Information and FAQs
Special orders are usually processed within six weeks, so we recommend placing an order two to three months before your big event. If a ring needs to be sized or repaired, the lead time is typically two to three weeks, since it’s sent directly to the jeweler.
We require one-third of the total as a minimum deposit for special orders or layaway. If you purchase a ring out of the showcase, the full payment is required when it leaves the store.
The Clay Pot accepts cash, bank certified or cashier's checks in any amount payable to TCP ARTFORMS, VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, as well as debit cards with credit card logos. If you are making a large purchase with a debit or credit card, you may want to notify your bank in advance. Some banks have daily ceiling limits on debit purchases,
All special orders are considered custom and are non-returnable. If you have purchased a ring on display, it may be returned (unworn and unaltered) within 30 days for exchange or store credit only. There are no refunds.
We do not offer mail/ online order for rings featured on the Bridal Collection portion of our website, since the merchandise cannot be returned. We require a visit to our Nolita store, so you can actually see the ring you’re going to wear on your finger for the rest of your life. Hopefully you are planning a trip to the NYC area. If not, you may find some of our artists at jewelry/department stores or craft galleries in your region.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: DO YOU HAVE A FULL SELECTION OF BRIDAL JEWELRY IN BOTH BROOKLYN AND NOLITA?
A: Our bridal collection has a new home in Nolita- while the Brooklyn store has an amazing selection of right hand, one of a kind and anniversary rings, the bulk of our bridal collection is now in Manhattan. Which makes life easier for customers who don't live in south Brooklyn. You can still have your ring serviced through the Brooklyn location, so if your ring needs to be repaired or resized you can take it to either store. If you would like to pick your ring up from the Brooklyn location once it has been ordered just inform your sales person.
Q: DO I NEED AN APPOINTMENT?
A: Our Nolita store takes appointments for bridal consultations - click here to make an appointment.
Weekend appointments are limited and we will hold your slot for 15 minutes. The last appointment is 30 minutes before closing. Walk-ins are more than welcome, on a first come, first serve basis.
Q: DOES THE WEBSITE FEATURE EVERYTHING YOU SELL?
A: Generally, we have more designs in the store. You may see something online that is currently out of stock. This means the sample has been purchased, but it can still be special ordered.
Q: CAN I WALK OUT OF THE STORE WITH A RING?
A: The rings on display are samples. We have a very large collection in a fairly small physical space; therefore we usually have only one size in stock. We will order a ring to your size and specifications. This process takes between 4-6 weeks as a general rule.
If you are buying a ring as a surprise, the wisest thing to do is to purchase the sample. This way, you can have something to propose with/put under the tree/etc. but still have the option of making an exchange. The ring can either be sized or exchanged for a different ring within 30 days of purchase. Most rings can be sized to a small degree. If the difference is too extreme, the artist will probably recommend making a new one in that size. Please note that some styles, such as bands with stones all the way around, can’t be sized and MUST be ordered in the correct size.
Q: CAN YOU SIZE MY RING WHILE I WAIT?
A: No, we don’t do any sizings or repairs in-house. We send all rings and jewelry back to the artists that made them, so they are responsible for the workmanship. Sizing takes approximately 2-3 weeks and is covered free of charge within 90 days of purchase or pickup. Beyond 90 days, fees will vary, depending on the amount of labor and materials involved- so please let us know right away if your ring does not fit.
Q: CAN I GET A REFUND IF S/HE DOESN’T LIKE IT?
A: Arrangements can be made at the time of the sale for a refund- minus a processing fee- within a strict time frame for items purchased out of the case. All special orders are final sale. This refers to anything that is made or you, whether it looks just like the sample but made in your size, OR a customized piece.
Q: I NEED A RING IN LESS THAN SIX WEEKS! IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO?
A: Depending on your wedding date, ring artists can often accommodate rush orders. Your first step is to visit our shop as soon as possible. Once you choose the styles you like, we’ll find out in advance if the artist can meet your deadline. Some artists have more flexibility than others, so it really just depends on the time frame and the jeweler’s production schedule. In rare cases, an artist may impose a rush fee.
Q: DO I HAVE TO ORDER IT AS IS?
A: Not necessarily. You can order rings exactly as shown, or customize to some extent. Many designs are available in different metals (platinum, white/yellow/rose gold, etc.), stones, finish, etc. If you’d like to change some aspect of the design, we’ll contact the artist for a quote before you order. Many artists are flexible. If something isn’t possible it’s usually due to how the piece is made. If a ring is cast, the design can’t be modified without making a brand new mold, for instance. Some designers may not work with certain stones, and/or may only work with high karat gold or platinum, etc.
