Here are our answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Our definition is very simple. Exclusive jewelry is never reproduced a second time. Once you’ve chosen the design for your piece, it will be entirely dedicated to you, and the design will not be presented to anyone else. Reproductions, either real or virtual, sketches and drawings of the piece in question will be removed from all our communications unless we receive your opposite and explicit authorization. This is the case of the creations presented here with authorization from our customers. Note that we also remove the piece from our project catalogue.
Yes. We cannot guarantee exclusivity for rings and jewelry that are part of the public domain like the simple solitaire ring with four prongs, the standard Pompadour ring, wedding bands, princess wedding bands, the male signet ring and ear studs. These classic pieces have already been reproduced thousands of times as they are part of a time-honored tradition. We, of course, also create these types of pieces if that is your wish. Nevertheless, we try to find a little twist to add to still make your piece unique.
We cultivate this discretion because we believe that luxurious objects like jewelry must remain intimate and personal. We want our customers to feel that we respect them. A large distribution would counter our commitment to exclusivity, for the more a message is broadcast, the more it is copied. We use Internet to allow our customers to find us and contact us, and not as a showcase for our creations. We wish to be known solely to true connoisseurs.
That’s an emphatic no. To begin with, our pricing structure is completely different from the one used by the brand names of jewelry. The luxurious brands multiply the cost price by seven to twelve to obtain products with enormous margins.* Nearly 50% of their price is re-injected into marketing and sales infrastructure to which enormous net profits are added. We don’t do any marketing and our boutique is discreet. Our goal is to become a private brand known only to connoisseurs.
However, like brand names, our primary materials are the same, and these prices are set by the gold and diamond markets. Our workmanship is, of course, more expensive, because we produce everything in the artisan tradition, exclusively in Geneva, following Swiss quality standards, but also because we take the time—the time to listen to you and the time to craft carefully.
Some study and creation costs have, however, greatly diminished thanks to new technology. In particular, computer-assisted design allows us to quickly adapt to what you want and easily integrate changes, conduct technical feasibility studies and produce high-end presentation supports.
The other technical improvement is laser welding, which now saves us an enormous amount of time when assembling the pieces. Before, each piece had to be positioned one in relation to the other by imprints in plaster. When heated during welding, the plaster would crack and move, forcing the artisan to start over. Today, pieces are positioned and fixed one in relation to the other with a laser welding point. As a result, during the torch welding, pieces no longer move.
These two technologies have allowed us to reduce the cost of workmanship and make made-to-measure and unique pieces that are not any more expensive than mass-production pieces made by brand names.
*Source: journalist Dana Thomas in the book by Fabio Bonavita, Qui a tué le luxe?
Once again, our discretion and exclusive approach dictate our action. In our boutique, we have a complete catalogue that can be perused freely, in which we showcase all our ideas, sketches and designs for various pieces of jewelry. All the pieces presented there have never been executed before.
No. We foster human contact. Almost without exception, when a person enters our boutique to talk about their project, their first idea evolves throughout our discussions and the final result will be different from what was first expressed and closer to what the person truly desires. We don’t want the purchase of a piece of jewelry to be limited to an impersonal online purchase, with no contact, like a book or a pair of shoes. Moreover, on-line purchasing would generate traffic around our pieces, whereas our wish is to ensure the exclusivity of our pieces and prevent the possibility of copies being made.
The ultimate key phrase for us in any project is: "taking the time". First, taking the time to listen to you carefully, to understand what you truly desire, to analyze the reason for it, to specify your message, to define the style you’re looking for, to get a good feel of your personal tastes… This will be the most important step to ensure that the final result meets your full satisfaction. This takes place over two or three meetings during which we talk mostly about you and where we translate your expectations into drawings and designs.
Once the project is properly defined artistically, technically and financially, we move on to the execution phase, which starts with looking for and choosing the gemstones. There again, you are the focus of our methodology since you are the one choosing the stones, but we are by your side to assist you in all your choices.
Your piece is then crafted in our workshop, with all the precision and time needed to guarantee irreproachable quality. The piece is set by the best setters in Geneva.
Finally, your piece is polished and shined in our workshops so that it expresses its full beauty. The last step—the most agreeable one—is the moment you take possession of your jewel.
Come see us! Stones can be unset and recut if necessary. Gold can be recycled. Both can be given a new life. The initial symbolism of a piece of jewelry disappears once it is recast and stones can be used in another piece that will take on a whole new symbolism.
Yes, we often meet our customers elsewhere, mostly in hotels where customers have been referred to us by the hotels themselves. We come to discuss the progress of a project. However, the first meeting always takes place in our boutique to make initial contact with you and understand your desires. The delivery of the final piece of jewelry also takes place in our premises in case any slight adjustment is required. When we come to you, we take nothing of value with us.
Because we frequently visit our customers elsewhere, and also to ensure the privacy of the people present in our boutique, we prefer that you come by appointment. We can therefore prepare the meeting to better meet your needs. We also strive to ensure the privacy and discreet nature of the meeting.
