Return Shipping Instructions
We like to think that our gems are so
beautiful that once you (or anyone else) gets them in their hands they
would never want to return them! However, we understand that sometimes
it will be necessary. So if you decide to return
a gem or gems here are some instructions on how to do so.
our return policy here)
the gem your name, telephone number, email and address so we know who
sent it back. If you can send a copy of the original invoice that will
help too. (It might be a good idea to keep a copy for yourself though,
especially if you kept one or more of the gems that are listed on it.)
most important thing is the packaging. Gems should be individually
stored in small baggies or small gem boxes (never more than one gem to
a box or bag!) and if stored in small baggies should ideally be double
bagged for greater protection.
Packaging the gem securely is actually more important than what
shipping method you use. In over 20 years of business we have never had
a properly packaged gem lost, stolen or damaged. (Thank God for that!)
We have had an improperly packaged gem damaged though, and poor
packaging also increases the risk of theft.
I will show how to package the gem using US Mail free packaging since
that is one of the easiest shipping options for most people, but these
same packaging concepts apply to shipping using UPS or Federal Express.
Much of this advice is taken from our shipping insurance provider and
gleaned from their experience in shipping millions of packages for
hundreds of different companies.
The gem should not rattle around and the gem’s
package should also not be loose and shake in the box. This makes
multiple gems less likely to bump into each other and be damaged.
Also when your box doesn’t make noise it is much less interesting to
We find Priority Mail Small Flat Rate boxes (see image) very useful. It
doesn't matter how much the box weighs and it is fairly easy to make a
shipping label online. These boxes are available
for free at the post office. Since
there are so many of them being shipped every day they don’t attract
much attention and they also are a good size and inexpensive to ship.
First put the gem enclosed in its baggie or box and your information
into a separate envelope. Flat Rate Priority Mail Envelopes or Padded
Envelopes (also free!) work great for this.
Our shipping address is:
John Dyer (it is better to use only my name and no
5021 Vernon Ave. S.
Edina, MN 55436
the word "Gem", "Gemstone", "Jewelry" or any other related term on the outside of the
box! This lets everyone know what is in the box and makes it
far more interesting to thieves!
Put the address on the outside of the inner
envelope. (If you are printing an address label for the shipment print
at least two for this reason!) Seal the envelope with clear tape and
cover the address label with clear tape too. If handwriting the
shipping address then hand write it on this inner envelope and tape
over it. The tape keeps water from damaging this label and seals the
envelope. With an
inner envelope if the outer box is somehow damaged and opened there
will still be a sealed inner envelope complete with address that can
keep on going to its final destination. Also this double layer of
protection makes it FAR harder to extract the gem or gems by puncturing
the outer box.
For those shipping Fedex or UPS,
since their boxes are larger the envelope will need to be taped inside
the shipping box or the box
should be filled with bubble wrap or some other packing material.
If you are shipping Priority Mail then fold the envelope and slip it
into the Small Flat Rate Priority Mail Box.
Here is a picture of a Small Flat Rate envelope inserted into a Small
Flat Rate box. If you have a larger envelope or a padded envelope you
will need to fold it more to fit it into the box, but it can be done! Packaging
things in this way will make it very firm when the box is closed and it
will not rattle around and run the risk of damage or making noise to
attract unwanted attention.
Once the envelope has been inserted into the box seal the box, placing
mailing label (or write our address) on the front and tape over the
address area and seal all the seams of the box with clear packing tape.
If you are shipping a less expensive gem via Priority Mail and you have
printed the label from the US Postal Service's website you are done and
ready to take it to the Post Office!
To make things more convenient and less expensive for our clients we
will cover up to US$2,000 worth of value when you ship back to us using
Priority Mail, or $5,000 worth of value when you ship Express Mail,
Federal Express Overnight, or UPS Overnight service as long as the
packaging is done according to our instructions on this page and the
tracking number is emailed to us at This covers theft, damage
or loss during shipping.
If what you are shipping is over this value limit then we recommend
getting insurance from the Post Office or if shipping UPS or Fedex
please contact us to arrange the best way to ship with insurance.
When we ship UPS or Fedex we use a special 3rd party insurance provider
insurance offered directly by Fedex and UPS usually does not cover
gemstones and jewelry. If you prefer to ship using Fedex or UPS we can
email you a
return shipping label using our third party insurance and then reduce
the amount of your refund by the amount that return shipping and
If shipping Express or Priority Mail it is a good idea to get the free
insurance ($50 for Priority and $100 for Express) that the Post office
offers in addition to our in house value coverage, because it might
make them take additional care with the package.
CHOOSING A SHIPPING OPTION:
of the first factors to consider is which is most convenient? Post
Office, Fedex or UPS? Usually there will be one or more of
these near where you are located.
For US shipments if you want the gem insured often the US Postal
Service is the best route to go.
save on shipping costs and also save yourself from having to hand write
the labels you can create an account on the US Postal Service's website
and pay, create the labels online and print them on your printer. By
doing this you will save about 10-15% off the price the postage would
normally cost if you went in to your local post office and paid the
Shipping gems with the US post office your service options are:
Priority Mail, this is
often the cheapest option and offers 2-3 business day service, usually
insurance is provided for free and the package can be insured for up to
$5,000. This service includes tracking and for an additional fee will
require a signature upon delivery. A “Small Flat Rate Box” available
free at the post office currently costs $6.80 to ship with standard
confirmation and about $9 with signature confirmation. Do NOT
use "Direct Signature" since that would require me to sign for it
personally or "Adult Signature" since that costs more and there are
only adults where the packages are recieved anyway. If you want
additional insurance besides our in house coverage of up to $2,000 for
Priority Mail (see info here) that will range
from $8 for $500 worth of insurance to about
$65 for $5,000 worth. Tip: Use the Small Flat Rate box so you don’t
have to worry about the weight.
