MATERIALS / FINISHES
FAIR TRADE PRINCIPALS
Handcrafted and (mostly) Earth Friendly Materials
Our statues, flags, jewelry and gifts are made in India, China, Nepal, the USA and Canada from a variety of organic materials including Ganges clay, Gypsum stone, cast pewter and brass, cold cast bronze, pewter, marble and wood. Polymer resins are used in a variety of our products as well.
Ganges river clay is rich in minerals and history. The Ganges is considered a Goddess in her own right, entering the earth after trickling through Shiva's matted hair and flowing out from under a glacier high in the Himalayas. She travels across northern India to reach the Indian Ocean near Calcutta and Bangladesh. Many holy bathing ghats line Her shores. Hereditary artists harvest our clay not far from the sacred Kali Ghats from which Calcutta gets its name.
Gypsum stone or Bonded Stone is an artist's castable material used for making models and statues. Gypsum has the amazing property of forming curved crystals in the earth called Selenite. Crescent shaped Selenite is named after the Roman Moon Goddess, Selene. So when you buy a Gypsum stone statue, it is made from crystals of the Goddess of the Moon.
Brass is mostly made of copper, a metal sacred to the Goddess Venus since ancient times. As Aphrodite, she originally came from the island of Cyprus, a land rich in copper deposits. Our brass statues harken back to the smith work sacred to the Goddess of Cyprus.
Jeweler's White Bronze: White Bronze based semi-precious metal alloyed with other non-toxic metals, such as zinc, for incredible strength and luster. This metal is nickel and lead free as well as hypo-allergenic. This beautifully crafted White Bronze, looking just like silver when it comes off the polishing wheels in the jewelry production, is additionally heavily plated with Sterling Silver to give it a True Just Like Silver look.
Regarding copper jewelry: copper does not rust, but it does oxidize, which means the color turns darker. Some people like the darker color while others do not. The darker color (oxidization) can be removed with a jewelry polishing cloth.
Resin is a modern matrix of hydrocarbons. While resin is a man-made material we can still find the Goddess at work. The word matrix implies the Great Mother in her birthing form, hydro means water and carbon comes from the earth. And besides, it's a really durable and versatile medium. OK, it's not the most earth friendly of the list, but we couldn't make statues with projecting arms or ones suitable for outdoor use without it!
Cold Cast Bronze, Cold Cast Pewter and Bonded Marble are usually foundry-cast and produced in a pressure tank used to get bubbles out of the mold and the finished sculpture. These products are essentially resin combined with bronze powder, pewter powder and marble powder. The patina for the cold-cast bronze is built into the material used for casting, but there is a lot of hand-buffing, a process done by the artisan's hand. Finished pieces of both products are then often sealed with clear polyurethane to protect the finish. They are heavy, detailed, and a little shinier than 100% metals, and they actually look better than solid bronze. We think this new material is a fantastic compromise that keeps the beauty, substantial weight and quality, and detail of bronze while keeping replicas affordable. Because metals on the world market have nearly tripled in cost in the past few years, 100% metal statues of the same size would be several times the cost of our cold cast bronze and pewter statues. 100% marble would also be two to three times the cost.
CARE: Our artists are continually improving materials. Caring for this cold cast bronze is done by wiping down with a clean, dry cloth. No chemicals, polishes, sprays or liquids should be used, and we find that it shines them up nicely.
OUTDOOR USE: Resin-based products like the cold cast bronze statues are made of some of the most durable materials available. Lightweight and easy to relocate, resin statues come in a variety shapes and sizes. But when painted, as they often are, colors may fade over time when exposed to the elements of sun, wind and water. However, a coat or two of a clear protectant will preserve the colors on your resin statuary for years to come.
Bonded Stone and Bonded Marble Statues: Usually composed of marble dust, stone, bauxite, acrylic or polyester resins and pigments. Powders are mixed with resins, and pigments added to the mix.
