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Customer Service

Frequently Asked Questions

Shopping

Are you a real jewelry store or just an online retailer?

How do I make a purchase?

How do I know what size ring to get?

What if I order the wrong ring size?

What is your return policy?

What comes with my purchase?

How soon will I receive my order?

Advocacy

What percentage of your profits do you donate to charity?

What experience do you have working with ethical issues and the jewelry industry?

Diamonds & Gemstones

Are all your diamonds conflict free and responsibly sourced?

Should I get rid of my current diamond jewelry if I'm not sure they're conflict free?

Where are your diamonds and colored gemstones cut?

Do you sell synthetic or lab created stones?

Gold & Platinum

What is your reclaimed gold?

How are your metals different than most?

What is the difference between white gold and platinum?

Do you sell titanium or tungsten rings?

Care & Repair

How do I take care of my gold and platinum jewelry?

How do I take care of my sterling silver jewelry?

Miscellanea

I'm a jeweler; can you provide me with your sources so that I can do what you do?

 

Are you a real jewelry store or just an online retailer?

We are a real full service jeweler that has been in business for 90 years as a family owned and operated company. Leber Jeweler Inc, recognized as a long-established leader in the jewelry industry, is able to work closely with trade organizations and industry members on genuine reform.

Our extensive gemological training, as well as decades of experience in the gem and jewelry industry, guarantee that we have the technical ability to address any concerns you may have as well as the experience that only longevity can provide.

At Leber Jeweler Inc, we are trained designers and jewelers, experienced retailers and long-time political advocates with a network of global contacts to meet your jewelry needs and to provide honest, well-researched information. Read more in Our Story. [top]

How do I make a purchase?

You may shop with confidence at our online store or feel free to contact us via email or telephone and we will guide you step by step through the process of selecting an item from our Earthwise Jewelry® Collection. We have many more designs in our retail store than appear online, and we are always pleased to create a one-of-a-kind custom piece especially for you.

We provide personal assistance for your selection of an engagement ring—just email ; phone 312-944-2900 or toll-free at 866-944-2902; or fill out a Request Info form. All engagement rings settings are priced separately from the center stone so that you can select exactly what you want. We offer Canadian diamonds of all shapes, sizes, and quality as well as a rainbow of fairly traded colored gemstones. [top <http://www.leberjeweler.com/service/faqs.php3#top> ]

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How do I know what size ring to get?

If you provide us with a mailing address, we'd be happy to send you a finger sizer. After selecting a size, wear it around for a day as your finger will change in size depending on your activity and the weather. Keep in mind that the wider the ring, the tighter it will fit.

If you are trying to keep this a secret from the recipient and you don't know their size, we suggest trying on one of their rings then comparing it to a finger sizer on one of your fingers. Keep in mind that all ten fingers are different sizes (most right handed people have larger ring fingers on their right hands than their left and vice versa). [top]

What if I order the wrong ring size?

Leber Jeweler Inc offers one complimentary resizing, not including shipping, for up to one full size increment within the first two months of purchase on most Earthwise Jewelry® Collection rings. Rings requiring more than one full size adjustment will be charged accordingly. Please note that eternity bands can be very troublesome to size, so any size adjustment will entail charges. Engraved rings and those with repeated designs on the shank may require additional charges.

If you can't stop by our store in Chicago's River North neighborhood, contact us for a Return Authorization number, then ship the ring back to us by an insured carrier. We recommend US Postal insured registered mail. Address the package to "Leber" (for security purposes, do not write "Jeweler" on the package). [top]

What is your return policy?

In the event you are not pleased with any element of your finished piece of jewelry after you receive it, we are more than happy to work with you further. We want to make every effort to have you satisfied with your purchase of what we believe is the most finely crafted and ethically produced jewelry available. Except for special and custom orders, sale items and other merchandise which has been worn, sized, used or damaged, finished jewelry purchases may be exchanged or returned within thirty days of sale when accompanied by a receipt. If purchased from November 15 – December 24, returns can be made by January 10th or 30 days from purchase, which ever date is later. Loose diamonds and gemstones sold as individual inventory items may be returned or exchanged within five business days of receipt, provided they have not been worn, used, altered, or damaged. Special orders and custom orders include any designs that we have altered from the original design to meet the customer's specifications, items that require sketches, special sizes, engraving, etc.

