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Tuesday
May222012

Frequently Asked Questions

What value do you add to the bracelets?

We think the stories we gather and share are actually the biggest value added. For bracelets with lost stories, we strive to choose unique pieces that capture our imaginations and hopefully yours.

We also do a number of other things! We clean each bracelet to show its natural patina, move charms to balance their weight for a necklace, and make repairs as possible and needed. We select new sterling chain in a variety of designs for the necklace extension, each chosen specifically to complement the vintage bracelet chain.

A special feature of our necklaces is that the bracelets are attached whole, so that they can be removed and worn in their original form as bracelets as well. This means that sometimes we must have custom clasps made for the new chain that can connect up with the old. We partner with a local jeweler who loves the challenge of making it work.

Very occasionally, we remove a charm that is clearly not sterling or that clashes when the bracelet is transformed into a necklace.  We include that loose charm with your purchase if you desire it. Also very occasionally, we add a charm if there is a gap and it complements the associated story. We make this clear in the necklace write ups.

In what form do I get the story?

The essence of the story behind each necklace comes on a vintage-style folded card packed with your order. If we have more of the story or photos, we'll send that along as well. We don't share full names of the original owners unless the information is in the public domain.  See a sample at the bottom of this page. 

Why are there italics in some of the stories?

Sometimes the stories we gather from the owners have gaps, especially when it comes to the associated emotions and motivations. So to give the story resonance, we sometimes use a little literary license. If we've veered from the original story in this way, we put that part of the story in italics. That way, you know.

What is the finished size of the necklace?

The finished size varies on the size of the vintage bracelet we are incorporating. We usually add 10 inches of sterling chain, and the finished necklaces range in size from 16 to 20 inches: most are between 17 and 18 inches.  All can be made shorter upon request at no additional cost. If you would like a longer chain, we can switch that out for you at a nominal cost.

Are all the bracelets and components sterling?

It is common for charm bracelets to have a mix of sterling and nonsterling charms, but we aim to source all sterling content. Most but not all true silver charms are hallmarked, though it is common for older sterling and European silver to be unmarked.

To the best of our knowledge, all the bracelets and charms are sterling unless otherwise noted. All items priced over $150 are tested by a local jeweler so that we can guarantee the silver content. The item descriptions disclose any nonsterling charms. Not all of the jump rings are sterling, however. We generally leave soldered jump rings in place unless they are damaged.

What determines your prices?

The price of a necklace depends on several factors: our cash costs; the amount of work to clean, balance and repair a piece; the relative rarity of certain charms; the weight (a relatively small factor); and whether there is an associated story.

Our pricing goals are to cover our costs with a fair return, to keep vintage jewelry out of the scrap melt, and to keep original pieces intact, attracting buyers who appreciate the unique histories. 

I have a wonderful charm bracelet in my family. Can you make a necklace for me using it as the centerpiece?

Yes, we can for a modest cost. And we love to do this! Please inquire.


Sample story