Caring for your Bittersweets
Bittersweets New York jewelry is made with the idea that a beautiful piece of jewelry should last a lifetime, and then some! All pieces are solid castings; sterling silver, 10K, 14K, 18K, 22K gold and/or platinum. Both sterling silver, and gold tarnish, with gold tarnishing at a much slower rate under normal circumstances. The two main culprits for tarnish are moisture and air. In fact, a silver chain can go black right away with one swim in a salty ocean, or worn next to salty, sweaty skin. The best way to keep your jewelry sparkling, is by practicing preventative measures; Keep your pieces away from unnecessary moisture, like leaving your jewelry on when showering, or swimming. Store your jewelry in a dry place, not a bathroom, or kitchen shelf. A ziplock bag may not be the prettiest way to keep your jewelry shiny, but it certainly will do the trick. Not everyone can wear silver without getting that unsightly black ring on their skin. If you notice this happening to you, be mindful of lotions or any body products that would cause additional moisture or oil on your skin where your jewelry is in contact. The black on the skin is tarnish coming off of your silver, not plating that has worn off to expose "cheap" metals. We do not cast with anything but sterling and do not plate unless a specific request has been made by our customers for Vermeil or a rhodium finish.
Tarnish: The trick with tarnish is not to wait until it really sets in and turns black. It's much harder to clean, if not impossible with regular store bought silver cleaners. Hardware store silver cleaners will work fine, and a homemade batch of ammonia and water works nice on gold. A standard formula is 7 parts water and 1 part ammonia. If you cannot get your jewelry clean, as it is too blackened, just send us an email and let us know you're sending it to us for a cleaning. Please use a delivery confirmation and insurance. The instructions for shipping to Bittersweets are below. Please read and follow carefully. We will have your jewelry back within 3 weeks. If you would like a Bittersweets New York polishing cloth for your jewelry, please email us with information on the item that you have purchased with us. If it seems that a polishing cloth is the best way to clean your piece, we will send it to you at no charge.
Stones, pearls and settings. Please keep a close eye on your stone settings, clasps, and pearls. Anything that feels loose or doesn't seem quite right needs to be looked at. Please send us an email with your concerns. You can send your piece back to us to evaluate. We can advise you on the best way to prevent any further damage or loss and will replace clasps or re-string pearls at a small fee. Pearls will need to be re-strung if worn daily after about a year. Your pieces will be returned in approximately 3 weeks. Please follow our instructions on how to ship jewelry back to us in our "shipping" section of the policies.
Conflict Free Jewelry
Bittersweets New York jewelry is not only made with the highest quality in mind, we have sought to provide you with stones and gold from suppliers who have given thought to where their materials come from. Our number one diamond supplier complies with the Kimberley Process which ensures that diamonds are; 1. Exported and imported with a government validated Kimberley Process certificate stating the diamonds are conflict-free. 2. Transported between signatory countries in a sealed and tamper-proof container. 3.Sold with a statement from the seller (known as a warranty) on all invoices guaranteeing that the diamonds being sold are conflict-free.
Secondly, Protecting your diamond is important. With selected designs, Bittersweets New York diamonds of .33 carat and higher, come with free loss protection for one full year. This provides worldwide coverage against theft, loss, or mysterious disappearance. Your coverage begins on the postmarked date of the registration form. There is no deductible. In the event of a loss, follow the instructions provided with your purchase. Please contact us if you have questions as to which designs offer this warranty. This does not include black diamonds, or smaller white diamonds, such as the Marquise Twig Ring, for example. This warranty is for your diamond only, not the casting of the ring. Please contact us with questions regarding replacement of your Bittersweets.
Gold: Our caster uses 100% recycled gold for casting Bittersweets Jewelry.
Bittersweets New York is currently not taking any custom requests. We are at capacity for finishing up the requests formerly placed and once we are caught up, we can resume taking requests for custom work. Thank you for your patience.
Shipping with parcel post, will take anywhere from 1-7 business days depending on where the package is destined. NYC orders often arrive in one day with parcel post, so if you live in NY and want to save on the shipping, the parcel post will most likely do the trick. If you need a package to arrive in 2-3 business days, we offer priority post as an affordable option. Express shipping with the US Post usually means that the package will arrive by noon the next business day from the date of shipment. Because all Bittersweets jewelry is made to order, if you choose Express shipping, it doesn't necessarily mean that your order will be ready to ship immediately. If you are in a rush, the best thing to do is to email ahead and check availability of the item/s you are interested in. If you are needing an item by a certain date, we can advise you on the best shipping option to facilitate your deadline and be the best value to your wallet!
Please be patient with International Regular Air Mail shipping. It's been our experience that arrival takes between 3-6 weeks from the time you placed your order, especially if you're in the U.K. or Australia. We now have an extra feature in the shopping cart for Global Express Shipping. It's a $35 flat fee. It will take 3-5 business days for shipping opposed to weeks. Keep in mind, that it still is one-two weeks until your item may be ready to ship. If you need it urgently, please let us know with an email and we'll try to expedite your order.
