Frequently Asked Questions
We pride ourselves in using fine materials that wear well with your life. All of our pieces are solid silver and gold with occasional accents of solid bronze or brass. We do not carry any items that are plated or filled as we want our adornments to be as pure and durable as possible. See each item page for a complete list of materials used in each piece.
About 95% of the metals used in our pieces are recycled from post consumer materials. Then, when we have scrap material at the end of a production cycle, we sell that scrap back to our dealers to be refined and, ultimately, used again. This creates a closed loop system within the United States which means less mining, less international movement, less environmental impact, and a more sustainable product.
This is a long and nuanced discussion that we can spend hours on (stop into the shop and ask - Alexa may deliver a whole lecture if you're interested) but the short answer is yes, we are exceptionally discerning about the ethical provenance of our stones.
All diamond materials used are certified under the Kimberly Process or are reclaimed or lab grown. We have developed close relationships with our colored gem dealers who are all certified by the American Gem Trade Association. The AGTA requires strict adherence to an uncompromising code of ethics when working with miners or siteholders. We only work with dealers whose chain of custody is short and whose provenance is well documented to not incorporate practices like forced or child labor. We currently avoid newly mined materials like emerald, tanzanite, jade, coral, and lapis lazuli that regularly fund organized crime or cost an increased environmental toll.
We also provide reclaimed & post-consumer stones that have been recut and reused. There’s also the option to buy stones mined and cut within the USA which reduces environmental impact and energy usage.
Finally, there’s always the option of purchasing a cultured or lab-grown version of the stone you’re looking for. These stones are chemically and structurally the same thing as what you’d mine from the earth but are instead made in laboratories. They have the added benefits of being more budget friendly and environmentally friendly, but also cost many communities in developing countries the opportunity to profit from their natural resources - instead compounding wealth in the hands of a few wealthy corporations.
Overall, we realize that there are a lot of challenges in finding the right ethical option. Don't be afraid to tell us about your concerns and we will find a stone and a solution that fits your life and your ethos.
Our jewelry is made in our Greenport studio by owners Susan Pridham and Alexa Suess in Greenport, NY. We also show a few other select artists and studios that align with our principles from across the country. No sweatshops, no slave labor.
Returns + Exchanges
That's because we don't have one! Too many spam calls took time away from helping our lovely clients so we did away with it. Rest assured we check our email constantly throughout the day so you can contact us here or via Instagram or Facebook DM!
We want you to be as happy with your purchase as we were making it. You may return or exchange your purchase within 30 days of purchase date. If it is beyond 30 days, we will issue a store credit that can be used towards any item in our shop as well as custom or bespoke orders. Credit never expires.
Items over a year old or pieces that are worn or damaged cannot be issued credit or returned.
Customized items and sale items are FINAL SALE and are not eligible for exchange, return, or store credit.
If you wish to cancel your order and it has not shipped yet, please email us immediately. As long as your order has not been packed, we can refund you right away.
Orders can be returned to this address: Common Ground, ATTN: Returns, 123 Main St. Ste C, Greenport, NY 11944
Items for return or exchange must be undamaged and in their original packaging. Return shipping and all associated costs are the returnee's liability. We are not responsible for lost return packages. We recommend tracked and insured shipping via FedEx or USPS so that it gets back to us safely.
Once we receive your return, please allow up to 4 working days for us to issue a refund. Refunds will be issued for the cost of the goods minus outward shipping costs.
Currently we offer complimentary resizing for all of our karat gold rings. Our sterling rings are sold as-is and cannot be sized. Refer to the item's description as to whether or not a ring can be resized.
If you do not know your ring size, you may visit a professional jeweler to help you obtain your correct ring size. We do not recommend online sizing guides in lieu of getting sized properly — these other "quick" methods have proven to be very unreliable. If you'd like us to ship a free ring sizer to you, you can do that here: https://bit.ly/3izVEhe
You are also welcome to take your ring to a local jeweler to see if they may be able to safely resize the piece for you. Note we do not resize other artisans' rings.
Yes! We guarantee our work under normal & reasonable wear! That means that if something prevents you from wearing your piece related to workmanship (ie: a chain snaps, a prong is pulled ect) you can let us know and we will gladly repair your pieces at no charge.
Note that we only guarantee our work under 'normal & reasonable' wear. That means that if you close your ring in a car door or drop it when skydiving - that repair may incur a charge.
Absolutely! We guarantee our workmanship under normal wear. Please contact us here to arrange a repair.
We do not repair other artisan's work.
If you care for your jewelry, it can last lifetimes. Jewelry, like all material, is susceptible to damage and requires preventative measures and maintenance. It is important to be aware of your jewelry while wearing it and to choose pieces that are appropriate for your lifestyle.
We recommend removing all jewelry, especially rings, in situations when abnormal contact is expected (ie: going to the gym, gardening, ect.) Please do not swim in chlorinated or saltwater with any metal jewelry as it will incur damage that may not be able to be reversed.
When not in use, store your jewelry in a soft airtight container to prevent tarnish and damage.
You may clean your jewelry with clear soap and water, but never use other types of cleaners (they may destroy natural stones and remove any patina on the piece). Sometimes a soft toothbrush and a drop of Dawn dish soap is helpful for gently cleaning around prongs and the stone itself. Sunshine® Polishing Cloths are great for removing unwanted oxidization and are safe to use on all of our pieces.
Silver pieces that have been intentionally oxidized (darkened) will wear to a lighter finish eventually due to the natural oils on your skin. To have it re-oxidized free of charge, contact us here.
