AlternativesLapidary

Custom Loose Precision Cut Gems and Handmade Jewelry

Raleigh, North Carolina · 476 Sales

AlternativesLapidary

Custom Loose Precision Cut Gems and Handmade Jewelry

Raleigh, North Carolina 476 Sales On Etsy since 2010

5 out of 5 stars
(178)

Announcement   FREE SHIPPING!!! -- As of December 1st, 2016, it is my pleasure to announce FREE SHIPPING on all orders to addresses in the continental US (international shipping rates still apply). Please see my shop policies for all the details. And of course, shipping upgrades will still be available upon request!

Superlative quality loose faceted gemstones and cabochons, hand crafted by Philip Lagas-Rivera. Alternatives Lapidary provides a variety of natural and lab created stones for engagement rings, fashion and statement jewelry, daily wear and special occasion pieces.

Please be sure to read over my shop policies before completing your purchases, and let me know if you have any questions about my stones, jewelry or policies. I'll be happy to answer them!

I am not taking new custom orders at the moment, but I may re-open custom pieces in early 2017, so stay tuned!

Announcement

Last updated on Dec 1, 2016

FREE SHIPPING!!! -- As of December 1st, 2016, it is my pleasure to announce FREE SHIPPING on all orders to addresses in the continental US (international shipping rates still apply). Please see my shop policies for all the details. And of course, shipping upgrades will still be available upon request!

Superlative quality loose faceted gemstones and cabochons, hand crafted by Philip Lagas-Rivera. Alternatives Lapidary provides a variety of natural and lab created stones for engagement rings, fashion and statement jewelry, daily wear and special occasion pieces.

Please be sure to read over my shop policies before completing your purchases, and let me know if you have any questions about my stones, jewelry or policies. I'll be happy to answer them!

I am not taking new custom orders at the moment, but I may re-open custom pieces in early 2017, so stay tuned!

Phil Lagas-Rivera

Contact shop owner

Phil Lagas-Rivera

Light Golden Citrine -- 6.94cttw
$225.00
Golden Citrine -- 16.36cttw Matched Cushions
$320.00
Sphene -- 2.58 Carat Antique Cushion Cut
$258.00
Pietersite -- 7.35ct Pyramid Cabochon
$80.00
View all 52 items

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(178)
Elizabeth Nguyen

Elizabeth Nguyen on Nov 23, 2016

5 out of 5 stars

So beautiful, turned out just as I had wanted. Phil is so knowledgeable and skilled and kind. A true craftsman.

Peter Libby

Peter Libby on Nov 4, 2016

5 out of 5 stars

Great maker, very responsive with communication and working with me to get the right stone.

View all 178 reviews

About

Choosing the Extraordinary

From the time I was a child, I've loved two things above all -- gemstones, and things made by hand.

We live in a time of inexpensive mass production. Taking the time to lovingly craft something by hand has become the exception rather than the rule. This is true of the jewelry industry as well!

99% of commercially available gemstones are cut overseas, in the lapidary equivalent of sweatshops. The stones are often uneven, deeply windowed, and have a lackluster polish.

With my work, I try to offer people a chance to choose the Alternative to commercial mass production, to choose a stone that was hand selected and hand cut to be the most beautiful stone possible from the rough rock.

It's not that the overseas cutters are unskilled! Quite the contrary! But these cutters are being paid pennies to produce as many stones as possible as quickly as possible. I am VERY lucky to have been born and raised in the West; I have the luxury of being able to take my time with a stone. I often try to emulate certain styles of cutting I see in commercial stones, styles that would be truly beautiful if the cutter had only had a bit more time.

I first learned to cut cabochons from my dad, who had taken some lapidary classes before I was born. I learned to facet as a teenager. At 20, I purchased my own faceting machine, and I've had stones on the brain ever since.

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Shop members

  • Phil Lagas-Rivera

    Owner, Maker, Designer

    Born and raised in West Raleigh, North Carolina, the son of two artsy people, a love of handmade things, underdogs, and doing things the hard way was instilled in him. He was pretty much doomed from the start.

  • Hana B

    Guest Poster

    Lived all over the place, currently lives in the hottest city in the US. Loves to make things by hand. She is new to both lapidary arts and silversmithing, and is making up for it by being obsessive in both collecting and learning.

  • Djinn aka Doodles

    Shop Dog

    Almost indistinguishable from a large ball of lint most days, DJ is a nine year old rescue toy poodle. He's more than a little neurotic, but precious. His favorite things are walks, scritches and puppy play time.

Shop policies

Last updated on December 1, 2016
Welcome to the online home of Alternatives Lapidary, a custom gemstone and jewelry atelier. It is a creative partnership between partners Phil and Hana, and you, our clients. Here you will find incredibly high quality gemstones and jewelry, hand crafted to exacting standards by creators who have had a life long passion and respect for their materials.

Why buy from us, when commercially cut stones are so much cheaper?
------------------------------
There are several reasons. Here you will find only top quality, custom, hand-cut gemstones. You may be used to seeing commercially cut gemstones that are lopsided, poorly polished, and mostly lifeless. Commercially cut stones are a function of mass-production; they are cut for speed and weight, without attention to quality craftsmanship. Our concern isn't churning out product as quickly as possible, but to bring out the best the raw material has to offer. Another reason to buy from Alternatives Lapidary is to help support local, American creators. Too many jobs in all sectors are being shipped overseas. It's important we don't lose all of the skills we're now outsourcing, and buying from an American craftsman helps keep money and jobs here.


Are your stones natural? What about treatments?
------------------------------
We offer a mixture of natural and lab created stones. All stones that are lab created will be CLEARLY marked as such in both the titles and descriptions. Often when we buy rough, treatments are not disclosed to us, but whenever a stone we offer is known to be treated, that treatment will be clearly and visibly disclosed in the item listing. However, it is important to realize that in this day and age, nearly 100% of gemstones are heat treated before they ever reach the cutter's table. Heat treatment to enhance color is a common practice, in almost all cases stable for the life of the stone, and does not mean that a stone is less valuable.

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
Payment
A deposit of approximately 50% is due up front on all custom orders. This deposit is non-refundable, and pays for the rough material plus some of my time in cutting the stone.

I accept PayPal and direct payment through etsy.
Shipping
FREE SHIPPING is included for all orders within the United States (including Hawaii and Alaska, but not necessarily territories). International shipping rates still apply and may vary by country.

All orders under $100 will ship without tracking or insurance. All orders over $100 will be shipped by USPS Priority Mail with tracking and insurance to the value of the order. If you would like to upgrade or modify your shipping, please get in touch before placing your order so we can make arrangements.

We are not responsible for any items lost or damaged in the mail, and will not offer refunds in the case of either situation.
Refunds and Exchanges
Returns and exchanges will be handled on a case by case basis. It is important to evaluate your purchase and decide if it is right for you expediently. No returns will be considered after 14 days from date of purchase, and no exchanges will be considered after 30 days from date of purchase. Buyer is responsible for all shipping charges in case of return, and returns are to be shipped with tracking and insurance, as they were shipped to you.

No returns will be accepted on custom orders.
No returns will be accepted on stones marked as on sale.
No returns will be accepted on stones once they have been set in a piece of jewelry.

All jewelry pieces are sold "as-is," with no warranties, other than a guarantee your piece will arrive in new condition, with all stones securely set. It is important to evaluate your jewelry purchase expediently. As stated above, no returns will be accepted after a period of 14 days, and no exchanges will be considered after 30 days.

Absolutely no returns or exchanges will be considered on a piece of jewelry that has been sized, altered, customized, or repaired in ANY way.