If you order a very expensive item, like an engagement ring, we can do our best to insure and expedite the shipping with Global Express shipping, however, the issue of customs throws a wild card into the ETA and possibly additional fees for you. For example, we sent a ring to the U.K. with global express and it arrived in 10 days. However, the package was held at customs for two more weeks, and our customer had to go investigate on their own to receive it. He reported back to us that they were backed up on their end, and had he not checked it out, it may have been even longer that his package sat there. Once a package leaves our hands, there's not much we can do except check the tracking I.D. The second issue with customs is, depending on the country of import, you may have additional taxes, and customs fees to pay. Every country has their own set of rules and we cannot estimate this accurately for you. Please research your customs rules before you place an order with us.
Most Bittersweets jewelry can be returned for a full refund if you can notify us within 30 days of the time you received your package. You have an additional 15 days to ship it back to us. Once the item is received by us, you can expect a refund on your credit card within a day. Please email us if you have trouble seeing a credit on your account. Please see the instructions below for shipping items back to Bittersweets! We cannot be responsible for lost packages on returns so a delivery confirmation and signature confirmation for an expensive package is highly recommended.
While most pieces can be exchanged, in general, anything customized, ie; Letter Rings, ID Necklaces, Monogram Rings, etc, cannot be returned or exchanged. However, we can usually re-stamp your piece for you! Click here for more info!
INSTRUCTIONS TO RETURN ITEMS TO BITTERSWEETS NEW YORK
For returns, repairs, and exchanges: Send an email to, email@example.com. letting us know about your pending shipment. A note in the package is really helpful for us if it includes the following: Your Return Address, the Name or Order # of the Original Purchase and the details of your Exchange Request. Our address is: Bittersweets New York, PO Box #309, Staten Island, NY 10301. Once the item is received we can work on your exchange. Please use a delivery confirmation form at the post office so the package can be tracked. We will send you an email with a delivery confirmation # on your new item. Because we use a PO Box, please don't use FedEx or UPS, they usually won't deliver to a PO Box.
Some of our rings cannot be returned or exchanged if they have been customized or a stone has been customized for your order. Please ask us about this policy if you are considering buying one of our rings that fits this category. The Lily Royale, The White Diamond Brilliant Twig Ring and Twig Eternity Band Pavé Diamond are a few items that cannot be returned or exchanged. Please email us to get an updated list of our non-returnable items.
If we made a mistake on your order, please send us an email as soon as you receive your package. We will send you a self-addressed, postage paid envelope so you can return the item at no cost to you. Further, we will send your correct order as soon as we can. It will be our priority to get it to you as quickly as possible.
If you make an order mistake, just email us as soon as you can! We will issue a refund to your credit card immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
I just placed an order, how long will it take? The average time for shipping is two to three weeks. Each item is made especially for you. If you need something for a birthday or gift, please email us and we can get your order to you as fast as possible. Occasionally, we are out of stock on an item and it will take a bit longer than two weeks. Please be patient and do let us know with an email if you have a deadline. If you don't let us know, we can't read your mind!
What's the difference between solid and plated gold? It's a pretty big difference! Solid 14k gold, is exactly what it says it is. You are getting a solid 14k piece when you buy Bittersweets. Plated gold is a very thin layer of gold on a casting of less expensive metals. The plating will eventually wear off. There are a few exceptions where we will plate. We will rhodium plate a solid 14k white gold item for you, or gold plate a solid sterling silver item for you. But that's it. Bittersweets jewelry is made with the best materials that we hope last you a lifetime!
Is the price for the baby vamps for the pair, or for each ring? The pricing listed on the site is for two rings, a pair. And yes you can split the sizing on the pair at no extra charge. Write in the comment box at check out what sizes you would like to receive.
Is the price for the letter rings for each one, or for the set of four? The price for the letter rings is for each ring.
How can I tell how big or small some of the pieces are? Check out the blog - we've tried to include pictures of folks wearing Bittersweets. We don't have a whole lotta pics up there right now, so you could help us out by emailing us a photo of you in your Bittersweets!
Can you make my ring a quarter or half size? Yes, we can make just about any size for almost any ring that we offer. As mentioned above, this is why it does take up to three weeks on average to receive your Bittersweets. All you have to do is write in the comment box at the time of check out, your size requests.
I have a very small/large wrist, can you make the chain on my bracelet smaller/bigger? Absolutely! Just write in the comment box at the time of check out the length of the bracelet from end to end, that you would like to receive.
I'm getting engaged and I don't know my darling's ring size. What do I do? Whatever you do, do not blindly guess! We charge $25 to re-size a ring and some of our rings, including the Twig Eternity Band Pavé Diamond cannot be re-sized. We are happy to send you a ring sizer. If you insist on a surprise proposal, try to sneak one of the rings she frequently wears on her wedding ring finger to a local jewelry store. They should be able to measure the ring for you. For reference, the most common woman's wedding ring size is a 6 or 7.
