How are the custom gems made?
North Faun keepsake gems are created using a proprietary method and contain the materials you have sent in a base of glass and powdered diamonds, with a custom-blended, clear binder. They are hard and durable, but like natural gemstones they can be scratched, chipped, or discoloured with improper care. Please see the Jewellery Care section find out how to keep your keepsake jewellery looking fresh and new.
What are the differences between the Premium & Essential Collections?
The Premium Collection is available in sterling silver, mixed metal (gold/silver), and solid gold. Premium Collection designs are North Faun's luxury line, and are created with fabulously thick precious metals which can be engraved. The Essential Collection is North Faun's affordable range, created strictly in sterling silver, with lighterweight designs. Due to the lightweight nature of the Essential Collection designs, they cannot be engraved.
What are the gem design options? How much of my materials are needed for each gem?
Below you will find the usual inclusions that are worked with in the North Faun studio as well as the design options available for each. The final look of your keepsake gem is almost entirely dependent on the materials you choose to send. This means that each gem will be unique, and unlikely to look like any other gem created in the North Faun studio. Please understand that yours, while created with the same quality and care, will be distinct and will not necessarily look like any previous gems that have been created. If you are in any way uncomfortable with the unpredictable nature of custom keepsake gems, this will not be an appropriate purchase for you. Remakes, exchanges, and refunds cannot be provided for designs containing keepsake gems that do not match your expectations of how they would look. Each gem will only be created with one type of inclusion, however you may send multiple samples. For example, you may wish for a gem that has more than one set of ashes combined, and this can absolutely be accommodated. With the exception of liquid inclusions, all unused portions of your materials will be returned home to you with your completed jewellery. Please do not send more materials than are required.
Cremation Ashes: The final colour of your memorial gem depends entirely on the unique "fingerprint" of your loved one or pets ashes, and can vary widely from shades of white, cream, tan, chocolate, grey, charcoal, or black. Your ashes will be infused with a hand-selected, colour matched shimmer created from earth mined, conflict-free powdered minerals, but will not be tinted in any way to allow the unique tones and textures of your loved one's ashes to be fully honoured. Keepsake gems created from cremation ashes will be sparkly within, and can be finished with the overlay of your choice. For in-depth information on cremation ash jewellery memorials, please see the Cremation Keepsake Gem section.
Amount required: 0.5 - 1 tsp per gem
Packaging: Triple bag your cremation ashes in good quality, thick "ziplock" style bags.
Dried Flowers: The final colour of your dried flower gem will be a slightly deeper, more saturated shade of the original petals. Your flowers will be brought down to a fine powder, preserved for colour fastness, and will be infused with a hand-selected, colour matched shimmer created from earth mined, conflict-free powdered minerals. Single colour petals will result in a fairly even-toned gem, while multi-coloured petals will result in a swirl of colours. Keepsake gems created from dried flowers will be sparkly within, but finished with a crystal clear overlay.
Amount required: 2-4 rose petals per gem (or equivalent size)
Packaging: Single bag your dried flowers in a good quality "ziplock" style bag.
Soil or Sand: The final colour of your soil or sand gem depends entirely on the unique area you have sampled from. Soil will typically fall in a range of browns, greys, or black depending on it's natural composition, while sand most often falls in the white to tan range. Your soil or sand will be infused with a hand-selected, colour matched shimmer created from earth mined, conflict-free powdered minerals, but will not be tinted in any way. Please be sure to remove any unwanted pieces from your soil or sand, or these may end up visible in your finished gem. All soil or sand should be allowed to air dry prior to sending it to the studio. Keepsake gems created from dried flowers will be sparkly within, but finished with a crystal clear overlay.
Amount required: 0.5 - 1 tsp per gem
Packaging: Triple bag your dried soil or sand in good quality, thick "ziplock" style bags.