Q: HOW ARE THE PRICES DETERMINED?
A: For wedding bands and ring settings, prices are set by the respective artist based on materials (metal/stones) and labor/craftsmanship. These will be different for every designer. There is no set charge to special order a ring. Ordering in a different metal, width, finger size, with larger or more diamonds, etc., may alter the price accordingly. The value of diamonds is largely determined by the “4C’s”: Carat Weight, Clarity, Color and Cut. When you purchase a stone, changing one or all of these characteristics will reflect in the price. (For more information on buying diamonds, please see the section below.)
Q: IF I HAVE MY OWN RING DESIGN, CAN I COMMISSION AN ARTIST TO MAKE IT FOR ME?
A: The rings we sell are handcrafted by artists, but there’s no in-house jeweler. So, making entirely custom designs from sketches, copies of existing rings, etc., is not really our forte.
Q: DO YOU SELL WEDDING SETS?
A: All our rings are sold individually. It’s up to you and your partner if you’d like to get matching bands. Plenty of couples get different styles, or might get rings in the same color metal, but if you wanted the rings to look alike, you can likely order two rings in different sizes. If your partner would like something similar, e.g., wider, no stones, etc., we can always contact the artist for an estimate.
Q: WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR BUYING AN ENGAGEMENT RING?
Contrary to popular belief, there is no right or wrong to any of this. Finding an engagement ring can be daunting for many customers—not only because it both signifies and is often the first step of a very important life decision, but because the process of shopping for a ring can seem intimidating. We want to help make it as stress-free for you as possible. Here are a few guidelines from “the experts”:
The typical representation of a proposal is the asker down on one knee, ring box in hand. Is this how you always dreamed of asking someone to marry you? Do you think your partner wants or expects that? It’s arguably the most important question that you’ll ever ask someone, so don’t be afraid to make the moment your own. If it works for you and your beloved, then by all means propose on a baseball scoreboard, in front of the Taj Mahal, while riding a tandem bike with a diamond ring nestled inside a corn dog, etc., but don’t feel pressured to make it extravagant or excessively clever. It just needs to be sincere and reflect your relationship. It should be something a little special, but popping the question will be plenty memorable without piling on lots of grandeur.
With that in mind, you should also think about whether you want to propose with a ring or shop together. (Yes, people can be engaged without a ring!) There are pros and cons either way. On one hand, there’s the romance and the element of surprise with presenting a ring; but with that comes a certain amount of guesswork, and that can sometimes bring about pressure and anxiety. Whereas if you choose the ring together, it may take a little spontaneity out of it, but it can also be less stressful AND you can be absolutely sure that s/he got their perfect ring.
Some people still want to put something on their betrothed’s finger, so they might use a stand-in ring for the proposal. It could be something playful like a ring out of a gumball machine, or a family heirloom, or a ring purchased at a store that can serve as a placeholder. (That’s where we come in!) You can buy anything on display and use it to get engaged with. Most people wind up keeping the original ring, but this way you have the option of making an exchange.
If you have something special ordered, you can customize all the details: Metal color, finish, stone shape/size, etc., but then it’s final sale.
So, if you ARE going to propose with a ring, here are a few things to consider. Would s/he prefer yellow gold or white/platinum? Would s/he want a diamond or a gemstone? A solitaire, a band with diamonds/gemstones, or no stones at all? If s/he has requested “no diamonds”, is it based on aesthetics, ethics, or both? Does that literally mean no sparkle on the ring, or just not a stereotypical flashy rock? As you can see from our website, we have a large range of styles—everything from very traditional engagement rings to very unconventional ones.
Another important detail to consider is your budget. “Two months’ salary” is by no means a hard-and-fast rule—in fact, it’s merely a very effective advertising slogan—but there are necessary factors that go into pricing. These include the cost of gold or platinum, size & quality of stones, and craftsmanship. Because our rings are handcrafted, they are probably more expensive than manufactured ones. We try our best to offer a little something for everyone. We’re not selling rings for their prestige value; we’re trying to accommodate a wide range of tastes, and lots of customers shop here because they’re looking for something unusual. If you’re shopping within a modest budget, you can still find something perfectly beautiful that your partner will love. That said, a large, high-quality diamond will probably be pricey no matter where you go, because that’s the nature of the marketplace.
It can be hard to guess to get a sense of your partner’s taste if s/he doesn’t wear rings or jewelry. It can also complicate things when people might like very basic day-to-day jewelry, but see themselves in something more fancy or traditional for an engagement ring. I would say that if you have *no* idea, then it’s a safer bet to start with something simple.