Before returning an item purchased through this web site, a Return Authorization number must be obtained by calling 312 944 2900, toll free 866 944 2902, or email us. The item should be returned fully insured, for the purchase price of the item. After receipt of the returned item we will issue a credit to the bank card used for the original purchase or, if payment was by check, we will mail a refund check, minus shipping charges incurred for the original order. Please note, presentation boxes and all certificates must be returned with the item or incur a $300 charge. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. [top]

What comes with my purchase?

Your item will arrive in an eco-friendly presentation box, accompanied by an Earthwise® Certificate describing your item with details about all the elements that go in to our Earthwise Jewelry® Collection. We'd be happy to gift wrap your item in eco-friendly paper, just make the request when you place your order. Diamonds (other than the smallest sizes) come with Canadian diamond and lab certificates. We provide appraisals on items over $2,000, others can be done upon request. Your package will arrive via complimentary USPS domestic Express mail shipping. [top]

How soon will I receive my order?

Some Earthwise Jewelry® items can be shipped within 24 hours, however most are made to order and require one to six weeks for fabrication. Custom designed orders typically take four to eight weeks after approval of the design and deposit are made. If there is a date you are targeting, please inquire as rush orders can often be accommodated. While we make every attempt to meet request dates, complications due to unforeseen factors can occur so we encourage you to allow plenty of lead time. [top]

What percentage of your profits do you donate to charity?

Each year, we dedicate more than 15% of company profits to funding a wide array of advocacy and developmental initiatives. However, the measure of a company's social commitment cannot be measured solely by a donation level. At Leber Jeweler Inc we set aside a significant amount of time and resources toward advocacy efforts both in Washington DC and abroad, in addition to directly supporting developmental projects throughout the globe. We feel it is not enough for a company to make donations alone for social responsibility. Each year, we volunteer countless hours acting as consultants for non-governmental organizations, members of the United States Congress, and industry-led initiatives. Simply put, if we were to boast of donating a fixed percentage as a measure of our commitment, we feel we would be setting the bar far too low. [top]

What experience do you have working with ethical issues and the jewelry industry?

While we have always been involved in human rights and environmental issues, in the 1990s we became outspoken advocates for the need to address the conflict diamond issue. Leber Jeweler Inc began to work in partnership with Amnesty International to help raise public awareness. Since that time, we have become actively involved in a range of topics, including fair trade, child and labor rights in the gem cutting industry, Burma and their regime's control over the gem trade, as well as the impact of precious-metals mining on the environment and local communities. We continue to work with a number of well-respected non-governmental organizations globally.

Brian Leber is frequently interviewed by industry-related publications as well as periodicals including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the (London) Daily Telegraph. He is considered an expert in a range of human rights and environmental issues relating to the gem trade and has been interviewed by media outlets including NPR and the BBC. His writings have appeared in journals the world over. Brian frequently lectures to educate the public and fellow industry members on these issues relating to the gem and jewelry industry.

In addition to this activism, Brian Leber and his wife Joanne founded the Jewelers Burma Relief Project in 2004, a humanitarian aid effort to offer assistance to the people of Burma. Learn more about our advocacy here. [top]

Are all your diamonds conflict free and responsibly sourced?

We currently offer a wide variety of Canadian diamonds which offer a guarantee of origin assuring you that the diamonds did not come from zones of conflict or offer any financial assistance to armed groups. In addition, our stones come with the assurance that miners earn a living wage and environmental issues are addressed. As one of the first jewelers in the United States with extensive contacts in the Canadian diamond industry, we are able to offer Canadian stones in a broad range of sizes and shapes normally unavailable.

As advocates for reform of the African-based diamond industry, we do not endorse a boycott of African-origin gemstones as they remain a critical component for the troubled continent to climb its way out of its current desperate state. However, because of on-going difficulties in a number of African regions we do not consider the Kimberley Process fully adequate to guarantee that a stone does not have conflict origin with 100% certainty. [top]

Should I get rid of my current diamond jewelry if I'm not sure they're conflict free?

Absolutely not. The diamond jewelry we all have purchased before knowledge of conflict diamonds still retains the sentiment and memories from the occasion they were given. The person who meticulously selected your diamond engagement ring was not aware of the issue when the purchase was made. They did so with love and the best intentions — that remains. Actually, the chance that any given diamond is of conflict origin is relatively low, which peaked at around 4% during the late 80's and early 90's and has continued to drop as awareness and collective efforts to rid the system of conflict diamonds has persisted.

