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  • Ethics & Sustainability
    Questions regarding ethics in the jewellery business are becoming more and more commonplace and rightly so. However ethical and sustainability are two terms that can be subject to a huge amount of Greenwashing within this industry. As a small independent maker and business owner I try to choose all aspects of my trade with an ethical mindsight. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to run a completely clean business. Especially if you are to consider all aspects of it. The technology on which my online shop is run, for example, is something to be considered. How the materials are sourced/processed/manufactured to produce phones, laptops and even the cars that we drive aren't free from scrutiny. Looking at the difference between sustainable and ethical is a good place to start. A sustainable choice would usually mean one that impacts the environment less with choices made, whereas as an ethical one would be one that considers the moral impact of specific choices on human, animal or environment. One of the ways this can be confused within the jewellery industry is by claiming that using old, recycled gold is an ethical choice. This isn't quite correct as old gold will not have been fair mined or traded: it certainly will have impacted human & environment due to the nature of its age. However reusing old gold to upcycle something new is a sustainable step and certainly a positive choice. There are still no established independent bodies that trace the whole lifecycle of a gemstone - from mine to market. This is why it is hard to be transparent about the ethical sourcing of gemstones. Generally, the mining of gemstones happens on a small scale, SSM (small scale mining). Worldwide co-operatives or family groups will be involved in the digging or sifting of riverbeds and because there are so many of these SSM sites it is hard to trace the exportation of these materials specifically. Not to mention that the livelihoods of these communitie and families rely on this trade to survive. The RJC - the Responsible Jewellery Council is an example of a standardised body making moves to have these processes properly governed and ensure a proper sustainable supply chain from mine to market. However, it isn't a legal requirement at present. Lydia Lotus Designs Suppliers The suppliers Lydia Lotus Designs uses for gemstones and metals all can be asked to provide written assurance for the materials they sell. They source their gemstones direct from the mine or cutters who source from rough materials and have close relationships with these gemstone dealers and miners that span over the years. For precious metals my supplier's (also a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council) ethical and environmental policy states: "We are committed to striving towards ensuring that our range of precious metals are either recycled or responsibly sourced. Our range of gold and sterling silver sheet, wire, grain and tube is made using 100% recycled gold and silver We sell Fairtrade Gold, which is the world’s first independent ethical certification system for gold. Our range of fine silver and Britannia silver bullion products are also supplied made from 100% recycled silver. Our range of gold and silver wedding ring blanks are made using 100% recycled gold and silver. Selected gold and silver findings and silver loose and finished chain are now also supplied as made using 100% recycled gold and silver. Some of our suppliers are already using recycled metals such as our Art Clay Silver range. We are working alongside our suppliers of other precious metal goods, such as findings, to be able to offer these ranges using recycled metals. We hope to give you updates on this soon." Lydia Lotus Designs only uses a small number of suppliers to try to gain a better understanding and control over where metals, findings and gemstones are coming from and will continue to always make the best choices where possible.
  • Shipping & Returns
    Deliveries to the UK Please allow 5-14 days for delivery depending on the nature of your order. If it is ready to go it will be within 5 days. If it is made to order please allow 14 working days. We offer FREE postage to all addresses within the UK with Royal Mail Special Delivery (Next Day Shipping - Insured) This service is for orders of £60 and over in order to insure the jewellery. Royal Mail do not accept jewellery in First Class signed for mail (Standard Shipping - Not Insured) as insurable, even if it is under £50. If you choose to have it delivered this way you are giving your consent and understanding that the package will not be insured. Both delivery methods require a signature upon delivery and provide electronic proof of delivery. For security reasons all parcels must be signed for on receipt, so please state a delivery address, where you will be present at the time of delivery (home or work). In the event that no-one is available to receive your item a card will be left providing you with the option to have the item delivered at a later date or to collect your parcel from your local collection depot. For more information on my Shipping and Returns Policy please go to the separate page at the top of my website and click on 'Shipping and Returns' there you will find a more detailed outline for overseas customers, late deliveries, returns & repairs.
  • Presentation & Packaging
    Each piece of precious metal jewellery is packaged in a faux suede bag with a jewellery card to keep it tidy. My large gemstone beaded pieces are packaged in a recyclable card box that has the Lydia Lotus Designs lotus logo in metallic foil on the top with acid free tissue paper and dried flowers. The lotus boxes can change colour from year to year. The gemstone or symbol properties will be sent with the item that Lydia hand types herself. Jewellery Care is outlined here in the FAQ's - please take the time to read this so you can keep your jewellery in the best possible condition. If you would like to add a gift card or have gift wrapping with a personal note then please find the additional gift wrapping option in my shop.