If you need clues about the style, you can always bring his/her friends or relatives on board. They may have a sense of what s/he might like. Ultimately, though, it should give you peace of mind to know that the ring is an accessory to the proposal itself. Most people are blown away in the moment, and will love the ring because they love you, and you took the trouble of picking it out for them.
Lastly, if for whatever reason s/he doesn’t love the ring you picked out, please try not to feel bad or overthink it. All it means is that you did your best, and it’s a very hard thing to predict what someone will want to wear for the rest of their lives.
Q: HOW DO I CHOOSE A DIAMOND?
A: Once you've submitted a request to look at stones, a staff gemologist will find a range of stones of different sizes/ qualities within your specified price range and will contact you within approximately one week to set up an appointment. During the appointment , we'll evaluate each stone for the 4 C's and view them all under magnification. You are not required to place a deposit on the entire ring until you're chosen a stone, which will be set by the artist within 4-6 weeks.
Q: ARE ALL YOUR DIAMONDS CERTIFIED?
A: Most individual diamonds above .30ct have certificates issued by GIA, EGL, AGS, IGI or a comparable laboratory, which verify a the diamond’s carat weight, color and clarity.
This only applies with brilliant/colorless diamonds. Rose cuts, color-treated diamonds, natural/opaque/raw diamonds and brilliant/colorless diamonds under .25ct are rarely certified. We can confirm their carat weight in most cases.
Q: ARE ALL YOUR DIAMONDS “CONFLICT FREE”?
A: All our artists and diamond suppliers are compliant with the Kimberley Process, which was established through the United Nations in 2003 to regulate the diamond trade. More than 99% of the diamonds in the market have been bought or sold through the Kimberley Process, so, to the best of everyone’s knowledge, all of our diamonds (and nearly all others in the American market) are conflict free.
If you need the added assurance of a written guarantee, you may purchase a certified diamond of Canadian origin through us. Please note that these tend to cost more than non-Canadian stones, and will not usually be certified if the weight is under .25ct.]
If you would like to read more about the Kimberley Process and the current conditions of the African diamond trade, please consult: www.diamondfacts.org.
Q: I'VE INHEIRITED A DIAMOND AND NEED TO HAVE IT RESET. DO YOU ACCEPT OUTSIDE STONES?
A: Customers can bring in their own diamond, ruby or sapphire as long as it meets the following criteria: Each stone must be at least .20ct, with an accompanying gemological certificate and a current replacement value. Many newer stones are sold with certificates; otherwise, it must be fully appraised by an independent gemological laboratory for insurance and identification purposes, and you would need to have the stone removed from its setting PRIOR to appraisal. Click here for more information.
SIZINGS, APPRAISALS AND REPAIRS
Q: WHAT DO I DO IF I'M BUYING A RING AS A PRESENT AND I DON'T KNOW THE RING SIZE?
A: If you’re buying a ring as a gift, we recommend purchasing the store sample. It can be sized for free within 90 days or exchanged within 30 days. Most samples sizes are 6-6.5 and 10-10.5. If you special order a ring based on a size estimate, it may not be easy to alter if the size is off. In the case of certain styles such as diamond eternity bands, the size can’t be changed at all, so it’s definitely better to purchase a sample and then bring it back to re-order in the right size.
Q: WHAT DO I DO IF MY RING NEEDS TO BE REPAIRED?
A: Rings purchased from the Clay Pot are guaranteed against defect within 90 days. If you have any repair issues, we'll send the ring back to the jeweler who made it for inspection. They'll assess the extent of damage and call us with a repair estimate. Fees will vary.
We only accept repairs or sizings for items purchased here. For fine jewelry purchased elsewhere, we recommend Rissin's Jewelry Clinic in Manhattan.
Joe Rissin's Jewelry Clinic
10 W. 47th St. Room 902
Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
Q: DO YOU PERFORM APPRAISALS ON MY JEWELRY?
A: No. The Clay Pot only offers appraisals for jewelry purchased here. We strongly advise that you seek an independent and objective appraisal from a gemological laboratory or a member of the American Society of Appraisers, not a jewelry or department store. The International Gemological Institute (IGI) in Manhattan is our recommended source for a proper appraisal.
Q: DO YOU OFFER JEWELRY INSURANCE FOR MY RING?
A: We do not offer jewelry insurance. You may have rings insured on your own by adding a rider on a renter’s/homeowner’s policy, or you may set up a policy online. Two jewelry agencies that we recommend are Jewelers Mutual (www.jewelersmutual.com) or GemShield (www.gemshield.com). Most agencies require an itemized & signed receipt from the store that functions as an appraisal. We can provide you with this information on request, at no additional charge.
