METALS + GEMSTONES
What types of metals are used?
North Faun works only with solid precious metals: silver and gold. You will never find plated, vermeil, or gold-filled metals here. All metals used in the studio are earth friendly and are sourced from a single North American refinery which uses strictly recycled precious metals, to avoid the environmental impacts of newly mined precious metals. Please note that due to the toxic process involved, white metals in the North Faun studio are never rhodium plated. Metal qualities and karats offered for a particular piece will be noted in each listing.
What types of gems and diamonds are used?
North Faun is committed to social & environmental responsibility and as such offers several types of ethical gemstones and diamonds, such as lab created, lab grown, and responsibly sourced earth-mined gems. Cut, quality, and type of gemstones are noted in each applicable listing.
☆ Lab created gems are either corundum or spinel, created in appropriate colours. For example, the lab created ruby used in the North Faun studio is corundum in the perfect medium pinkish-red. These are earth friendly as no mining is required, and are the most economical option.
☆ Lab grown gems are genuine stones - they are physically, chemically, and optically indistinguishable from earth-mined gems. The process of their growth is the same as earth-mined stones, it is simply sped up in a lab setting. These are earth friendly due to the lack of mining. Lab grown gems are more costly than lab created gems, however they are significantly less than earth-mined gems. Lab grown gemstones are offered alongside the more expensive gems: ruby, sapphire, emerald, alexandrite, and diamonds.
☆ Earth mined gems used in the North Faun studio are always ethical. For high grade faceted stones, they are sourced from one supplier which adheres strictly to responsible sourcing guidelines and guarantees that all stones are conflict free. With regards to diamonds, although North Faun uses Canadian diamonds whenever possible, all diamonds used in the studio comply with the strict and highly regulated Kimberley Process. Other gemstones, such as those from the North Faun private collection, are purchased from independent lapidary artisans who source their rough with safety and ethics in mind, and cut beautiful stones for which they are paid a fair price.
Can my old gold, gemstones, or existing setting be used?
For liability and insurance purposes, no client-provided metals, stones, or settings can be accepted for use in the North Faun studio.
What do I need to know before I order?
As it can be difficult to order online as opposed to purchasing jewellery in person, please take note of the gem size, ring band dimensions, or other measurements stated in the listings you are interested in, and use a device capable of measuring in millimetres to ensure a full understanding of the size of the piece(s) you are ordering to avoid surprise. If you feel there is a measurement missing from the listing, please Contact North Faun prior to ordering for clarification.
How do I find my ring size?
When ordering rings, please be 110% certain of your ring size prior to placing your order. It is recommended that you visit a physical jewellery shop to be professionally sized in person, using a sizing band in the width of the listing you are considering. Width is an important factor in being sized, as different band widths can fit the same finger differently. Please note that online sizing charts, measuring an existing ring, or attempting to measure your finger at home may have highly inaccurate results. North Faun rings are created in standard North American sizes, and cannot provide any type of return or exchange for rings ordered in the incorrect size.
Can my ring be resized?
Due to the hand fabricated nature of North Faun jewellery, most ring designs cannot be resized without rebuilding a portion of your ring. In the case of rings containing keepsake gems, these rings cannot be resized as the gems are unable to withstand the heat required in the traditional sizing process, and as such will need to be created again from scratch in your new size. Due to these factors, North Faun does not offer resizing services. If you have a North Faun ring that requires resizing, it is recommended that you seek out an experienced laser welder local to you to discuss if they are able to assist you. This is a specialized piece of equipment that allows for resizing without heat.
Do you create custom designs?
With rare exception, North Faun does not create custom designs due to scheduling limitations. However, please feel free to send an email with reference drawings if you would like to inquire about the possibility. Please note that making slight alterations to existing designs is not considered "custom" and can often be accommodated - simply get in touch beforehand for a quote.
How does this work?
It's easy! Simply purchase the listing you're interested in and then follow the instructions on the Sending Your Inclusions page to get your special materials in to the studio. Once your package has been received, the magic begins and your custom keepsake will ship home to you once it's completed. It is requested that you have your inclusions in to the studio within 30 days of ordering. If you will be unable to send your inclusions within this timeframe, please consider waiting to order until such a time that you will be able to send them promptly.
What materials can I send for my custom gem?
Currently the inclusions accepted for custom gem creation are: cremation ashes, dried flowers, sand or soil, birth inclusions such as powdered placenta or dried umbilical cord, and breast milk. Occasionally other materials may be accepted, so please feel free to Contact North Faun if you'd like to discuss materials not listed here.
What are the gems created from?
Your keepsake gem is created using a proprietary blend of genuine powdered diamonds, glass, a professional clear binding agent and of course - the professionally preserved inclusions that you've sent. Breast milk (or formula) gems have the powdered diamonds omitted, but you may opt to have these gems created in a base of genuine opals.
How long does it take to receive my keepsake?
