to know the status of your FedEx package and cannot find it through tracking online, please give FedEx a call for updates.
Why is FedEx asking me to pay a bill/why do I need to pay the post office to release my package?
We do not charge tax on international orders at checkout (Ontario tax is 13%). This is because your government charges taxes (and sometimes duties) when you purchase something from another country and import it. They aren’t meant to be surprise fees, and we don’t have control over them. They are taxes imposed by your customs agency at the border and you must not avoid paying them. They are not included in our shipping fees, which are only costs for delivery— we do not collect taxes from you at checkout, they are collected by your government. If you are international (other than USA) we cannot calculate what they would be on your behalf; please reach out to your border service agency with questions.
All taxes must be paid by law when you purchase any goods, whether they are from a local retailer or are shipped to you across your border.
USA: The USA and Canada have a trade agreement (CUSMA) which means that Canadian-made fine jewellery has 0% duties. If you would like to calculate what you will owe upon importing, use your local sales tax percentage, and that will be the amount (no extra duties will be owed in addition to sales tax, because of the CUSMA trade agreement).
What does shipping with Canada Post mean? How will it arrive within my country?
Shipments sent with Canada Post will be handed off to your country’s post office once it reaches the border. Ie. if you are in the USA, delivery within the US will be with USPS. Once the package is handed off from Canada Post to your country’s postal service, you may need to start tracking the package on your country’s postal service’s website instead of on Canada Post’s website. Once it is through the border, we don’t have control over it any longer and may not be able to make inquiries on your behalf because we are not in your country (and Canada Post may not assist us either, because it is out of their hands). For any delivery or tracking issues, please reach out to your post office.
I think my package is lost; what steps do I take?
- Contact your postal service or FedEx (whichever method you selected) to get updates on your package. It is possible it is just delayed, especially during the holidays, and especially if the shipping method was the Post, which can be extremely delayed over the holidays.
- Please email us at info@laurieflemingjewellery with your order number, tracking, and the updates from your courier and we can help!
- Please note: if your package was sent with the Post, we may not be able to open a “missing package” help request until 30 days have passed.
I'm nervous about shipping my order; how does insurance work? Can I have my package held for pickup?
Shipping is insured on our end, so if the package goes missing in transit then we will help resolve the issue and, if needed, make a new ring for you as a replacement. That being said, the insurance ends once the package is marked as delivered by the courier. We always require signatures for delivery so FedEx should never drop your package on your doorstep or what have you, but if you have any concerns at all, the absolute safest option is to have the package held for pickup at your nearest FedEx location. If this is selected, FedEx won't attempt delivery; it will go straight to the selected FedEx outlet, and once your tracking info indicates that it's ready for pickup, you can collect it. If you know someone will be home to receive the package or you live in a building with a concierge, you shouldn't have to worry about that. Having the package held at FedEx for pickup is also a great way of keeping the order a surprise!
Can I reach you by phone?
Our flagship has a text and phone line available, however, we can only accept local/domestic calls and texts. Our retail team can answer flagship-related inquiries, such as what’s currently in-stock there. The retail team cannot assist with web order inquiries/updates and shipments. They cannot assist with any ongoing conversations you’ve had with our bespoke team via email. Please email us at email@example.com if you have any questions from outside of Canada, about a web order, or about your ongoing bespoke process and the studio team will get back to you as soon as possible.
If you are within Canada and would like to begin the bespoke process, please use our bespoke form or email us; our retail team won’t be able to properly serve you throughout the whole bespoke process over a phone call, as bespoke is a very detailed process.
If our flagship misses your call, please shoot us a text! We may not be able to answer right away if we are serving customers in store, but we will respond to your text as soon as we can, Wednesday-Sunday. Our flagship phone number is 416 677 0168.
Can you assist me with an order placed through one of your retailers (eg. Catbird)?
We are happy to help, though will have to do so through our retailer as the piece was purchased through them and not us directly. Please get in touch with the retailer and they will work with us to help further. Please also note, we cannot accept returns/exchanges on pieces purchased through our retailers, as they were not purchased from us directly. Please contact the retailer for their return/exchange policies.
Can you help me insure my jewellery?
Jewellers don’t provide insurance on pieces, just like anything else purchased from a producer— insurance is a third party service. We recommend inquiring with your home owners insurance first, which is how most jewellery is insured. If the piece is very high value, you may have to insure through a jewellery insurance provider. Your insurer will ask for a statement of value so they know how much to insure it for. Depending on their policies and the value of the piece, this will either be the invoice/receipt, or they will require an appraisal.
Repairs & Adjustments
My ring doesn't fit; can you resize it?
We offer one complimentary ring sizing! (Please note, we don’t work on pieces that are not made by us; this includes resizes, repairs and cleaning.)
If you are local to Toronto, you can bring the ring in to our flagship at 919 Queen West for resizing. If you are elsewhere, we just ask that the shipping is covered. We will discuss shipping options with you and provide you with a pre-paid, pre-filled out and signed shipping label. Please email us for further instructions about shipping back resizing or repairs, as well as timelines for altering your piece. Please don’t ship anything straight to us without contacting us for instructions.