Q: WOULD YOU BUY OR SCRAP MY JEWELRY? COULD YOU BUY BACK RINGS FROM THE CLAY POT THAT ARE NO LONGER NEEDED?
A: The Clay Pot is not licensed to buy or sell estate jewelry nor any pre-owned/pre-worn merchandise. Any item purchased falls under the category of used merchandise after 60 days.
We try to be as accurate as possible when measuring customers, but your hands can fluctuate in size (seasonal/climate changes, time of day, body temperature, salt intake/water retention, etc.) and not all rings fit exactly the same due to your finger shape. Sizing isn't an exact science. Most, but not all, rings can be adjusted up or down slightly without a problem. This process usually takes two to three weeks. If we're unsure to what degree, if any, it needs to be sized and/or your wedding is too close, we recommend using it for your event and we'll be glad to size it later.
- It is strongly recommend that you have your finger measured at the end of the day when your finger size is most normal. Your finger size will change slightly throughout the day, depending on temperature, weather, activity, etc. Your fingers tend to be a little puffy in the morning, they will shrink a little when cold and expand slightly when hot, but typically settle into a normal size during the day. For this reason, do not size your finger after exercising, or drinking copious amounts of alcohol or eating a lot of spicy food.
- Please remember that the wider your wedding band is, the tighter it will fit. if you are looking at a ring that is extra wide, 7mm or wider you should order your band at least a 1/4 size than the size of your actual size.
- If in doubt, choose the smaller size. Remember, more sizing mistakes are made by ordering rings too large rather than too small.
- If your wedding band seems to be a little too large or too small, we suggest you wear it for a few days to get used to it before exchanging it for a different size. The Japanese say it takes two weeks for your finger to learn to wear the ring. If your ring fits at the ideal time of day and is easy to put on and a little hard to take off it is the correct fit. Your ring will never fit perfectly in all conditions, but you will get used to the way it feels during all conditions. Your fingers change size about 3 or 4 times in the course of a normal day. So it is highly recommended that you give your ring a test drive to determine if sizing is really necessary. Of course if it is really too big don't wear it out of the house, you might actually lose it.
- We do not recommend wearing a ring that is too loose. You will be unable to wear it swimming and there is a big chance it could go sailing off your finger on a cold day.
- Finding the proper fit can be a challenge, so if you've followed all of the guide lines and helpful hints we've given, sometimes the ring is just not right. We are happy to size your ring for you within 90 days for free. After that time period there will be a nominal charge for sizing.
A handmade setting differs from a commercial one in many ways. It has been designed and created by the same artist, it contains a more personal approach. When creating a handmade setting the jeweler needs the stone in their studio because the setting is essentially built around the stone. Basic prong settings, which are the hallmark of the commercial jewelry industry, can be set on the spot by an outside stone setter. When your stone is reset by one of our crafts people, it is sent directly to their studio where it is custom fitted into your engagement ring.
At The Clay Pot you can transform your family heirloom into wearable jewelry that reflects your personal style. With the help of our staff you can find the setting that shows off your particular diamond in its best light.
Once you have found the engagement ring you love, we can get an estimate of the setting price based on the weight and dimensions of your diamond. When you are ready to bring in your stone, call us to make an appointment.
We require either of the following documentation when taking in a diamond:
1. GIA/EGL Certificate with Current value of stone
If you have bought your diamond elsewhere and it came with a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or an EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) certificate, bring that and a copy of the sales receipt so we can properly insure it for replacement value.
2. IGI lab report with stone map
If you have a family stone, or purchased a diamond without documentation, you will need to make an appointment to bring the diamond to IGI/International Gemological Information and have an appraisal done. If you are resetting a family diamond, it will need to be removed from its setting before bringing it in. we do not accept metal from previous settings.
At IGI they will appraise your diamond in front of you, and create an accurate MAP of the stone. This map will show the placement of all the inclusions in the stone and provide a way to verify the stone is yours.
Please note, IGI does not automatically map stones that weigh under .75ct. They will provide a map on such stones for $10. We require this map to reset your stone.
The IGI will provide you with a preliminary report, and you will receive a Final (typed) report in the mail. This Final report is the one we require to take in your diamond. Click to see report full size.
Stones are all individual, and it is important to know that any time a jeweler sets a stone it is done at the customer's risk. It is extremely rare for a diamond to break. If the stone is considered to be a risk, by us, or the jeweler, we will notify you immediately. Some stones have more sentimental, than monetary value and we will advise you on the best course of action. We will only reset diamonds, Sapphires and Rubies. Other stones such as Opals, Emeralds and Tanzanite are considered too soft to be reset safely.
