VakaStudio

Handmade gold jewelry, crafted in North Carolina

Westport, North Carolina · 265 Sales

VakaStudio

Handmade gold jewelry, crafted in North Carolina

Westport, North Carolina 265 Sales On Etsy since 2013

5 out of 5 stars
(97)

Announcement   I've spent the last few days photographing and listing new items! Gemstone studs, gold earrings, and new necklaces. And I'm not done yet, so please keep checking back! MOONSTONE LOVERS: Please make sure you take a look: https://www.etsy.com/listing/516535720

Announcement

Last updated on May 11, 2017

I've spent the last few days photographing and listing new items! Gemstone studs, gold earrings, and new necklaces. And I'm not done yet, so please keep checking back! MOONSTONE LOVERS: Please make sure you take a look: https://www.etsy.com/listing/516535720

Katie Stein

Contact shop owner

Katie Stein

View all 55 items

About

Shiny, pretty things

I am fascinated by the deep connection people have with their jewelry. There is really nothing else we adorn ourselves with which becomes part of us in quite the same way, and it's an honor when one of my pieces becomes part of someone's life and story.

My aesthetic is ancient contemporary, and I want my jewelry to look as if it could have been made two days or two thousand years ago. For that reason I carve, pour, forge and roll my pieces from start to finish, relying on age-old methods instead of modern technology.

While I have my BFA in Studio Art (painting), I've been very lucky to have visual art as part of my life since I was a child. Almost as important as my formal education was the one I received from my grandmother, Maryclaire O’Dea. She is a gifted artist and silversmith, and taught art for over 40 years. I spent my summers in Maine with her, and she was my first and most important artistic influence.

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Shop members

  • Katie Stein

    Owner, Creator

Production partners

  • Jewelry-making supplies

    Lafayette, LA

    I purchase many of my supplies here, from gold casting grain to polishing wheels!

Shop policies

Last updated on May 12, 2017
The best part of making jewelry is seeing my pieces go to good homes! I love getting a piece just right, and I love hearing from happy clients. I want you to have a 5-star experience, and for your purchase to be perfect for you. If you have questions about how your jewelry is made, would like information on gemstones, or you just wonder if something is possible, please just ask!

Accepted payment methods

  • Pay with Visa
  • Pay with Master Card
  • Pay with American Express
  • Pay with Discover
  • Pay with PayPal
  • Buy with Apple Pay
  • Pay with Sofort
  • Pay with iDeal
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards
  • Other Method
Payment
Payments accepted: PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Etsy Gift Cards.

Holding items: I am happy to hold an item for 2 days, awaiting payment. If, after two days, payment is not received, then I will relist the item for sale.

Cancellations: If you cancel before your item is shipped, no problem! Once your item has shipped, my refund policy would apply.
Shipping
I ship USPS Priority Mail with tracking for both domestic and international orders.

If you would like for me to use a different shipping method, please let me know and we can adjust the cost accordingly.

If your order will ship to another country, please be aware that any import taxes or duties are the buyer's responsibility.
Refunds and Exchanges
NON-CUSTOM WORK: I want you to be happy! If you are not happy with your purchase, please return it for a full refund! Returns must be postmarked within 5 business days of delivery. Please ship USPS with delivery confirmation, and let me know to expect your package. Once I receive the item in original, unworn condition, I will immediately issue your refund.

CUSTOM WORK:
Finished custom items are non-refundable, and I will work with you until we are both satisfied with your piece. Custom work requires a 50% non-refundable deposit. Custom work is ready to ship in 2-3 weeks unless otherwise discussed. If an item is needed sooner, this is usually possible.
Additional policies and FAQs
Frequently asked questions:

CAN I GET THIS PIECE MADE WITH A DIFFERENT GEMSTONE?
Usually, yes! Most of my designs are flexible, and changing stone or stone size is not problem at all.



WHAT IS "RECYCLED" GOLD?
Within the jewelry industry, "recycled" means that scrap or used gold had been collected by a precious metal manufacture, and processed to bring it to its purest form: 24k. This is the same way that newly-mined gold is processed: both sources (scrap and newly-mined gold) go through the a refinement process to result in pure gold. Once processed, recycled gold is indistinguishable from new gold.

Once gold has been processed into it's purest form (24k), alloys are added to create 14k, 18k, and so on.

Buying my gold recycled is a tiny bit more expensive, but substantially more earth-friendly.



CAN YOU USE MY GEM OR GOLD?
I absolutely love re-purposing gems and gold! It gives new pieces so much meaning. Check to see if your gold is stamped with a karat mark and not plated; your piece must be solid gold for me to be able to melt it down and reuse it.



IS THIS GEMSTONE REAL? Excepting moissanite, I do not use lab or man made gems. I will always disclose known treatments (it's the law!), and with two exceptions I work only with untreated stones. Sapphire is almost always heated, and rubies present a conundrum! There are only a handful of ruby veins being worked right now, and quality untreated ruby can cost several thousand dollars per carat. For this reason, I often use fracture filled rubies. If you are shopping for rubies, beware! There is no such thing as a cheap, good ruby.



IS THIS SOLID GOLD?
All of my work is solid gold or silver, and marked appropriately. I do not plate. However, SOLID does not mean PURE, and that brings me to the next question I'm often asked:



WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 14K, 18K, 22K, AND 24K?
Pure gold is a deep, rich yellow, and very soft. Alloying--combining gold with other metals--makes it stronger, less malleable, and more affordable. The karat system identifies how much other metal, or alloy, has been added to gold. It's based on 24 parts: 24k gold has 24 parts gold and 0 parts alloy; in other words: it's pure gold, with nothing else added. 22k gold is 22 parts gold, and 2 parts alloy. 18k gold is 18 parts gold, and 6 parts alloy. 14k gold is 14 parts gold, and 10 parts alloy. So what IS the alloy? It depends! Different metal manufacturers use different alloys to give the gold different color and working capabilities; both 14k yellow, 14k rose, and 14k white gold have 14 parts pure gold, but their 10 parts of ALLOY are different. Rose gold's allow would be heavy on copper to color the gold pink, white gold uses only white metal alloys in order to get the pure gold as white as possible, and yellow will have a mix in order to keep it yellow. But, no matter WHAT alloy has been used, the karat mark will always tell you how much pure gold is in the mix.



CAN YOU MAKE A PIECE IN WHITE GOLD?
Please understand that the white gold you see in jewelry stores is rhodium plated. That beautiful, shiny white is NOT the color of white gold! White gold is a bit steely-looking, and less white than silver. Pretty, but NOT what most people are expecting! That said, I can make many of my pieces in unplated white gold. Just ask!



CAN I BUY THIS PIECE FOR LESS THAN THE LISTED PRICE? Unfortunately, no. Like most professional goldsmiths on Etsy, my listed prices are wholesale, which is 3x material cost. This is already well below jewelry store prices (there is enormous value to buying handmade!). I make each solid-gold piece by hand, start to finish, and am very proud of my work!

However, I cannot tell you how much it means to me when a client collects my work, and so I send a 10% "thank you" coupon after every purchase. This coupon is for future purchases, and offers 10% of items of $200 or more.