If you sell or trade-in your diamond, the money you would lose for the same size and quality "conflict-free" diamond could be put to better use. (With a trade in or resale, you will only receive a fraction of what you originally paid.)

We suggest making a donation to a legitimate charity (it needn't be diamond or jewelry related but we'll happy provide you with the names of groups working in these areas), volunteer your time, even plant a tree or adopt a stray animal. Remember, simply the fact that you ask this sort of question means you are an informed consumer and it's people like you that are changing the world one small step at a time. [top]

Where are your diamonds and colored gemstones cut?

Unlike the lower tier Canadian diamond companies that source their stones from Canada but have their cutting done in China or India, our diamonds are cut in facilities that uphold the highest labor standards in the industry. Our diamonds are cut in Canada, Israel, or the European Union.

Because colored stones come from all corners of the globe, we work with a select list of sources that uphold fair trade standards and offer an equitable return to the local communities. Whether from privately owned mines or from village co-ops, we have a network of sources the world over than offer the most beautiful and humanely produced gemstones on the planet. [top]

Do you sell synthetic or lab created stones?

Synthetic and lab created stones do not meet our environmental and labor standards. For more information, click here. [top]

What is your reclaimed gold?

Our reclaimed gold is metal that comes from recycled sources (mainly old jewelry and electronics) and is processed in an environmentally sensitive manner in the United States, separating the precious metal from the accompanying alloys and producing raw casting grain. This raw metal, whose properties are identical to newly mined metal, can than be fabricated into one of our Earthwise Jewelry® pieces. Read more about our metals here. [top]

How are your metals different than most?

We strive to offer the finest materials fabricated in the most ethical means possible in our Earthwise Jewelry® Collection. As a result, our work in 18k white gold is alloyed with palladium (a sister metal to platinum) rather than the more commonly used low-grade nickel. This creates an item of 100% precious metal versus the more common 58% to 75%. In addition, by alloying with palladium, our white gold is allergy free, as roughly 25% of people have skin reactions to nickel. Our platinum pieces are fabricated using a combination of 95% platinum alloyed with 5% ruthenium, again creating a piece of 100% precious metal. Others may use 90% or less platinum in their jewelry, which by law cannot be stamped as platinum. [top]

What is the difference between white gold and platinum?

Our 18 karat white gold is 75% gold and 25% palladium alloy. Gold by nature, is yellow in color, so an alloy is needed to make it white in addition to providing durability. Most jewelry is made with a nickel alloy, but we do not use it because it is a low quality base metal and an estimated 25% of the population develops an allergic skin reaction to nickel at some point in their lives. We use palladium, a member of the platinum family, thus creating a higher quality ring of 100% precious metal. White gold is electroplated with rhodium to give it a bright white finish. Over time, this finish will wear, but it can always be refinished.

Our platinum is 95% Platinum and 5% Ruthenium, both precious metals and both white in color. Platinum is a much denser metal, so it is more durable and weighs more than gold. On the Mohs scale of hardness, Platinum is a 4 and gold is a 3.

While both platinum and white gold may look the same when new, as you wear your jewelry, the patina will differ. Since white gold is predominately a yellow metal, it will still look like white gold, but will take on a warm yellow tone. Platinum is made of all white metals. Over time, it stays white with a gray patina. [top]

Do you sell titanium or tungsten rings?

Leber Jeweler Inc will not sell titanium or tungsten rings for many reasons. Neither metal meets our environmental standards. We use reclaimed recycled precious metals in our Earthwise Jewelry® Collection, thus avoiding the harmful mining practices associated with all mining, including the minerals used in titanium and tungsten jewelry. With over three generations of clients, we understand the significance of a keepsake piece such as an engagement ring or wedding band. The inferior metals such as titanium and tungsten are well-suited for their intended applications in machinery, aviation and military hardware components, but not for jewelry. Jewelry made using these metals cannot be sized. Most everyone will need to adjust the size of their rings during their lifetime. It is not a sustainable act to count on getting a new ring each time this is required. In addition, because these metals cannot be cut off in the event of accident or emergency, there is a category of injury related to accidents involving titanium and tungsten ring wearers called "De-Gloving". (It means just what it sounds like.) In addition, there are known health risks including cancer associated with long-term exposure to these materials. While no long term studies have been done on wearers of titanium and tungsten jewelry, the possible risks outweigh the novelty of having a ring made out of a "different" metal. [top]

How do I take care of my gold and platinum jewelry?