Locks of hair: The final colour of your lock of hair may appear slightly darker when encased in it's keepsake gem, while in the case of very light hair it may become more translucent. Extremely light hair can be harder to see in your gem. Lock of hair keepsake gems will have a "background" of your choice, consisting of either opal leaf, champagne shimmer, or pearl shimmer, and any background can have small flecks of metallic leaf infused throughout. Please note that the exact placement of your lock of hair cannot be guaranteed. Hair may move, curl, or straighten itself as the gem hardens, and this depends on the natural texture and style of the hair. Your lock of hair should be clean, brushed, and neatly tied together with a small piece of string. Please be sure to remove any unwanted fluff or other debris from your lock of hair, or these may end up visible in your finished gem. Keepsake gems created with locks of hair will be sparkly within, but finished with a crystal clear overlay.
Amount required: 1" long section (minimum) per gem
Packaging: Single bag your neatly tied lock of hair in a good quality "ziplock" style bag.
Breast Milk: Your breast milk will be preserved in it's entirety to create your keepsake gem. In the creation of breast milk jewellery, the fine powdered diamonds are omitted with additional glass taking their place. The final colour, translucency or opacity depends on the colour of the milk sample you send, so the design options may look somewhat different in your custom gem than in the examples below. For both opal leaf and genuine crushed opal, less milk is used to ensure a translucent look that allows the opal colours to shine through. Keepsake gems created from breast milk will be natural within, and can be finished with the overlay of your choice. Breast milk gems created with a genuine opal or opal leaf infusion will be finished with a crystal clear overlay.
Amount required: 15-30ml per gem
Packaging: Triple bag your breast milk in good quality breast milk storage bags.
Birth Inclusions: Your baby's umbilical cord will be brought down to a mix of flakes & powder, and infused with either champagne or pearl shimmer depending on if you'd prefer a warm or cool tone in your final piece. If you are opting to preserve a part of your baby's placenta in a keepsake gem, your dried, powdered placenta will be infused with a hand-selected, colour matched shimmer created from earth mined, conflict-free powdered minerals, but will not be tinted in any way. Keepsake gems created from birth inclusions will be sparkly within, but finished with a crystal clear overlay. All birth inclusions must be sent completely dry, and placenta must be in powdered form only.
Amount required: 1/2 of one cord stump or 0.5 tsp of powdered placenta per gem
Packaging: Single bag your sample of umbilical cord in a good quality "ziplock" style bag. Triple bag your powdered placenta in good quality, thick "ziplock" style bags.
How do I send my materials to the studio?
Please be ready to send your keepsake gem inclusions shortly after placing your order. Inclusions are requested to be at the studio within 30 days to ensure a smooth workflow. Inclusions that arrive significantly after this 30 day mark may have an extended turnaround time. All inclusions should be clearly labelled as to what they are, as well as your name and order number. Place your labelled, well-packaged items in a padded envelope and send to the address below. It is heavily recommended that you add tracking to your package so that you can keep an eye on it as it makes its way to the studio.
Canada: Packages being sent from within Canada require no special forms or declarations and can be sent as usual.
USA, UK, & Australia: All packages coming from the outside of Canada MUST be sent via your national postal company. Packages sent via courier (such as FedEx, UPS, etc) will have brokerage/import fees applied as they enter Canada, and these packages will be refused and returned home to you so that you may re-send them. Your customs declaration should be accurately filled out and should be declared as a gift with a value of $1, as North Faun has not purchased these inclusions from you and their value is sentimental only. Any fees owed on packages that are mistakenly accepted/not returned back to you will be invoiced to you. Your order processing time cannot begin until these fees are paid.
Send your inclusions to:
510 – 3336 Portage Ave
Winnipeg Locals: If you are in or around Winnipeg and would prefer to personally drop of your packaged inclusions, you are welcome to do so. The North Faun mailing address above is a staffed UPS counter and they are happy to accept drop offs during their business hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm & Sat 10am-3pm. These hours are subject to change and not under the control of North Faun. Please package and label your items as outlined above, as the staff will not handle unpackaged inclusions and may refuse to accept them if they are not in a sealed, addressed envelope. Please note that although I'd love to connect with all NF clients in person, my schedule unfortunately does not allow for me to do so and as such, even local orders will be returned via Canada Post.