Cultured Marble: Cultured Marble is a precise blend of polyester resin, catalyst, fillers and pigments that is thoroughly mixed and placed into open molds that have been coated with a clear gel coat. The gel coat is specially formulated to produce a tough, durable, transparent surface resistant to wear. The manufacturer produces a unique range of colors, patterns, and veining. Besides being much less costly than natural marble, it has other advantages as well.
Most of our items are original artworks created by our sculptors, carved out of clay, stone, or wood. Here, one of our sculptors uses sculpting clay.
Once the original is carved, a mold is made, usually out of silicon. Here a casting of the Egyptian Goddess Selket is taken from a silicon mold.
Crushed stone in a liquid resin medium is poured into a silicon mold where it solidifies into a hard stone that reproduces all the detail and texture of the original.
All the finishes are done by hand. Many finishes include color detailing, a labor intensive process where colors are applied with small brushes by our skilled artisans.
Consumer Jewelry Guide
Everything you need to know about Sterling Silver Jewelry
Fine vs. Fashion Jewelry
The world of jewelry comes with its own vocabulary. Depending on the materials composing it—not the final price—the jewelry you purchase is either fine jewelry or fashion jewelry. Simply put, fine jewelry is made entirely from precious metal and/or non-synthetic gemstones—with some exceptions. Gold vermeil (gold plating over sterling silver) is considered “fine”, but gold or silver plated over other base metals is not.
Fashion or costume jewelry, on the other hand, consists of synthetic stones or non-precious metals, or is a mixture of natural, precious and created or non-precious materials. Search for sterling silver under “Fine Jewelry” and be sure to read product descriptions to filter out plated and lesser-quality pieces.
How do I know I’m buying sterling silver?
Laws in the United States, Canada, the U.K., and many other countries dictate that alloys containing less than 925 parts silver per thousand cannot be stamped or sold as sterling silver. When you buy sterling silver, look for markings like “sterling” and “925” stamped directly onto the piece of jewelry. Sterling silver plated jewelry will not be stamped 925.
That said, many jewelry manufacturers falsely advertise purity, mixing other (often toxic) materials or higher proportions of the alloyed metals while stamping “925” on each piece they manufacture. Oftentimes, online sellers import inferior products unknowingly. Customers purchase and leave negative feedback for these unsuspecting retailers, who end up paying fines and penalties on the behalf of dishonest manufacturers.
This can be avoided by becoming informed about the products you want to buy. If sellers don’t provide information, ask! One way to determine whether the silver you want to buy is as-advertised is to request assay certificates, which offer proof of silver content in a melted sample.
The quickest way to determine silver purity, however, is to find trustworthy brands sold by online retailers, or see if these reputable manufacturers sell their jewelry retail. Product reviews are helpful in determining quality but should be considered along with other factors. Look for environmental and labor standards as indicators of honesty and other company values, as well as unique copyrighted designs, guarantees, and any informational content aside from the products sold by these manufacturers.
The more you know about these companies, the better equipped you are to find the best value for your money!
Pewter Jewelry: our pewter jewelry partners are very conscientious about using the planet's metallic materials. All of our pieces are handmade one at a time from pouring each piece through the final touches of polishing each one individually. We take great care and pride in creating our pieces by hand in an old fashioned manner. In this way we are not only keeping the images and meanings alive but also the skill and techniques of the Master White Smiths of times past.
Gold Plated Pewter: Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, in this case, lead-free pewter. Often copper or silver are used in gold plating, and the surface is applied most often by chemical or electrochemical means.
Pewter Jewelry - Final Clear Coat:
When finished our pieces are dipped in a tarnish shield designed to protect the surface from darkening. We find that some environments can effect this clear coat. If you find a piece begins to tarnish just treat it as you would Sterling. Find a nice quality jewelry polish cloth, or silverware polish cloth and rub it once in a while. Avoid liquid metal cleaners as it will remove the dark oxidation in the lower parts of the design and loose the nice contrasts between the bright and darker parts of the piece.
Our pieces feel different than other pewter because we choose a Lead Free Pewter which is very close to the ancient Britannia mix. This mix is famed to have been created in England around 2000 years ago. In essence it is the flip of the old world bronze and brought about an abundance of a beautiful white metal. It contains copper which helps with the color, feel, and overall vibration of the metal. Also we take the time and care to polish the pieces to our unique very bright finish.
