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Question about purchasing from Heart of Water

DotDot

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2004
Messages
82
Good morning PSers,

Since I've been visiting this forum daily, I couldn't resist the urge and bought few more stones :shhh: .

Setting is the next headache. I really love the settings done by Heart of Water on Etsy, especially the intricate silver pieces. But they are in Thailand?!

For those of you who bought from them and live in US, what does it take to ship it back and forth? Do I need to worry about incurring custome (either way)? How long does a project usually take? Were there ever any issues with the shipping or the vendor? Please share your experience.

Thank you as always.

p.s., what is a post without pictures? Attaching samples of my stones.

turquoise.jpg

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deskjockey

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
544
Oh my goodness I love your stones!

:)

Can't speak to all that stuff yet though I am talking to her about a pendant. :)
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,004
I prefer to use USPS Registered shipping because it is under lock and key every night. Unfortunately, international shipping is slow and takes up to 2 weeks at minimum. There are no custom fees for gems and jewellery coming in and going out of the USA. That said, I dare not ship valuable items internationally because tracking is problematic once it leaves US soil.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
22,702
Chrono|1413476413|3767985 said:
I prefer to use USPS Registered shipping because it is under lock and key every night. Unfortunately, international shipping is slow and takes up to 2 weeks at minimum. There are no custom fees for gems and jewellery coming in and going out of the USA. That said, I dare not ship valuable items internationally because tracking is problematic once it leaves US soil.
If you're super worried, I think Sally can make settings to fit your stones, and ship them to you. You would then just need a jeweler to set them for an added cost, but sometimes peace of mind is priceless.

You would just need to send her exact measurements and for cabochons, the would need longer prongs. Double check all of what I said with Sally though, as I heard this from one of her customers. I never purchased anything from her myself.
 

deskjockey

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
544
Chrono|1413476413|3767985 said:
I prefer to use USPS Registered shipping because it is under lock and key every night. Unfortunately, international shipping is slow and takes up to 2 weeks at minimum.
I don't know how this happened but Jeff D. sent me that grey spinel right after I purchased it, with the assumption it would take a few weeks to be here and so I could go on vacation without worrying about it showing up before I got back. Surprise! It arrived in a week, heh.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,004
A week is awesome. I've had stones that took a month to arrive.
 

kimpnoth

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
98
I've never shipped stones to her, but I've had her ship jewelry to me. If I pay for her ship EMS (about $30 to the US), I get it in about a week. Sometimes a day or two more or less. EMS appears to be linked to Priority USPS. I think the more expensive pieces she will only ship EMS. She includes shipping information on the Etsy site and I find it accurate.

From what I've read on PS, folks who ship their own stones to her haven't seemed to have problems -- other then biting their fingernails down to nothing during the actual shipping each way.
 

mochiko42

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
2,593
I thought about adding in a bit about my experience with shipping to/from Thailand in my previous post about working with HoW, but this may be a better place to add my two cents:

I agree with previous posters. Shipping (esp. EMS) to/from Thailand is very quick. I sent her a few stones in July on a Saturday morning and she received them on Monday. (2 days, including a Sunday!). It usually takes 3-5 days for me, but I am also in Asia.

I have received about 5 EMS packages from Sally this year containing a number of items but so far (touch wood) everything has arrived on time and in perfect condition.

As I'm based outside the US, I can't speak for the US part (shipping/customs), but I have zero concerns about working with a vendor in Thailand. In fact, since I'm based in Asia, I usually prefer to work with a vendor who is also outside the US. This is because the only problems I have run into with shipping is when I purchase loose gemstones from US vendors (who are all excellent, it's just USPS that I don't trust that much) and it usually takes 1-2 weeks for USPS Priority Int'l. Also, once USPS sent my stone to the wrong country (in Latin America instead of Asia!) but they finally found it in Honduras and rerouted it back to me after 1 month. I've found that the Thai post is great and the tracking information on their website is reassuring/accurate.

However, depending on the dollar/sentimental value of your gem, you may need to decide whether you want to risk shipping it to Thailand. It's very unlikely it will be lost in the mail, but there is always the risk, however small.

Personally, I had (many, many) kittens the first time I shipped gems to Sally to set (granted, they included my mom's diamonds not just some colored gems!), but now I don't even break a sweat (e.g. I sent her my 0.7ct AVR diamond to be set). I recently sent her a tourmaline by simple registered airmail instead of EMS, as an experiment (it got there in 9 days instead of the usual 3). I think you have to decide your personal comfort level on this, too. Not everyone would be comfortable to do this, especially if you are in the US where I understand that customs can be problematic sometimes.

