Please email info@southjewellery.co.uk or direct message @south.jewellery on Instagram for enquiries. If you have not heard back from us after 2 working days, please check your junk email folder. Many thanks, Bex & Ali

Frequently asked questions

Is South Jewellery an ethical & sustainable jeweller?

YES! We strongly believe in being an ethical & sustainable business and we do everything in our power to achieve this. Please click on "Ethics & Sustainability Statement" in our footer menu at the bottom of this page for more information.

Do you make bespoke commissions?

We sure do! As a bespoke jeweller, handcrafting bespoke commissions is what we spending 99% of our time doing and we LOVE it! Please click on "Bespoke Commissions" in our navigation menu at the top of this page for more information.

How do I measure my ring size?

Ring sizes are measured alphabetically from A to Z in the UK. To find out your ring size, we can send a professional ring sizing kit directly to your home and offer our expert assistance free of charge.

Can my ring be resized?

Yes, both silver and gold rings can be resized in almost all cases. However, we strongly advise that we try our very best to get the correct ring size first time round by measuring the finger with a ring sizing kit or secretly measuring a current ring with a ring sizing stick. It is best to measure your finger multiple times throughout the day when your hands are hot & cold over the period of 3 to 4 days to gain an accurate overall size. Due to the nature of sea glass rings, ring resizes require labour intensive specialist expertise and tools to safely resize the ring whilst protecting the sea glass. Ring resizes vary in price from £125 to £275 dependent on the design, intricacy & precious metal. We are always happy to help & advise.

What is sea glass?

Sea glass is weathered glass that is found on beaches after being washed up by the waves that crash on our shores and by the currents that travel along our coastlines. The oceans natural weathering processes create naturally shaped, frosted and textured glass. Sea glass can take between 5 to 50 years and in some cases up to 100 plus years to acquire its desirable characteristics, thus allowing it to be considered sea glass.

Sea glass originates from many products such as vases, art glass, bottles, kitchenwear and ornaments which have been discarded into the ocean. Every piece of sea glass is exclusive and unique in its own way due to this. Sea glass comes in a huge variety of stunning colours and shapes. Sea glass rarity and value are tied to the simple rule of supply and demand. The more rare the sea glass colour, the greater the likelihood that there is a very limited and exclusive supply of that colour to be found on our beaches. Our basic guide to sea glass colour rarity is as followed:

Treasure Chest
A piece of flawless sea glass that combines all of the most desirable characteristics which equate to a true once in a lifetime find.

Legendary
Tealquoise | Rainbow | Multicoloured | Galaxy | Marbles | Patterened

Ultra Rare
Purple | Turquoise | Red | Yellow | Orange | Pirate Black | Teal | Grey | Pink | Green Blue | Electric Shades | Midnight Shades

Rare
Aqua | Cobalt Blue | Cornflower Blue | Storm Blue | Milk Glass | Flash Glass

Unfrequent
Amber | Sea Foam Green | Green

Frequent
White | Brown | Olive Green

Other sea glass characteristics such as shape, age, size, texture, condition, location, and patterns also contribute to sea glass rarity and value.

When we handcarve sea glass into an artisan shape, we leave the surface & part of the sea glass that you will see once it is set in your jewellery completely original & untouched. This maintains the beautiful texture and frosting which has been weathered into the surface of the sea glass from many years spent adrift in the ocean. 

Unless you send your own beautiful piece of sea glass to us to be made into a piece of jewellery, the majority of the sea glass we use in our jewellery has been proudly beachcombed by ourselves.

When we first started South Jewellery we did not use sea glass that had been found by others and given to us or purchase sea glass from professional beachcombers that live in sea glass hotspots where rare colours are much more likely to be found. We originally found value in the idea that all of the sea glass we used was found by ourselves. However, as sea glass levels continue to rapidly decline we have realised this is simply not possible or sustainable anymore. As it stands, we are currently beachcombing hauls that are only 20% as fruitful as they were 8 years ago when we first started beachcombing. That's right, our sea glass hauls used to be 5 times as good as they are now! After feedback from many clients, we realised that sea glass colour, quality and of course its origin being the sea tops all other desirable aspects unless it is a sentimental piece of sea glass that the client found themselves. Due to this feedback, we now outsource to other trusted UK beachcombers as well as a few abroad beachcombers for specific sea glass colours if we do not have them in stock in our own Cornish collection. These relationships have been built on trust and transparency which allow us to continue to offer the best quality and selection of sea glass. Please let us know if you have a particular preference as to what location the sea glass was found.