Nowadays, the term precious stone is no longer accurate. The term was used in the past to describe the most expensive stones, such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Today, however, many stones known as semi-precious, like tanzanite, alexandrite and tsavorite, have a market value equal to if not greater than certain of these precious gemstones. The variety of gemstones used in jewelry has greatly expanded. The criteria for using a gemstone in jewelry include its aspect, beauty and toughness (i.e., its physical capacity to resist scratching and pressure exerted during setting). Some stones have a very low market value, such as quartz, amethyst and citrine, and are largely used in mass-produced jewelry. They often replace precious gemstones to allow brands to maintain or increase their profit margins.
When we develop a project, we establish an offer once the final goal has been well defined. However, the offer only rarely includes the price of the center stone. In our process, we allow you to choose your stone from among a group of stones we recommend. Given the great differences in price between stones, it seems most logical for us not to include the price of the stone in the final offer, unless the stone has already been chosen at this stage of the study. Nevertheless, we provide you with a price range so you can budget your purchase.
Diamonds are a safe haven. Their value is determined by the market and their daily share price is determined by the purchases and sales conducted in diamond trading, similarly to the prices given to stocks or the prices of raw material. Over the last 20 years, their value has climbed steadily. We have even noted a strong increase in their value during times of recession. Their stability is greater than that of gold or platinum.
The answer to that is normally yes. Diamonds resist scratches, light shocks, rubbing, etc. However, they do have a weakness. Diamonds are composed of a crystal that has a well-defined chemical composition (carbon crystal). This composition includes structures that are layered one on top of the other to form planes, also called cleavage planes. A diamond can be cut according to these planes by exposing it to a shock parallel to the plane. If you unfortunately hit the diamond against a sharp and solid object right at the border of one of these planes, your diamond may crack in two. Luckily, its elasticity means this impact must usually be repeated several times for it to split. We therefore do not recommend wearing your diamonds while you’re doing activities where they may be exposed to a strong impact, like in some sports.
The answer to that is yes! Some brands have made them their trademark, with diamonds being replaced by crystal and lead glass. These recognized brands make their customers believe through valid marketing methods that the stones used are precious. Fortunately, in jewelry, the number of stones that can be passed off as diamonds is very limited for three reasons:
1. In most cases, over 90% of the time, the stone is an imitation, and a simple analysis using gemology equipment (which we have in our workshops) is enough to detect a fake. Diamonds have a certain refraction and density, certain specific inclusions and are electrical conductors. If the stone does not present these characteristics, it is not a diamond.
2. The cost of producing fake diamonds is often higher than the cost of extracting real diamonds from a mine.
3. Recognized gemology laboratories can detect all fake diamonds. This is why it’s essential to see a reputed diamond dealer and obtain a certificate from one of five independent laboratories (GIA, HRD, LFG, SSEF, GRS) recognized by the World Jewellery Confederation, CIBJO.
We always provide a certificate for valuable stones. Generally speaking, starting at 0.5 carats for diamonds and 2.0 carats for valuable stones from the family of rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Each stone may have its certificate, but certification is quite expensive—over 500.- CHF/EUR. The reason for this is the large number of analyses necessary to rate the stone. We only work with stones that are certified by the following laboratories: GIA (Gemological Institute of America, California, USA), HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant, Anvers, Belgium), LFG (Laboratoire Français de Gemmologie, Paris, France), SSEF (Institut Suisse de Gemmologie - Schweizerisches Gemmologisches Institut, Bâle, Switzerland) and the GRS (Gem Research Swisslab, Lucerne, Switzerland). All these laboratories are independent and recognized by the World Jewellery Confederation, CIBJO. All other certificates have no value since they are issued by the stone suppliers themselves, who are basically certifying the quality of a stone that they wish to sell at the best price. Some large brands use this method of in-house certification, backed by their prestige, to sell gemstones of lesser value at a good price.
Yes. Often, after several years, stones end up with blunt edges. For example, this frequently happens with engagement rings set with a blue sapphire (Pompadour style ring). In such cases, we unset the stone and rework it. This work removes only a very fine layer of the stone. With the edges squared off, your stone will sparkle anew.
Yes. Some stones are, in fact, very fragile. Emeralds are a perfect example. Emeralds are formed in a cavity filled with gas. This gas solidifies and forms stones along the walls of the cavity, leaving the interior empty. There is then an implosion in the cavity that ends up cracking the emeralds. This is why emeralds almost always have mossy or garden-like inclusions. Since these inclusions are cracks, emeralds risk breaking at the slightest shock. Other fragile stones include tourmaline. We can recommend gemstones and guide you in choosing the stones for your piece given this criterion.
Even though jewelry is made of metal and hard stones, it is very fragile because of how it is made. For example, a stone is held in place thanks to a tiny grain of gold that locks it in the cavity created for it. If this grain is broken after receiving a shock, the stone can fall out. Rings and bracelets are, of course, subject to the most impacts. A good piece of advice is to take off your rings and bracelets during activities where they may be subject to impact: gardening, cleaning, arts and crafts, moving, etc. Sinks are also dangerous places for rings! One last tip: always remove or put on your jewelry over something soft— a bed, pillow, soft cloth, etc. Never over a bathroom sink or table or when standing on a hard floor, to avoid that it hit something very solid should it fall.