Priority Mail Express
(this used to be called Express Mail and we will refer to it as
“Express”) this service is usually overnight if you get it in to the
post office before 3pm. Otherwise it might be a 2 day service but it is
very reliable and according to a study by a major jewelry insurance
company it is the most secure of all shipping options offered by any
major carrier. If shipping according to our specifications we cover
these inbound shipments for up to US$5,000 (see
info here). The Post office also offers
insurance up to $5,000 in total value for purchase.
our calculations Express Mail becomes cheaper than Priority Mail when
the insured value passes $2,500. Generally we recommend Express mail if
the value of the gems being shipped passes $2,000 because of the
greater security and the peace of mind of a fast delivery.
Express Mail pricing for a 2 pound box (most shipments of gems will be
under 2 pounds but we are using that figure for pricing calculations)
is currently about $37 if purchased at the Post Office and about $30 if
you fill out the shipping info and print the label at www.usps.com
which is the Post Office’s official website. This base rate includes
$100 of insurance for free. If you want extra insurance (other than our
in house insurance see
info here) it runs about $2.60 for $500
worth of insurance and $17.45 for $5,000 worth.
You can see that for a
larger value of insurance Express becomes cheaper than regular Priority
if the insured value is higher since the insurance is cheaper. If you
want to ship something of more than $5,000 in value via Express Mail we
can cover the difference of up to a $10,000 total value in house. (You
pay for 5k of insurance and we cover the differencein value in return
getting the gem(s) back quickly.)
can use the Flat Rate Padded Envelope and place the Small Flat Rate
Priority Mail box inside it, packaged as mentioned before. This
supplies 3 levels of packaging to protect the gem. (We recommend a
label on the outside of each package for maximum security!) Also NEVER
ship a gem without at least one box (in this case the Small Flat Rate
Priority Mail box inside the envelope) because the rolling equipment
the post office uses to process flat mail pieces can sometimes crush
gems in envelopes alone. They don't use that equipment on thicker
packages like boxes or padded envelopes with a box inside.
If you prefer using a box on the outside it is best NOT to use the
Express flat rate box since that will cost significantly more than
using a regular (non flat rate) Express Mail box. Boxes are a bit
secure than the padded envelope, so if you don’t have a scale but want
to ship a non flat rate box using the online label generator just put
down 2 pounds as the weight and you can be sure your box will weigh
less unless you have put mighty BIG rocks in there!
offered by the US post office. It is a slower service (can take up to
10-14 days depending on distance) but it offers insurance up to $25,000
and the declared value can be higher yet. (They will charge based on
the declared value including the amount that is over $25,000 but will
only insure to $25,000). It includes tracking but has some restrictions
as to packaging materials. The box must be sealed with paper type glued
tape (they do NOT accept any kind of standard tape that is sticky
without wetting it as they feel this is less secure). Packaging this
kind of shipment is a little more of a hassle since you have to use a
smallish box and a special kind of tape, also the cost is greater than
Priority Mail but can be a bit less than Express Mail. This is a very
secure shipping method and provides insurance for a reasonable price,
our "in house" insurance policy
does not cover it though because it is a slow shipping method and we
prefer getting our gems back quickly if they must come back.
is a good
shipper but their insurance often does not cover loose gemstones and
jewelry (read the fine print). Our "In House"
insurance will cover you for up to US$5,000 in value for their
overnight service. Never use their ground service, always
go Overnight. For higher values than $5,000 we use a third party
insurer and if needed can generate a
shipping label (later deducting the cost of this from the amount we
refund you for the returned gem). If you need this service please
contact us via email! If they ask you what is in the box it is better
to call gems “minerals” (which they are) as that attracts less
attention. Still do not write this on the outside of the box. Double
box using their Small and Medium sized boxes with one inside the other
following the same instructions above for mailing Priority Mail.
UPS also offers express
service which works fairly well (don't use their ground service for
gems), but their insurance often does not cover loose gemstones and
jewelry (read the fine print). Our "In
House" insurance will cover you for up to US$5,000 if sent overnight, if shipping
something more valuable than that we use a third
party insurer and if
needed can generate a shipping label for you (we take this cost out of
the amount we
refund you for the returned gem). If you need this let us know by
email! If UPS asks you what is in the box when you are shipping it
is better to call gems “minerals” (which they are) as they sometimes
have restrictions about what they will ship and also it is less likely
to make someone want to steal the contents. Never write “Gems”
“Jewelry” or anything like that on the outside of the box! When
shipping UPS always double box with their Small and Medium sized
boxes. Place one inside the other in a similar way as the
instructions above for mailing Priority Mail.
Email the tracking information for the return shipment to me at:
- Securely wrap each gem individually
- Place all gems and your contact info inside box
- Package should not make noise
- Tape all seams with clear tape
- Use at least 2 layers of sealed packaging, at least
one of which should be a box.
- Place a label on each layer of packaging
- Do NOT use gem or jewelry related words on outside of
- Ship with tracking
- Do NOT require "Direct Signature,"
just a regular signature is fine.
Hope this has helped you! If you have any questions please email or
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