I have a ring from my family and I want Bittersweets to use the stone/s and gold to create a brand new ring for my honey! Can you do this? This is a question we get asked an awful lot! We're going to make an analogy here for humor, please bear with us... Would you walk into a restaurant with the contents of your refrigerator and ask the chef to whip up a gourmet meal for you? But seriously, we absolutely love the idea of recycling and especially using something that has meaning or has been passed through your family. So, please be realistic in your expectations with what we can do for you in a situation like this. We can often re-use stones, but we are not able to use any of your gold or platinum. You can take your ring to a local jewelry store and have the stones taken out. If the size of your stone matches one of our existing settings, we can either sell you the setting and you can find someone to set the stone for you, or we can also take care of that. If your stone doesn't fit into any of our settings we may have to make a brand new ring with a setting that will fit your stone. This would be considered a custom piece and pricing minimums and return/exchange policies would apply. Final answer: there are a lot of variables to consider and we would love to hear from you! But keep in mind that we take these requests on a case by case basis and frequently need at least four weeks to several months to complete the order.
I have a store and I'd like to place a wholesale order. How should I go about this? Send an email with "wholesale" in the subject to: firstname.lastname@example.org Include your address and the name of your store in the text so we can send you a line sheet!
Do you have a store? Nope! Though Bittersweets is sold in stores, we do not have our own. Send an email to email@example.com to find out the closest retail location to you.
I bought a Bittersweets New York piece a while ago and I notice that you've changed the design. What's the deal with that? Some changes are made based on an aesthetic decision and sometimes it has to do with making a sturdier piece of jewelry that will wear better. If you have any questions about a piece you already have, please feel free to email us! We'll gladly exchange an old Bittersweets piece for a brand new one! Woohoo!
Who did your awesome site? Illustrations on the About page by Hope Gangloff. www.hopegangloff.com. New site by Jeremy Campbell. Photography by Evan Miller. www.evan-miller.com. Our previous site had a lot of amazing illustrations by Josh Slater. He can be found here.
Although it's very handy for opening boxes, my jewelry is very pointy and catches on my clothes. What should I do? If you want to take the points down on your vamp rings or make your little dagger less dangerous, you can use a fine grit sandpaper (like 220) from the hardware store or even a nail file! Silver is very soft, so you need not apply much pressure. We suggest that you file/sand a bit, look at it closely, file/sand it, etc until you get your desired result. But, please don't just go to town with it, because it's easier to subtract than to add!
I'd like to borrow jewelry for a photoshoot. How do I get in touch with you? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can let you know if the items you need are available. Pick ups and Drop offs can be done by mail, messenger or in person. Please give us at least one week notice and be prepared with a letter of responsibility.
Who is Bunnysweets? Bunnysweets, also known as Ferdinand, is the Bittersweets mascot. He is a very handsome dutch rabbit, about nine years old and he is an Aries. In addition to his official job supervising the production of all Bittersweets jewelry, he also enjoys eating carrots, hopping around and napping.
I am allergic to Nickel. Can you make your designs in 14K white gold without the nickel so that I don't have a reaction? Yes! There is a charge for doing this, as we have to pay a little bit more to our caster for this special request. Please email us and we can assist you with this special request!
Help! My silver and gold jewelry is tarnishing! What should I do? First, go back and read our advice on caring for your jewelry. And yes, real 14K gold and real sterling silver do tarnish. Remember grandma's tea set that turned black? Or that vintage Tiffany's ring that was left in the bathroom on a shelf for 6 months? The main culprits for creating tarnish are air and water... kinda hard to avoid right? Well, there are some things you can do to care for your jewelry. Hot, humid days are unavoidable, but swimming in a salty ocean with your jewelry is. Try to avoid exposing your jewelry conditions that will speed along the tarnishing process. If you're not wearing it, store it in an airtight container. And if you do see tarnish, don't wait until it's completely black to clean it. It will make it much harder for you to clean. Most hardware stores have silver cleaner. A liquid cleaner is good for chains and a polishing cloth is great for larger surfaces. If you can't find a polishing cloth and you need to spruce up your Bittersweets, email us and we'll send you one!
All I really want is for you to set my stone into one of your rings. Can you do this? Yes, but there are limitations depending on the size of the stone and what we have as available as settings. If you have a stone that just happens to work with one of our settings, then BINGO! We can certainly offer you a discount. We are not responsible for any loss or damage in transit, so this is always something to keep in mind. If you are sending us a very sentimental stone, you might want to consider timing it with a trip to NY and delivering it to us in person. If you give us a general idea of the carat, we can estimate your costs. We may ask you a lot of questions about your stone before you send it just so we can get as clear of an idea of the diameter and characteristics that we can keep in mind to make you the best ring you can possibly have.
I want to recycle my gold and I think you're a jerk for not helping me. What do you think of that!? Couldn't agree more, but the truth is, it is not our business to recycle. There are people who have businesses that recycle gold, plastic, bottles, and cans. We don't, but we use a caster who only casts with recycled metals.