Jeweler's White Bronze: An innovative new semi-precious metal alloy as a deliberate and specific response to the economic times; but not for the reason or in the manner one may think.
Jeweler's White Bronze has a stunning Silver-like luster without the price of Sterling, giving everyone the opportunity to own the beautiful designs that inspire them!
This new Semi-Precious metal alloy is nickel and lead free as well as Hypoallergenic.
Our Collection is a value-priced alternative to silver for the cost-conscious. This patented new semi-precious metal is created to meet high quality standards and each piece of the collection is crafted with the same attention to detail as our silver jewelry line.
With the same highly-polished look as Sterling Silver, but at a considerably lower cost, Jeweler's White Bronze helps to make stunning designs more affordable and just as inspiring!
Statuary Finishes: A Wide Variety
Our finishes are hand applied using water based pigments and paints. Hand painted statues are detailed and polished by artisans. Other finishes are meant to replicate the look of a specific material such as Terracotta or Red Bronze. Still others are made to duplicate the original finish of an actual artifact, such as red/black or silver/brown.
The handmade nature of our statues means that the finishes will occasionally vary. Please view this as part of the artist's license with his work. We are continually striving to improve our products, and this may cause changes as well.
Water based finishes are best protected with a sealant such as satin spray polyurethane (from any hardware store). If it is going to be used near water for rituals or pujas, sealants will keep the paint from running and the clay intact.
Flags and Banners: Goddess flags and banners come from Bali, Indonesia and Kathmandu, Nepal for the most part. They are either printed (cotton flags from Nepal) or hand batik'd through a fascinating process that involves wax and an artisans touch. The step by step process can be found at this link: http://www.expat.or.id/info/batiksteps.html
Goddess Jewelry: Our jewelry that features semi-precious stones is American-made and comes to us from a variety of artisans on the east and west coasts. Whenever you select a stone to be placed in a pendant or earrings, our artisans carefully choose a stone to place in your customized piece. Please allow extra time for delivery. Domestic orders will usually be in your mailbox within two weeks unless you hear from us. Some of our jewelry is also imported.
Fair Trade: Goddessgift.net works with wholesalers who are dedicated to the principals of Fair Trade. Fair trade offers an excellent means of ensuring that purchasing has a positive impact on poverty reduction. Trade is one of the most effective ways of reducing poverty. Fair-trade can make a significant contribution to helping poor people receive more of the benefits of trade, improve the prices they are paid and raise consumer awareness.
Fair Trade Federation (FTF) members link low-income producers with consumer markets and educate consumers about the importance of purchasing fairly traded products which support living wages and safe and healthy conditions for workers in the developing world. FTF provides resources and networking opportunities for its members and acts as a clearinghouse for information on fair trade. Find out more here: http://www.fairtradefederation.org
Refund Policy: Global Gifts offers a full guarantee of satisfaction on all items. Simply call us for a return authorization number prior to shipping at (805) 540-9520. Please return unwanted merchandise within 7 days of receipt for a refund, credit, or exchange in its original packaging.
Please note in your package why you are returning the item(s) so we can improve our service and our website if discrepancies occur. We will issue the refund to either the credit card you used originally, or to your PayPal account. You will be notified when the refund is credited to your account.
For items that arrive broken, please send us a photo of the broken item. We may be able to file a claim with just the photo, or we may need you to send it back. We will pay you back for the postage on any broken or defective item, but please note: we can only reimburse you for parcel post shipping, so please choose the least expensive shipping method. We do not generally refund postage unless the item is not as described or arrives broken.
Customized jewelry items: sized rings or jewelry with custom stones are not refundable.
Please contact us before returning any item in order to receive a return authorization number. Many larger items are shipped to another location. Send all items via least expensive shipping method to: Goddessgift.net, 950 Los Osos Vly Rd, Ste. A1, Los Osos, CA 93402 USA.
We appreciate you letting us know you are sending something back at (805) 540-9520. We will authorize your return at that time.