When cleaning jewelry, it is very important to take into consideration the type of stone on the piece. Some techniques are totally wrong for some stones: for example, ultrasonic cleaning can crack emeralds. Ask for advice before thoroughly cleaning any piece of jewelry. You can safely clean most rings with water (maximum 40°C), a little soap and a soft toothbrush, with the exception of emerald rings where the soap will remove the oils that protect the gem. We offer lifelong cleaning (once a year) for the jewelry we create. A simple visit to our shop is all it takes.
Bring it to us. We’ll look at the damage and tell you what can be done to make your ring beautiful again. Sometimes all it takes is rubbing it with a slightly abrasive paper and polishing it afterwards. Or if the scratch is deeper, we may need to add gold or platinum on the outside. Modern techniques allow us to undertake this repair without any problem.
Gemstones used in jewelry do not undergo changes in clarity, color or transparency with the effects of time and light. The cause is a substance, often soap, stuck on the stone’s cab (the bottom of the stone), which is preventing light from passing through. All you need to do is clean the back of the ring with a soft toothbrush or come to us to have it cleaned with high-pressure steam, which does not damage the gemstones at all.
Pearls come from a living organism and can deteriorate over time. They are most sensitive to dryness and heat. Unfortunately, without ventilation, the interiors of our airtight safes are often very dry. We recommend placing a glass of water in your safe next to the pearls. Pearls must be nourished and they strive in humidity. The best nourishment for pearls is the natural oil from human skin, which is why it is recommended to wear pearls against your skin. The best place for pearls is in the bathroom because of the humidity. However, this can damage the thread of the necklace. It is therefore advised to rethread rows of pearls every 10-20 years. Unfortunately, some very acid skins spoil the pearls. In this case, it is better to wear them on a blouse or a sweater.
While our premises are well protected by the latest monitoring and security systems, we prefer not to keep your gemstones at our location for insurance purposes. In general, we examine your gemstones, take their profile, weight and dimensions, and return them to you. When the time comes for setting, which does not take place at our premises in Geneva, we take possession of your gemstones to have them set.
In order to remain true to our edict "The Art of Exclusive Jewelry Creation", we only produce made-to-measure and unique pieces. Each project is different. We therefore do not need to keep an inventory. Only a few pieces are displayed so that you can see the quality of our work.
We accept all debit and credit cards (Except AmEx). For your convenience, you can also transfer the money to our account before receiving the jewelry.
The DNA tagging system is very effective protection against robbery. This system marks the people present at a location in very specific cases that are defined automatically by the system. The product is not toxic, but leaves an unfading and notable trace (a specific DNA) lasting several months, even after several washings. Its presence is revealed by equipment used at border crossings and by the police. For visitors who come in peace, however, there is no risk as the system will not activate.
We are well aware that gold extraction in mines is not without hazard for the environment and the population. Most extracted gold comes from mines that are operated by large industrial groups in China, Australia, the United States, Russia, South Africa and Peru (over 55% of world production). However, we favor recycled gold. Presently, 28% of the gold used in the world comes from recycling. The recycling rate has reached 80% for gold, which is the second most recycled metal. This gold, which is slightly more expensive, has only a minimum impact on the final price of the jewelry piece. We also ensure that our recycled gold suppliers hold a RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council) certification that guarantees the respect of high environmental and ethical standards. These suppliers must use modern infrastructures with environmentally friendly filters for the recycling process.
First, a useful tip: avoid bringing your gold to specialty stores that buy back gold. Most of the time, they offer only a minimal value for the recovered gold. These companies must live off the profit they make between your price and the gold’s market value. We accept your gold at market value and deduct the costs related to handling the gold. In European countries, it is prohibited to market as gold any alloy that is not 75% gold, which is referred to as 18K gold or 750 gold. The gold you bring has been manipulated, transformed and welded, and its origin is often unknown. Its reuse does not guarantee the alloy’s pure gold content, and we risk infringing the law that controls precious metals. This is why we must retreat the gold using a costly refining process in Germany. The components of the alloy are therefore separated into pure gold, silver, copper, palladium, etc. This is the cost we deduct from the surrender value.
In 2002, a coalition of governments, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders in diamond dealing implemented the Kimberley Process overseeing the import and export of rough diamonds in an effort to eliminate the flow of conflict diamonds with uncertain origins. It is believed that, today, 99% of the diamonds on the market are considered “clean”. The Swiss federal body leading this process is very particular about this subject. All our suppliers certify the compliance of their inventory with these guidelines.
JAG,L'Art du Bijou sur Mesure
JAG,L'Art du Bijou sur Mesure
JAG,L'Art du Bijou sur Mesure
JAG, L'Art du Bijou sur Mesure