No silversmithing or metal working experience is necessary to take our Beginner level workshops.
Note that Intermediate and Advanced workshops may have prerequisites. If you have not attended a prerequisite workshop but feel you are ready for a class that requires that, please message us here to let us know about your previous experience.
If you are signed up for a 'public' class (ie: you purchased a seat and not a full private class) you must notify us of cancellation within 48 hours of the class in order to receive a full refund. Cancellations under 48 hours and no-shows will NOT be refunded. We take this policy seriously to be fair to other people on the waiting list and fair to our instructor.
For private classes, please contact us within 24 hours to reschedule. Note that while private classes can be rescheduled, they cannot be refunded.
On the rare occasion that the instructor needs to cancel a class, we will contact everyone as soon as possible and will send full refunds immediately.
Email us or contact us here! We can discuss which project is best for your group as well as dates and times.
Our classes are small and intimate so we can give everyone the attention they deserve. We have a maximum of four students per class.
Everything you need for your workshop - from materials to tools are included in the price. For stonesetting classes, you are welcome to bring your own stones but we do have a selection to choose from if you don't.
For longer classes (over 3 hours) we recommend bringing a beverage and/or a bite to eat.
People who have long hair should bring a hair-tie or headband to keep hair up and out of your work area. It is dangerous to wear your hair down during our classes.
Due to insurance requirements, all public workshop attendees must be 18 or older. Private workshops can accommodate students 16+ with parental or guardian supervision. Waivers for students 16-17 years of age must be signed by a parent or guardian that's 18 or older.
Our workshops take place inside our shop Common Ground at123 Main St. Ste C, Greenport NY 11944.
Items denoted as "made to order" can take up to 7-10 days to process because we make those pieces just for you! Items marked as "ready to ship" will leave our shop within two business days of the purchase date.
Most domestic shipments arrive within 3 business days. Please note every item has a different lead time depending on if it's "ready to ship" or "made to order." See above for more info.
International orders will depend on the service selected. You will be able to see estimated international shipping times at checkout.
Yes! We currently ship to France, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Canada. We're adding new shipping destinations every year.
For orders shipped within the USA, we use USPS or Fedex depending on the weight and value of the item. Every item is trackable and orders over $100 are fully insured. Orders above $500 are shipped via Fedex Express due to insurance requirements.
Orders shipped outside the USA (we currently ship to France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Canada) are shipped with UPS Worldwide. Rates vary depending on speed of service.
Bespoke + Custom Pieces
We love making bespoke pieces! However, due to the high volume of requests, we can only put so many people on our waiting list at a time. Similar to many popular tattoo artists, we have a books open/books closed system. When our books are OPEN, we can put you on our waiting list and give you an approximate timeline for when we can start your project (it can be up to three months) When our books are CLOSED, we unfortunately are not taking any new projects on our waiting list.
Currently, our books are OPEN.
We first talk about your wants, needs, desires, and a budget. We exchange ideas and photos over email and I draw up some loose sketches and even some digital renderings. If you approve them, we move forward and I require a 50% non-refundable deposit. After it's made, the remaining 50% is due upon approval and then shipment or pickup.
Totally fine! Stuff happens. We will cancel your bespoke slot.
This depends on the complexity of the project. Allow a few weeks for simple projects and 2-3 months for moderate-complex projects.
There's no easy answer to this because it depends on the complexity and materials required for the project. Generally, sterling silver pieces start at $200 while gold pieces can go as high as $30k. Let us know your budget and we'll work with you to create something you'll love.
Heirloom stones are an amazing way to make what's old new again. Unfortunately, we are not taking resetting projects at this time. We suggest checking out Fitzgerald Jewelry in Brooklyn, NY.
Yes! We work with plenty of stones. We'll help you find the right stone for your needs - whether that's a diamond or an amethyst! Just note that we don't typically work with pearls.
We do not.
We take your privacy very seriously at Orenda DBA Common Ground. We do not sell nor share any personal data collected with any outside agency or organization other than as necessary to complete your business transactions (such as credit card processing or shipping address).
We may at times send you information about sales, specials, or other events. You may opt out of such contact by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.
We retain account information such as email address, name, and address on our system to make your shopping and ordering experience faster and more convenient. Such information can be removed from our system by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by written request to our store address.
Occasionally we may offer discounts and sale prices. Discount codes or sale pricing is applicable to the date of sale only and will not be applied retroactively or extended to purchases made past said date.
All prices listed are accurate to the best of our ability. In the rare case that an item is listed incorrectly, Orenda DBA Common Ground reserves the right to refuse the sale and may offer the items again at with the correct information.
Orenda DBA Common Ground does not guarantee the availability of any items listed on commongroundjewelry.com. If the item selected for purchase is not available, Orenda DBA Common Ground will make every effort to contact the customer to notify them of the cancellation.
Please note that upon placing an order, a receipt is automatically mailed confirming the purchase intent. This receipt does not constitute a contract, and orders may be cancelled at any time due to insufficient stock, inability to authorize a credit card, suspicion of fraudulent intent, discovery of an incorrect item price, or any other reason, as we see fit. Please further note that Orenda DBA Common Ground shall have the right to refuse or cancel any such order whether or not your credit card has been charged. If your credit card has already been charged and your order is canceled, Orenda DBA Common Ground shall issue a credit to your credit card account in the amount of the purchase.
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If you experience any difficulty in accessing any part of this website, please feel free to email us at email@example.com — and we will work with you to provide the information, item, or transaction you seek through an alternate communication method or that is accessible for you consistent with applicable law (for example, through telephone support).