I would add another word about having HoW set gems for you. Sally said that in the many years of working on thousands of orders, Pomme has lost only 2 stones to breakage/accident whereas for the mass /factory jewelry benches the rate is much higher. I can't confirm the accuracy of this statement, but thought it was interesting to pass long. There is a risk of breakage or accidents when gems are set, even if it's only a small risk. I don't know if insurance would cover the risks if you set gems outside of the US (you may want to check this if the gems you want to set are expensive or unique/irreplaceable for you.)

Depending on your comfort level with the shipping to and setting in Thailand, I would second TL's suggestion and ask Sally to make the empty setting and ship it for you to have set locally by your usual jeweler (in which case, make very very sure to get the measurements right) - especially if the gems you have are valuable in $$ terms or have sentimental value.

One thing I appreciate about Sally is that she is very experienced with international shipping and is very understanding of international customers. I have also purchased from some US vendors who are not that used to shipping outside of the US and they seem to be less experienced dealing with international customers as they may focus on US customers. As someone who travels a lot and tends to flit from country to country, I appreciate that aspect of Sally's service that she is not so US-centric. (I realize this may not help you that much since you're in the US, but it may be relevant for UK or Australian PSers, etc.) [emoji16] [emoji16] [emoji4] [emoji4]
 

DotDot

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2004
Messages
82
Thanks to everyone for giving such helpful tips. Thanks mochiko42 for detailing your experience.

Since I don't want to risk losing the stones or hassel with the shipping, arranging to have HoW sending the setting is probably my best bet. Never would thought of it without your help! Thanks. :clap:
 

ilovegemstones

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,366
Some of my most favourite pieces were made by Sally and HoW. I have sent my most expensive gems to her to be set and everything worked out perfectly. You don't need to worry about incurring customs fees either way and Sally is really easy to work with. I am also not in the US. There were never any problems with shipping and many pieces were sent by EMS from her so I did not worry. They arrived almost overnight it seemed but probably 2 days is more accurate. She will do wonders with your stones and every piece from her is really special in some way that I can't describe - I just love wearing those pieces!
 

mochiko42

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
2,593
ilovegemstones|1413934825|3770674 said:
Some of my most favourite pieces were made by Sally and HoW. I have sent my most expensive gems to her to be set and everything worked out perfectly. You don't need to worry about incurring customs fees either way and Sally is really easy to work with. I am also not in the US. There were never any problems with shipping and many pieces were sent by EMS from her so I did not worry. They arrived almost overnight it seemed but probably 2 days is more accurate. She will do wonders with your stones and every piece from her is really special in some way that I can't describe - I just love wearing those pieces!
ilovegemstones, I hope this doesn't come across as too stalker-ish (eehh.. :cheeky: :naughty: ) but I noticed from your previous pre-loved/LT postings that you're in Canada. My DH and I are planning to move back to Canada sometime in the near/medium-term future, and I was wondering about the customs / shipping in Canada. I know that when you fly into Canada the customs/border folks can be strict sometimes (I know one lady who got dinged on a Chanel handbag that she hand-carried with her on the flight).

What has been your experience in purchasing from Jeff Davies / Sally or other vendors outside Canada? Have you ever had problems/delays etc with Canada customs/postal system? I'd love to continue purchasing from Sally even after moving to Canada but am concerned about the cost of import tax, so would be curious to hear about your experience in this regard. (Currently I live somewhere where there is no import duty on most items, including jewelry, diamonds and gems, so I have no experience with dealing with customs locally..) :wavey: :wavey:
 

ilovegemstones

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,366
Hi Mochiko,
That is ok, I am flattered! You don't have to worry with purchases from either of the vendours you mentioned with import duties. I have had to pay high duty with other vendours though.
 

mochiko42

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
2,593
Thanks so much! That's super helpful to know. :) out of curiosity, did the vendors which you had to pay duty on all come from the US or another country, or was it more related to the type of item being purchased/shipped?
 

ilovegemstones

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,366
They were all from the US. It depends on the stated value of the package contents on the customs form. I have had some purchases from the US with no duty too.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,004
An update:
I just sent stuff to Thailand via Registered Mail and it took only one week to arrive!
 

DotDot

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2004
Messages
82
Chrono,

Is this for HoW? Please share the return trip experience and of course the final product with us when it comes back!
 

katbran

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
690
While I have not had any dealings with this vendor I have bought lot's of things from Thailand and China. It generally is two to three weeks and I'm in Australia. If they send Fed Ex it's about 3-4 days.

I have sent quite a few things to the States , finished pieces , always FedEx as the Australian post office is completely unreliable and things go 'missing' . Never had a customs issue. However I have been told that there is no customs on loose or unfinished items however duty can be charged on finished pieces. It's a bit hit or miss apparently. Some things get through..some don't.

Just a warning to be prepared unless I was advised incorrectly. I tried to read the US customs rules.... impossible..but it seems like they can charge duty on finished items. No one could tell me what the rates are...
 
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