FAQs


Payments:

Why don’t you accept PayPal?  I no longer accept PayPal payments for orders under $500. I have found that PayPal charges a higher fee than my current processing plan and it is inconvenient overall for me to integrate with my accounting software. It takes more time and money for me to set up a PayPal payment than the current services I use. Sorry for the inconvenience to you!

Do you accept payment plans? Yes I do! I accept payment plans for items $500 and up. You can let me know how you would like to break up your payments for them to make sense for you. I do ask that you pay for the piece within 2 months. Payments plans are non refundable. 

What payments do you accept for custom pieces? I accept credit card, cash, and checks. A 50% deposit is taken at the start the process, once a design is chosen and the final payment when completed. Custom payments are non refundable. See Custom guidelines. 

Orders Returns and Exchanges:

I’m in a rush. How fast can I get my jewelry? Most of the jewelry on my site is made to order. I do have an In Stock section for you to shop from for a quick delivery. Please allow at least a week to finish your jewelry. It could take longer if it’s the holiday season. If you have a timeline you’re under, please let me know before purchasing. I’ll let you know if it’s possible

Why does my jewelry look a little different than the piece in the photo? Due to the handmade nature of each piece, there will be a slight variation from piece to piece. Your jewelry will still look like the piece in the photo with the same elements as described.

Can I customize something from your site? Yes! If you reach out to me before you purchase the piece to let me know what you would like, I can let you know if this is possible.

Do you accept returns? You can return a piece as long as it is within one month of the purchase date and the piece is in its original condition. If you received your jewelry and are not happy with it, please reach out to me as soon as possible. You can return the piece to my studio and once I receive it, I will refund you through the payment method you used. I do not accept returns on custom pieces.

Do you accept exchanges? You can exchange a piece as long as it is within one month of the purchase date and the piece is in its original condition. If there is a balance I will send an invoice or charge on site or refund the balance depending on the dollar amount difference. 

Taking in jewelry:

Do you repair jewelry?  I only repair jewelry that was made in the McKenzie Mendel Jewelry Studio. If this is a piece of jewelry you purchased made by a different designer, I ask that you reach out to them instead or visit a local jewelry repair shop. I do repair my own jewelry. I want you to be able to enjoy your jewelry! So I will gladly fix chains, size rings, and repair breaks. Just reach out to me with a photo of the piece and I will see what I can do. 

How do I send you jewelry you have agreed to repair? I will send you my address to mail the piece to. You will need to write a note to send with the piece with your name, mailing address, email and phone number. Also a detailed description of what you would like done. This helps me keep track of what I need to do to the jewelry, who to send it back to, to ask you questions or send you an invoice. 

Do you buy old jewelry or gemstones for cash?  No. I only accept old jewelry for scrap payment if you are working with me on a custom piece.

Can I add something to a piece that you have already made?  This depends on the stone/s set in the piece of jewelry and what you would like added. In most cases I cannot add extra accents to the main body of the piece, because it takes heat, and stones cannot withstand the amount of heat it takes to add these elements to the piece. I ask that you reach out to me first with a photo and description of the alteration. In many cases it means I will need to remake the piece in order to accomplish this. And in this case you are responsible for paying for the new piece in full. 

I bought a ring and the stone broke. What should I do? Stones are not impervious to damage. If you have had the ring for less than a year I am happy to take in the ring and replace the stone for free. I will send you photos to let you choose which stones you like as a replacement. If you would like different metals or a higher end stone as a replacement I will charge you the difference. See “Do you repair jewelry”. If you have had the ring for over a year, I will try to work something out with you that works for both of us. In this case you will be charged for the remake at 20% off. 

Working together:

Do you make custom jewelry? Yes! I work with clients all the time on custom pieces. Please see Custom guidelines and my Custom inquiries sections to find out more. 

Can you give me a quick quote on this idea I have?  No. I do not like to quote something out of the blue. There are materials, design, measurements, etc. to consider when pricing jewelry. My best guide is to let you know that basic silver pieces range from $400 to $900 and basic gold pieces range from $900+. I can give you a range, but nothing solid to guarantee.

I have diamonds/gemstones and metal that I want remade into something. Can you do that? Yes! I work with heirloom stones all the time to recreate something unique and just for my client. I like to see what you would like me to work with first, so please send photos or bring the pieces in with you during your custom consultation. I do take in metal for customs. I will give you the scrap value of the metal towards the design. Very rarely I will use the metal in the custom piece. I do not work with synthetic stones.

Can you find me a stone I am looking for to use in the custom piece? I will do my best. I will show you options until you find something you like. Once you have given me the go ahead you will be invoiced for the stone and a design deposit of $50+stone price. The stone is non refundable.

Can I come to your studio? Sometimes, yes. Please make an appointment first. 

Do you meet people in person to discuss custom work? Yes! If you are local or passing through, just set up a time with me to meet and I will be glad to talk about your project. Usually this will be in a coffee shop.