  • Jewellery Care
    General Care - It is advised that you don't wear your jewellery in the water, this includes showers. Spraying perfume onto beads and stones is very damaging to the lustre so please keep this away from your skin when wearing, this also includes essential oils. Keep your pieces in the beautiful box/bag provided for you when not being worn - this will help ensure your jewels stay in good condition for longer. Sterling Silver, Gold Filled Chain, Gold Vermeil & Gold Plate - As of October 2023 Lydia Lotus Designs has started treating all pieces with an anti tarnish solution. This is a heat treatment process, coating the jewellery to provide a protective layer to prevent tarnishing. The treatment helps to slow down oxidation on the layer of metals, it does not last forever but will significantly increase the life of your jewellery. We are able to re-treat the jewellery once it has worn off and will do this as a complementary treatment (postage not included). You can wipe jewellery with a soft, untreated cloth but we do not recommend a polishing cloth or solution as this will rub off the anti tarnish treatment. This will not prevent scratching or surface damage so please be aware that you will still need to be mindful when wearing your jewellery. You should still follow the general care principles above regardless. Glass beads/pearls & Semi Precious Stones - Glass beads and pearls can be cleaned with a light damp, untreated cloth and then patted dry. They will lose their lustre if exposed to perfume, essential oils, chemicals, detergents and water. Semi-Precious stones vary in degrees of hardness some scratch more easily than others so take care when wearing your Jewellery. Wooden Jewellery - Your Jewellery may be made from birch, maple or walnut wood. The wood has then been treated with a matt varnish to protect the surface. It is advised that you DO NOT put your piece in water as the Jewellery is a wood based product that can soften and degrade in water if exposed for long periods of time. The crystals are secured using glue or a resin, any heavy knocks, water submersion or misuse of the Jewellery may cause it to break so please look after your lovely pieces so that you can wear them for a long time. Keep your Jewellery in the gift bag/box to ensure safe storage of your piece!
  • Materials
    Each piece is individually made by Lydia to a high standard using semi-precious gemstones alongside gold-filled components (14k gold on a base metal, see below), sterling silver, 18k gold plate on sterling silver or 14k gold fill and gold vermeil (22ct gold-plate on sterling silver). Stringing: For its durable properties, nylon coated stainless steel is used to string the beads. There are varying thicknesses used depending on the size of the stone's holes. I have also introduced wax cotton cord to some of my gemstone necklaces, this has a layer of wax coating the surface of the cord and can feel a little stiff at first. This softens with wear and becomes more flexible over time. It comes in a variety of beautiful colours and offers a budget friendly alternative to precious metal chain. Sterling silver: In the UK is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, most likely copper. This means that sterling silver can tarnish over time but with a silver polish this can be remedied easily. Gold Vermeil: 22ct or 18ct gold electroplated onto sterling silver. This plated at 1-5 microns thick. Gold Plate: 18ct gold plate on sterling silver or 14k gold fill. Gold plating is done in house here at Lydia Lotus Designs at 0.2 microns thick. I offer a complimentary free replating service to my customers, the only cost is the postage for sending and returning the jewellery. Gold-filled: Gold-filled jewellery is composed of a solid layer of gold bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal such as brass. Gold-filled items are 5-10 times thicker than regular gold plating. Gold-filled items, with daily wear, can last up to 30 years, making them long lasting and durable. Exceptions: I will plate over gold fill if I have used sterling silver within the design, for example my gold family token necklace will have sterling silver tokens soldered onto gold fill chain and findings. The whole item will be plated in 18k gold to match the colours. I have found that having the chain and findings gold fill means the gold lasts far longer and is more durable for wear. I plan to upgrade my plating unit to be able to plate thicker microns of gold in the future so this method may stop, all details of which materials and processes used are outlined in my listings.
  • Sizing
    If any of the items are not the size you would like then please email us at Send clear images of the product to enable us to solve the issue as accurately as possible. The cost of the re-size will depend on the amount of extra materials required. They will vary depending on what is required. Examples of additional materials; extender chains, replacement seed beads or stones, jewellery findings and sterling silver/14k gold fill wire to re-make clasps, re-stringing an item because it is too large or small. We do not offer a re-size for rings as these are made to order, please ensure you know your ring size before buying or follow this guide below; A flat rate labour fee of £25/hr is required for the re-size with additional material and postage costs. Postage is always sent as special delivery. The cost of the re-size will be quoted to you once the enquiry has been sent to along with supporting images. This will be confirmed before the details are given for you to send the item back. Please note that Lydia Lotus Designs is not responsible for postal charges on re-sized items and we advise that you send it back by a tracked and insured delivery to ensure a safe return.
  • Repairs
    We will repair (this does not include re-sizing - see Sizing section of my FAQ) items free of charge (excluding extra materials and postage) within 6 months of purchase. After 6 months there will be a repair charge of £25/hr with the additional costs of materials and postage . Email if you wish to discuss a repair further. This will need to be done before you send it back. Please note that Lydia Lotus Designs is not responsible for postal charges on repair items and we advise that you send it back by a tracked and insured delivery to ensure a safe return.
  • Cleansing & Working with Crystals
    As the sole maker and designer here at Lydia Lotus Designs I like to create a calm and organised space in which to work. Creation is a meditative practice for me, and one that I often do in silence. Smoke Cleanse Cleansing my space and crystals before making is a common ritual for me. It sets the scene for me to focus, clears any negative energy and unites the space. I often use smoke cleansing to do this, washing the room in a fragrant smoke, usually rose for its heart opening properties, and will then do the same for the crystals I am working on that day. Selenite Cleanse I love selenite for its clearing properties. I have a large bar of selenite that will often have the crystals waiting patiently for their turn for making, it is a fabulous stone for cleansing crystals ready for a new wearer. It helps make the crystals more open to the love woven into them as they are made into something new.
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