How will you handcraft my jewellery?

The majority of our jewellery is hand forged. Hand forged is the most traditional way of making handcrafted jewellery. In simple terms, silver or gold is melted into an ingot and a design is drawn or formed in the mind of the jeweller. The silver or gold is then rolled, hammered, pressed, bent, formed and different components are soldered together to make the finished piece of jewellery.

A small amount of our jewellery is made using a technique which we refer to as basic casting. With some high value or intricate designs, this process can result in a stronger, more tarnish resistant, and sustainable piece of jewellery. There are two ways to do this. First of all, a design can be hand carved in jewellers wax. Second of all, a basic design is hand forged in recycled silver. A mould is then made around the wax or silver design. Molten silver or gold is then poured into the mould to create a basic but unfinished peice of jewellery from the initial wax or silver design. We only cast designs in their most basic jewellery design form because this then allows us to finish the majority of the processes by hand which adds to the uniqueness and exclusivity of the piece. The finishing process can include but is not limited to, soldering shanks to settings, soldering various basic castings together, work hardening the precious metal, shaping, sizing and texturing the band, sanding and polishing, burring and cutting the holes for gemstones or sea glass, setting the gemstones or sea glass. All basic cast pieces cost us more to produce and take more time to handcraft overall but some high value designs do greatly benefit from this way of making as the basic cast piece reduces or has no solder joins. Lots of solder joins are prone to tarnish and can be the structually weakest part of the design. At our discretion and with our expert knowledge, we create every piece jewellery with optimum function and durability in mind so you can be sure that your jewellery will last a lifetime and our chosen handcrafting methods reflect this. Finally, you will never see a high street looking piece of jewellery leave our studio. Every piece we make is completely hand forged or occasionally a basic casting is made that is then more than 75% hand finished. There will also be individual subtle makers marks on every piece of jewellery which come from the numerous handcrafting processes which makes every piece of jewellery unique in its own way and one of a kind.

What are ocean inspired jewellery finishes, ring textures & hidden textures?

Jewellery Finishes: First of all, you can choose from a traditonal highly polished finish or a rustic looking satin finish. Highly polished is where the jewellery is polished with soft brushes which create a bright reflective shine and is our standard jewellery finish 99% of the time. A satin finish can be requested instead and is where the jewellery is polished with abrasive brushes which create tiny scratches for a non reflective soft glow. For rings, you can also choose a desired textured as outlined below.

Ring Texture Smooth Ocean: The band is sanded smooth and has no texture. This is the traditional ring finish and is comparable to a tidal pools surface on a perfectly flat & calm day when there is no wind.

Ring Texture Hammered Ocean: The band is hammered with a ball-peen hammer which leaves unique dents in the band. This finish looks like the oceans rippling & textured surface when there is a gentle breeze of wind.

Ring Texture Hammered Storm: The band is beaten with a piece of reef that we found at the most storm battered harbour in the South West, Porthleven after one of the biggest storms of the century. This rustic finish looks like weathered rock and reef.

Hidden Textures: All of the jewellery that we handcraft will also have hidden & subtle textures. After completing a highly polished finish with traditonal jewellers rouge, every piece of jewellery then gets burnished inside a barrel tumbler with a fine steel pin shot which creates a very subtle sand like texture on the surface of the precious metal. This can only be noticed under magnification but it adds another beach inspired element to our designs. Almost all of the jewellery we make uses our signature thick bezel or flush settings to secure the sea glass, diamond or precious gemstone in place. This is done by hammering the gold or silver bezel walls over the top of the stone to permanently secure it. Bezel & flush settings are the most secure and labour intensive type of settings to make in jewellery. After the gold or silver is hammered over the edge of the stone to secure it in place, the top of the bezel is then sanded & polished smooth and the inside edge of the bezel is neatened up with a tool called a graver. The graver cuts a smooth clean reflective line around the inside of the bezels edge. This is called a bright cut. To add another ocean inspired texture to our bezel & flush settings, we do a textured bright cut. This is created by using a graver that has been sharpened and then textured with sand from a Cornish beach which means that every textured bright cut will look ever so slightly different. Finally, instead of using a traditional polishing drill bit, we use a handcrafted Cornish sand infused drill bit to texture the very inside of our bezels before the stone is set. This is unnoticeable and hidden once the stone has been set but adds further ocean inspired exclusivity and uniqueness to the piece of jewellery. After all, it is these little carefully thought out details and processes that make our ocean inspired handcrafted jewellery special and unique whilst being distinctly different to a traditional high street jeweller.