Sizing and Fitting:

How can I find my partner’s size without them knowing? There are a couple of clever ways to do this. For locals to Bend. If there is a ring they wear often enough on their ring finger, you can pick a time when they aren’t wearing it to bring it in for a quick size check. You can find a coin that fits or nearly fits inside a ring they wear often, snap a photo for me to see. You can also measure the inside diameter of the band. Millimeters will give me the exact measurement I need to determine the size. If none of these options work, or you aren’t local,  I will try my best to guess what size they are and if the ring needs to be sized later I can help you with that. I can make my best guess based on if their fingers are short or long, thick or thin. You can also ask friends and family members to help with this. 

I just got my ring and it doesn’t fit. What should I do?  If you purchased this ring from my website, or it is a custom ring that you worked with me personally on, you can always send the ring back for an adjustment for free. I do have ring sizers that I can send to you for you to check your size in advance. 

Metals:

What metal is best?  This depends on your budget,  lifestyle, and taste. Gold is expensive and works for certain budgets. It is also a harder metal than silver. If you live a very active lifestyle, yellow gold, rose gold or white gold may be your best option. If you cannot afford an all gold piece, we recommend silver, or a mix of silver and gold.

What metals do you work in?  I work in sterling silver, fine silver, yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and other alloys such as copper and brass. I do not work in steel or titanium, filled metals such as gold filled or silver filled or vermeil. I do not work with nickel silver. This is an alloy that causes skin irritation for many people including myself. I am proud to say that all of the metal I work in is recycled.

What is alloy? “A metal made by combining two or more metallic elements, especially to give greater strength or resistance to corrosion”. For example, sterling silver is an alloy combining fine silver and copper. This is why you see the hallmark .925. Sterling silver is 92.5% fine silver and the rest is copper. 

What is Keum boo? Keum boo is a beautiful ancient Korean technique I use on many of my pieces. This is not plating, painting or leafing. To accomplish this process I make the piece into its intended form. Then I start the process to “raise the fine silver” or depletion gilding. This is when the fine silver in the sterling silver is brought to the surface of the metal. This is how the gold will be fused to the silver. Once this is done, the gold is added. I use very fine gold sheet. It can be torn or cut into small pieces to be worked with. I set the silver piece on a hot plate and get the metal up to a specific temperature. Once the silver piece is hot enough the gold is set in the desired area of the silver and “burnished” with a steel or agate burnisher. The heat plus the pressure combine to fuse the gold to the silver. After this I can shine up the piece or oxidize it for a stunning contrast. Keum boo is a surface treatment that is relatively delicate. The pieces with keum boo need to be cleaned regularly and avoid scratches. 

Why is my jewelry changing color?  I work in mixed metals, and most times there is a large amount of silver being used. If your once shiny silver jewelry is now turning brown or black, it is tarnishing. A silver jewelry cleaner is the best way to de-tarnish something. If your piece has gone from oxidized, or black to silver, this means your patina is rubbing off. Patina or oxidization is a surface treatment to the metal. It is not a treatment that withstands handwashing and everyday wear. I am happy to reapply the patina for you! This is a process that can be reapplied over and over again, if you want to keep your jewelry looking dark.

How do I clean my jewelry? I do sell jewelry cleaners. I provide a dip and wipes that you can use on any jewelry I make. The dip I sell can be very harsh on surface treatments and porous stones. Try to avoid dipping any porous stones in the solution such as pearls, turquoise, variscites, opals, and jaspers. You can use a Q tip to get around these stones. If your piece has keum boo on it do not soak your piece in the jewelry dip. Usually a quick dip and immediate rinse in water with soap will clean your piece. Do not use silverware polish, or toothpaste! These have a grit to them and will scratch metal and stones. Gold pieces can be shined and cleaned with my polishing wipes I provide and if you need to get behind a stone use hot soapy water and a soft toothbrush. If your piece is oxidized and needs to be cleaned, hot soapy water or a soft cloth work well.

Diamonds and gemstones:

Can you use heirloom stones in your work?  Yes I can. As long as you know what your gemstones are. I do not set synthetic stones in my work. If you aren’t sure, get them tested before I proceed. 

Will you set a diamond purchased elsewhere? I will set a diamond or gemstone purchased from somewhere else, however I do appreciate you coming to me for the stone you are looking for. I work with other small businesses when I’m searching for stones and appreciate giving them the support and opportunity to give you something special over a big box company such as Blue Nile. I can get diamonds and gemstones on memo for you to look at in person to select your favorite stone. I also have many semi precious stones in my studio that I can show you.

If I buy a diamond somewhere else, what should I know? If you are purchasing a lab grown or natural diamond from an online company, make sure you do your research. This something I ask you to accomplish on your own before you purchase. If you are purchasing a diamond to be set with a diamond you already own, make sure the color and quality of the 2 will not clash. Again, you will need to do this research on your own time. 

Can you set my synthetic stone?  No. I would like to continue to work with natural stones and have the reputation of doing so. 

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