Do you currently have a retail location?
Our celebrated shop closed its doors in 2020, after 25 years. Originally launched as PUSH in the 1990s, and rebranded as Karen Karch in the early 2000s, our forward-thinking brick-and-mortar business has evolved into an online shop, with in-person appointments are available in New York City, or virtually with FaceTime, Google Meet, or Zoom.
Our jewelry is also available through a few select stockists including Love Adorned on Elizabeth Street and in Amagansett.
Where is your jewelry made?
We have local workshops in both New York City and in Austin, Texas. We design and craft all of our pieces one at a time, hands on, in strictly limited quantities.
Do you offer custom design?
Karen Karch has been dedicated to collaborating with her clients on artistic custom jewelry for over 25 years. These designs, exceptional in thought and craft, include numerous engagement rings and wedding bands.
An existing signature design often serves as inspiration for a new piece. Designs can be recreated in your preferred metal and with your choice of diamonds or gemstones in a different size, shape, or color. We can alter the width of a band or change the length of chains or beads. An engraving can be added.
A completely new concept is always welcome. For these designs, the starting point is a CAD drawing. We will show you multiple views of your design, and sometimes even a video. We can then quote you an accurate price for your completed piece. The fee for the initial design development and drawing is $150.
With your approval of the design and price, a 50% deposit is required. Once the design is further developed and finalized, we often take the extra step of creating a silver model to see the piece in real life, and to be sure every detail is right before casting in precious metal. We then craft your piece at the jeweler’s bench, in one of our workshops in either New York City or Austin.
We invite you to share your ideas to inspire Karen to create an original one-of-a-kind matchless piece.
Where do you get your metals, diamonds, and gemstones?
We are passionate about the quality of our pieces and hand select each and every stone, inspecting carefully prior to setting in our designs. We have built long term relationships with a network of trusted suppliers, some we have met in the New York City diamond district, and others we find at the annual Tucson Gem Show. In 2024 we plan to travel to India.
Can you create a custom design with my stones and metal?
We do accept diamonds and gemstones that are in good condition, either loose or set in your pieces that were gifted or inherited. We don't always know the condition of the stones until they are removed from their settings.
We can take your gold and platinum and sell it as scrap. The full amount of the cash we receive will be a payment toward your custom piece. In certain circumstances, we can cast a new piece with your old metal. Note that this process is labor intensive and some of the metals burns off, so often to do this we need to add to the metal you have to cast your new piece- so the cost may be much the same.
How do you avoid conflict diamonds?
Karen Karch sources diamonds exclusively through respected legitimate dealers, many of whom, like us, are small businesses with similar ethical standards. Also note that lab grown diamonds and diamonds from Australia are conflict free.
Do you work with lab grown diamonds?
We offer a selection of ready made designs with "Cultured" Lab Diamonds and by request for customized bespoke designs. Lab diamonds are conflict free, and in comparison to mined diamonds are more affordable with less environmental impact.
Lab diamonds are physically identical to mined diamonds, each with its own unique inclusions, imperfections. They are grown as rough that does require a human element as they need to be cut.
Do you provide gemological certificates and appraisals?
Some of our ready-made rings come with GIA or EGL certificates. If you commission a custom piece, you will have the option of a certified diamond or gem of your choice. IGI certificates are available for lab diamonds.
We offer Retail Replacement Appraisals upon request. Most insurance companies require these to add your pieces to your homeowner's or rental policy. We recommend that you request updates every 5-10 years as prices may increase with inflation.
Does your jewelry come with a warranty?
We give individual attention to each piece we create so that it will be as resilient as possible. As with anything worn daily or in regular rotation, some maintenance and repairs may be required. Metal will wear away and weaken: diamonds and gems can get scratched or break.
Within the first year of purchase, we will repair any issue due to a manufacturing fault. This warranty excludes coverage for damages due to excessive wear, tear or negligence. We reserve the right to assess the piece to determine the cause of the damage, and the fee for the repair.
Do you offer ring sizing?
We can resize most rings that we make if the required size is within a few sizes up or down. If a ring has a more complex design, or has stones set all the way around, we will need to recreate it to your size.
The first resize is complimentary if done within the first year of purchase. A fee will be applied thereafter and for the second sizing and so on.
Please note, once a ring is sized or ordered in a specific size other than what we have readymade, it is considered a custom piece and can not be returned, exchanged or refunded.
Which stones are best for daily wear?
If you are hard on your jewelry, we recommend that you select diamonds, rubies or sapphires. Diamonds are the most resilient of all stone options. We offer brilliant cut diamonds as well as rose cuts in traditional colorless; black diamonds in natural or treated: and natural one-of-a-kind salt n' pepper, white, gray, champagne and cognac.
Rubies and sapphires are the next most resilient on the hardness scale. Sapphires colors include light to dark shades of blues, as well as light and bright pinks and yellows to moody greens.
Other gemstones are fine to wear mindfully. See Jewelry Care for more details.
How do I care for my jewelry?
We recommend always being realistic about your day's activities when wearing your jewelry. Do not wear your jewelry in the ocean, the swimming pool, or during any activities in which it will be exposed it to chemicals or salt.
As a general rule, remove your rings when using hand sanitizer, washing your hands or the dishes, cleaning house, or shampooing your hair. Do not wear rings when lifting heavy objects or using tools for activities such as gardening.
We recommend that you do not wear any beaded pieces when in water including the bath or shower. The thread on which they are strung will stretch and weaken.
Silver, Gold & Platinum:
Gently rub with a polishing cloth. If your piece is tarnished or has built up dirt and residue, dip it in our liquid cleaning solution and rub it while wet with a polishing cloth. For even deeper cleaning, use a soft brush or toothbrush, but nothing that can scratch the metal or stones. Use a our cleaning solution or other cleaning solution specific to jewelry, or a gentle non-abrasive dishwashing soap.
Blackened Gold or Blackened Silver:
Avoid water when wearing plated pieces. Do not rub them with a polishing cloth. This will remove the plating faster. The blackened color is achieved by applying a black rhodium layer to the surface of the metal. It will wear away in time to expose the underlying metal with a darker patina in the textured areas and between the stones. We can re-plate your piece for a fee.
Diamonds and Gemstones:
All gems can be rubbed gently with a smooth cloth or polishing cloth. For even deeper cleaning, use a soft brush or toothbrush, but nothing that can scratch the metal or stones. Use our cleaning solution or other cleaning solution specific to jewelry, or a gentle non-abrasive dishwashing soap.
For softer, more porous gems like turquoise and pearls, we recommend cleaning keeping them dry and clean them with a polishing cloth.
For an all purpose cleaner, our signature KK Cleaner is available for purchase here: https://www.karenkarch.com/collections/jewelry-care/products/karen-karch-gem-jewelry-cleaner/