Frequently Asked Questions
- Are you Goldsmith Gallery, or Alaska Jewelry?
Both! Alaska Jewelry Inc. is the parent company of Goldsmith Gallery
- How much does shipping cost?
It's free! We cover the cost of domestic priority mail shipping (insured) for all jewelry items. If you want expedited or international shipment (or are purchasing non-jewelry items) then you pay standard shipping rates.
- Why is there no sales tax?
There is no state sales tax in Alaska, only local. So, only purchases made physically in Sitka are charged a 6% sales tax.
- How long have you been in business?
Goldsmith Gallery was founded by Chris and Tamara Fondell in 1990.
- Do you ship internationally?
Yes. We've shipped to Australia, the United Kingdom, Spain, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia, India, and many others! Costs vary based on the size and value of the items, as well as the rates for different countries. In most cases, you must also pay import taxes to your own national authorities.
- Do you sell loose diamonds?
Yes. We are a direct diamond importer.
- Are your gold nuggets real?
Yes. We only sell natural gold nuggets. You can tell the difference between natural and man-made gold nuggets pretty easily.
- Why are your nuggets more expensive than others online?
Origin. Our natural gold nuggets are from Alaska. Gold nuggets from Australia are quite common while natural gold nuggets from Alaska are quite rare.
- What is the REAL difference between white gold and platinum?
Price and care. Platinum is more expensive. It is heavier, wears very well, and will always be white. When I say "wears well" I mean that it doesn't wear down over time. However, it is quite soft so it does scratch easily and becomes dull faster than white gold. There is no such thing as natural white gold-it's all yellow gold that is alloyed with white metal (usually nickel) and then plated with white metal (usually rhodium). It is less expensive than platinum, more resistant to bending and easier to polish. However, because it is plated, the plating must be occasionally replaced to maintain the bright white appearance. Both are excellent choices, and in most cases it boils down to preference.
- 14 karat gold, 18k, and 24k gold-what's the difference?
Purity. Pure gold is 24 karat gold. It's the heaviest-but too soft to be practical for most jewelry applications. 18k gold is 18 parts gold, 6 parts alloy (some other metal). Heavier than 14k gold, and a bit softer. 14k gold is 14 parts gold, 10 parts alloy. It's quite strong, and more desirable for small things like earring backs, posts, thin rings, and small prongs. 10k gold is cheap. It's also less expensive, more affordable, and doesn't cost as much. (you get the idea)
- Do you build custom jewelry?
Yes. If you've got a picture of a style you'd like made, a design in your mind, or a sketch on a napkin, we can help you transform it into a custom jewelry piece. Give us a call!
- Where are you located?
Sunny Southeast Alaska! Our store is at: 407 Lincoln Street Sitka, Alaska 99835
- Are there penguins in Alaska?
No. Penguins live in Antarctica. But we do live in igloos and commute to and from work by dogsled...
- Is your jewelry guaranteed?
Yes. Specifically, we guarantee that ANY jewelry item purchased from us will PROFESSIONALLY appraise for the same amount (or more) than you paid for it. If it doesn't, we'll pay you the difference. No, we will not accept an appraisal from a jeweler, family member, or close friend who knows a lot about jewelry.
Also, we offer an industry first Sauron Free Guarantee on all men's rings.
- Can I view an item in your store before I purchase it?
Yes! But, you'll have to come to Sitka, Alaska. All kidding aside, we understand the problems associated with purchasing online-especially something as expensive and personal as fine jewelry! That's why we offer risk free 31 day returns and free shipping. When all is said and done, we want you to be our happy customer.
- Are you members of any trade associations?
Yes. We are members of the Retail Jewelers Organization and we possess the highest rating available from the Jewelers Board of Trade.
- Do you have a catalog?
Not at this time, sorry.
- What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards. We can also accept the following on a case by case basis: check, money order, and wire transfer. Please call if you would prefer to pay using one of these methods.
- Is the free shipping insured?
Yes. We fully insure all items, whether you select the free USPS Priority Mail shipping or USPS Express mail.
- What is your "Best Price Guarantee"?
You will not find a better price for an identical (and currently in stock) item somewhere else, because Alaska Jewelry sells at the minimum price allowed by the designers we carry. If you find a better advertised price, show us-and we'll match it. Sales offer must be from an Authorized Jeweler in good standing with the designer. Item has to be 100% identical and be a publicly advertised offer- no written or verbal quotes can be accepted. Not valid on clearance or closeout items. May not be combined with other offers. Valid on in-stock items only. We reserve the right to refuse any offer.
- How do I tell real gold nuggets from fake ones?
Usually it's pretty easy to tell, as most nuggets will have natural inclusions of quartz, or visible trace elements of other metals that give them a "rusty' tinge. Also, a natural nugget will have a worn and scratched surface, and non uniform character. Most fake nuggets are easy to spot, especially in jewelry. If you're worried about a loose gold nugget being fake-just buy one from us instead. ;)