To recap, to reset your family stone:
The stone must be removed from its setting.
You must bring to the reset appointment, a final typed report that includes a map of the stone.
Our GIA graduates are available for reset appointments: Monday - Friday 11:00 am to 6:30pm
Average production times are 4-6 weeks on all orders. We cannot do rush orders on resets.
We will ship your loose diamond via Registered mail insured for the value you provide. It is the most secure shipping method. Cost runs $45. and up, depending on insurance value.
We do not reset any diamond smaller than .20ct. This includes all side stones unless they are bigger than .20cts.
For Lab reports:
IGI/International Gemological Institute
579 Fifth Ave
New York, Ny 10017
Removing a stone from its setting:
25 W. 47th St
Hours: Monday - Friday
While diamonds are impervious to scratches they can chip. The settings prongs should be checked every six months by a jeweler. An engagement ring should shine its brightest on your wedding day. Soak for thirty minutes in a small bowl filled with one part ammonia and three parts cold water. Remove the ring from the solution, and gently brush around the front and back of the mounting with a soft toothbrush. Dip the ring into the solution a second time, rinse in warm running water (use a sink strainer), and set to dry on tissue paper, or pat dry. Shiny finishes can be polished with a regular polishing cloth. Never use a polishing cloth on matte or brushed finishes.
While your wedding ring is durable and strong, misuse can greatly affect its life span. Never wear your rings while lifting weights,or rock climbing, or working out on nautilus machines. Never wear your ring while swimming. (Cold water can cause your hand to shrink rapidly and chlorine is corrosive to precious metal.)
A ring that has small diamonds or other gemstones in it requires more maintenance than a plain one. These rings are durable but not indestructible. Diamonds can fall out, and while they are generally not expensive to replace, having them checked by a jeweler every six months can prevent a loss. If your ring experiences a serious blow you can do a quick check yourself by running your finger nail over the tops of the stones feeling for chips and tightness in the setting. If the stone moves or makes a tapping noise do not wear the ring until it has been repaired by a jeweler. The abuse of daily living can be hard on your hands as well as your jewelry. Everything from holding the handles in the subway to gardening can potentially damage your jewelry. Your wedding rings can be cleaned using the same method as an engagement ring.
Chemical patinas, such as oxidation or antiquing are surface treatments. How quickly they wear off varies individually depending on the metal and texture of the ring, other factors include skin acidity or exposure to acidic liquids, and how frequently you wash your hands. They need occasional maintenance to restore their original look. Reoxidizing a ring may require sending it back to the jeweler who made it.
Matte finish and brushed finishes are also somewhat temporary. The factors that affect the longevity of oxidation also apply to matte and polished finishes. Polished and matte rings tend to look the same after a few months. There are several different types of matte finishes:
A directional matte finish, is one in which the surface has a direction in which it was brushed. This kind of finish can easily be maintained at home. Take a scotch brite pad, and sprinkle onto it a small amount of Bon Ami cleanser (Never use a bleach based abrasive such as Comet or Ajax, as they will corrode the metal.) Holding the ring under running water, gently sweep the pad over the surface of the ring, in ONE direction. Continue until entire ring is matte. Rinse well and dry.
A sandblasted finish is something that can only be refinished in the jeweler's studio. Fortunately, because of the depth of the matte, these finishes tend to last a little longer.
Rhodium is a metal relative of platinum that is sometimes used to plate white gold to increase it's whiteness. This is why some white gold looks virtually indistinguishable from platinum. Not all of the jewelers that we represent offer this type of finish. Over time, Rhodium plating wears off and the true color of the white gold (which by definition has a slight gold undertone) will be visible. This is most apparent on smooth textures or on the back of the ring where it is contact with your skin the most. It is possible to have the ring replated, but it is not generally recommended to wear a rhodium plated ring next to a platinum one as the metals have different properties and the colors will eventually look different.
Care of your ring
If your ring needs any refurbishment in the future, be it sizing or repair, we highly recommend bringing it back to us, that way the jeweler who made it will fix it. The rings that we sell are made by master craftspeople, who often use unusual techniques to achieve that specific look. If you have your ring worked on by another jeweler, you can risk ruining what made it special in the first place.
For beautiful hand engraving we recommend:
55 West 47th Street, Room 460, NYC
Hand engraving takes approximately one week.
If you have any questions or concerns about your particular ring please don't hesitate to speak to a member of our staff.