Why do you use high-end palladium 18ct white gold and not traditional 18ct white gold?

18ct White gold that is alloyed with a high palladium content is a far superior, hypoallergenic, brighter, stronger and more durable option to traditional 18ct white gold that is alloyed with nickel which also needs a rhodium plated finish. Because of palladium 18ct white golds naturally white colour and durability, it is the best choice for the above reasons and because it requires far less maintenance than traditional 18ct white gold that has been alloyed with nickel.

Gold has a naturally warm, yellow color. All 18ct white gold jewellery has other metals alloyed or mixed into it to improve durability and achieve a white finish. In the case of an 18ct gold piece of jewellery, 75% is pure gold and the other 25% is a mixture of other metals.

Traditional white gold is alloyed with nickel to give it a whiter appearance. Nickel is a hard yet cheap metal which has made it a popular choice amongst manufacturers and highstreet shops. Traditional white gold has a dull, grey appearance with a yellow undertone. To achieve a white look, traditional white gold jewellery is plated with a thin layer of rhodium to help combat tarnish and help prevent allergic reactions to nickel. Freshly plated traditional white gold jewellery has a sparkly, white colour but it does not last. When the rhodium plating starts to wear off, you will notice a much duller appearance and yellowing of the metal. Once this occurs, a jeweller will have to re-plate your jewellery with rhodium at a yearly cost of £30 to £60.

At South Jewellery we only use the most premium materials which is why we choose to only use palladium white gold to achieve its white colour which is similar in colour to platinum. Palladium also belongs to the platinum family of metals so it shares the unique benefits of being extremely resistant to scratches and tarnish. As it doesn’t require rhodium plating and does not tarnish, it requires far less maintenance than traditional white gold and will keep its colour forever. Simply put, palladium white gold is almost completely maintenance free and the superior precious metal for handcrafted jewellery that will last a lifetime.

How do I care for my jewellery?

Sea glass can be easily cleaned using washing up liquid & water with a cloth or toothbrush. All of our jewellery is made from 925 sterling silver, 9ct gold, 14ct gold or 18ct gold. Silver & gold jewellery can naturally tarnish very slowly over time due to various reasons but do not worry, it can always be cleaned. We advise that you purchase a silver or gold anti tarnish polishing cloth and give your jewellery a light polish from time to time. We also strongly advise that you do not let your silver or gold jewellery come into contact with salt or chemicals so its best to keep your jewellery away from salt water, swimming pools and household & cleaning products to prevent accelerated tarnishing. Finally, you should follow the simple rules of last to put on (After make up/perfume!) and first to take off (Before showers/activities!). If you follow the above advice, you'll keep your jewellery looking as good as new. If you have any questions about caring for your jewellery, please feel free to ask us for advice.

With all of our jewellery that uses closed bezel settings, it is extremely important that you follow the above guidelines. Despite aqua sealing all of our bezel settings, if salt or chemicals do manage to get inside the bezel underneath the sea glass, it can cause black tarnish underneath the sea glass on the silver or gold, thus causing an undesired effect. The chances of this happening with our aqua seal is less than 1% but please do not take the risk. Deep cleaning and resetting a bezel is a time-consuming and very costly process that can be completely avoided if your jewellery is cared for properly. For high value jewellery over £350, we dedicate the additonal time, skill and labour in handcrafting open back bezel settings which do not have a closed back bezel, therefore do not require aqua sealing. They can be carefully cleaned by being soaked in warm water with washing up liquid and then gently scrubbed with a soft bristle toothbrush. For a deep clean, the jewellery can be cleaned by a professional jeweller in an ultrasonic cleaning machine but this must be done with care to prevent damaging the stones.

How will my jewellery be delivered?

We post all of our jewellery by UK Royal Mail Special Delivery - Guaranteed Next Working Day - GPS Tracked & Signed For & Fully Insured.

What if I need to return an order?

We pride ourselves in satisfying our customers, we accept returns on all stock orders. You need to contact us within 14 days after you have received your order to be eligible for a refund. We do not accept returns on bespoke orders unless agreed otherwise.

If you have any questions or would like to return an order, please contact us at info@southjewellery.co.uk for our delivery address and details on how to safely return your order. Please refer to our "Refund Policy" for full details.

I have another question...

No problem at all, we are always happy to help. Please click on "Contact Us" in our footer menu at the bottom of this page for more information on how to get in contact with us.

Bex & Ali
Founders & Executive Directors