Turnaround time varies throughout the year depending on the current volume of orders at any given time. Currently the turnaround time, which begins once your inclusions have arrived at the studio, is 10-12 weeks. This does not include the transit time for your package to arrive home to you.
SHIPPING + RETURNS
How will my package be shipped?
All packages are shipped via Canada Post, and are tracked from start to finish. Due to the monetary and sentimental value of your package, lower cost, untracked shipping options are not available. Shipping is available within Canada, to the US, to Australia, and to the UK. Orders from outside of Canada may have additional taxes, duties, or other fees applied, which are not under the control of North Faun. These taxes, duties, and/or fees are imposed by the government of the receiving country, and it is the clients responsibility to understand their local import laws. Please ensure your shipping address is entered correctly when checking out, as North Faun does not provide any type of refunds for packages that are misdelivered due to an incorrect address being provided. Please note as well that shipping times found at checkout are provided by Canada Post and should be considered an estimate only - a specific date cannot be guaranteed. Please note that during the current public health crisis, Canada Post is not currently guaranteeing shipping times nor are they collecting signatures at the door. Please be aware as well that packages leaving Canada may be held at your local customs office for a time before being released to your local postal service. Transit times listed here or at the checkout must be considered estimates only. Exact delivery dates cannot be guaranteed.
What is the return policy?
Items that are made to your specifications, such as those with a custom keepsake gem, items which are engraved, rings made to a requested size, or otherwise made to order are strictly final sale. These are items that are custom created just for you and cannot be returned or exchanged unless a clear mistake has been made in the studio, in which case a replacement item will be created for you upon receiving the original item back in it's original condition.
Can I visit the studio to see the jewellery in person?
Unfortunately not. For liability and insurance purposes, North Faun clients are not able to be present in the studio. In addition, all completed pieces belong to customers and for reasons of respect they are not available for viewing or handling by anyone else before they ship out. North Faun operates strictly online.
Can I deliver my inclusions instead of shipping them?
Absolutely! You can find the details for local drop offs on the Sending Your Inclusions page. Please note that even within the city of Winnipeg, all orders will be shipped back to you by Canada Post. North Faun does not offer pick up or personal delivery of packages at this time.
How do I care for my jewellery?
All jewellery, handmade or mass produced, can be delicate. While North Faun is proud to provide solidly constructed pieces meant to last a lifetime, any piece of jewellery can be damaged with improper care or by accident.
☆ Remove your jewellery before physical activity or sleeping. Be it running, gardening, or moving furniture, your jewellery can be bumped or snagged during physical activities and during sleep. Chains can break, gemstones can be damaged or lost, and metal can be dented or scratched.
☆ Remove your jewellery before showering, swimming, or other wet activities. Minerals or chemicals (such as chlorine) in the water can dull and degrade your metal or gemstones.
☆ Remove your jewellery before a day in the sun. Both natural and keepsake gems can fade, darken, or otherwise discolour with exposure to sunlight. Sapphires, rubies, amethyst, citrine, topaz, and keepsake gems are particularly susceptible to this.
☆ Avoid exposing your jewellery to sudden temperature changes, harsh chemicals, lotions or perfumes, bumps, scratches and drops. Gemstones can become dull or discoloured, crack or chip, and metals can become marred.
☆ When not being worn, clean your jewellery gently to remove any oils or debris and store individually in a plastic zippered bag to avoid unwanted oxidization ("tarnish") or being scratched against other pieces of jewellery.
☆ Clean your jewellery carefully. A polishing cloth can be used on gold or silver jewellery to restore it's shine and remove any unwanted oxidization. Please note that if your jewellery has purposefully been oxidized, a polishing cloth will remove this as well. You can clean gemstones and purposefully oxidized pieces with a very mild clear soap and room temperature water. Please do not use any types of "dips" or liquid cleaning solutions on your North Faun jewellery.
☆ Check your jewellery carefully before and after wearing. Make sure that it is clean and that stones remain tight.
☆ Precious metals, including silver and lower karat gold, can oxidize or "tarnish". Oxidization is a reaction between the metals and moisture and sulfur in the air and will temporarily darken the metal. Tarnish is not harmful nor is it permanent - it's a natural occurrence and can easily be cleaned off with a polishing cloth and kept at bay by storing your clean, dry jewellery in an airtight bag when not being worn.
What about repairs?
Please understand that any damage, including daily wear and tear, occurring to your jewellery once it has left the studio is the sole responsibility of the client. North Faun is not responsible for any type of damage, including chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged/lost gemstones once it is in the hands of the client. Please be aware that some stones are softer than others, such as turquoise, opal, and keepsake gems, and will require a higher degree of careful care. If you require a repair on your North Faun jewellery, please send an email with clear photos and a detailed description of the issue so that it can be determined if a repair is possible. Repair work has a minimum charge of $90CAD + shipping.