We take pride in the design and craftsmanship of our Earthwise Jewelry® Collection. However, gold and platinum can scratch and bend, and gemstones and even diamonds can chip, abrade, or become loose under certain circumstances. Using common sense in your daily wear of jewelry will prevent most misfortunes from happening. Insuring higher value items is recommended to cover theft, loss, or extreme damage.

You should remove your jewelry when applying makeup, lotions, perfumes, and hair spray, as these can build up on stones and metals, making them look dull and lifeless, possibly harming the stones, and jeopardizing the integrity of the metals. When washing your hands or showering, we recommend removing your jewelry as soap buildup can become lodged under stones, inside rings, etc.

Do not wear your jewelry when cleaning, as household chemicals and cleaners can negatively affect metals and gemstones. Swimming in chlorinated water can do irreparable damage, especially if the chemicals were recently changed. In addition, appliances and tools can scratch and abrade. Avoid lifting heavy objects or exercising while wearing your jewelry, in particular, lifting weights or using equipment that comes in contact with your jewelry. On the Mohs scale of hardness, diamond is 10, sapphire 9, glass 5.5, iron 4-5, platinum 4-4.5, gold 2.5-3, pearl 2.5-4, and a fingernail 2.5.

To keep your jewelry clean, Leber Jeweler Inc carries a non-toxic jewelry cleaner. We also provide free cleaning at our store in Chicago's River North neighborhood. Anytime you are in the area, drop in for a complimentary professional cleaning and check of your jewelry. As you wear your jewelry, it will take on a natural patina. White gold will take on a warm golden white tone; platinum, a gray white. If you desire a refinish of your item, there is a minimal charge with a typical turnaround time of 2-3 weeks. In the unfortunate event you require repair of your item, we offer professional repair services.[top]

How do I take care of my sterling silver jewelry?

We take pride in the design and craftsmanship of our Earthwise Jewelry® Collection, however sterling silver can scratch and bend. Gemstones and even diamonds can chip, abraid, or become loose under certain circumstances. Using common sense in your daily wear of jewelry will prevent most misfortunes from happening.

You should remove your jewelry when applying makeup, lotions, perfumes, and hair spray, as these can build up on stones and metals, making them look dull and lifeless, possibly harming the stones, and jeopardizing the integrity of the metals. When washing your hands or showering, we recommend removing your jewelry as soap buildup can become lodged under stones, inside rings, etc.

Do not wear your jewelry when cleaning, as household chemicals and cleaners can negatively affect metals and gemstones. Swimming in chlorinated water can do irreparable damage, especially if the chemicals were recently changed. In addition, appliances and tools can scratch and abraid. Avoid lifting heavy objects or exercising while wearing your jewelry, in particular, lifting weights or using equipment that comes in contact with your jewelry. On the Mohs scale of hardness, diamond is 10, sapphire 9, glass 5.5, iron 4-5, platinum 4-4.5, gold 2.5-3, pearl 2.5-4, sterling silver 2.5, and a fingernail 2.5.

To keep your jewelry clean, Leber Jeweler Inc recommends using a soft cloth to gently wipe the sterling. As you wear your jewelry, it will take on a natural patina. Our Earthwise Jewelry® pendants are made with tarnish resistant sterling silver, but over time and if exposed to harsh elements, tarnishing can occur. If you desire a refinish of your item, there is a minimal charge with a typical turnaround time of 2-3 weeks. In the unfortunate event you require repair of your item, we offer professional repair services. [top]

I'm a jeweler; can you provide me with your sources so that I can do what you do?

We have spent a decade to develop our knowledge and sources in order to produce our Earthwise Jewelry Collection. As the first fine jewelry store to address environmental and social issues, this journey has been difficult, yet our pursuit to create change and our determination to find better answers continues to educate us and further our mission in corporate responsibility. As a fellow jeweler, we encourage you to find your individual path. Only through your own research and trial and error, can you understand the limitless issues out there. You need to develop your knowledge and experience before you can translate that to your profession. You owe that to your customers. We suggest you attend conferences, trade shows, and contact your current vendors to question their ability to meet your standards. We believe this is the only way to be sincere about your commitment — otherwise it just becomes a marketing strategy. [top]