Monday, August 30, 2010

Novica Jewelry Review

About two weeks ago, I was contacted by a representative for Novica, a website associated with National Geographic. The site sells items hand made by artisans around the world. Jewelry is just one of the many items they sell, along with home decor, apparel, and paintings.

I was asked to give a review on Jewelry, and given a gift certificate to place an order with. I love jewelry, but I'm a pretty casual person. I don't wear any rings aside from my engagement ring (we never found a wrap or wedding ring that fit against it, so while I have been married for over 12 years now, I only wear my engagement band), and my ears have never coped with earrings. That leaves me with bracelets and necklaces- and I love necklaces!

In talking with Caitlin, I had my gift code in hand not even an hour after she first contacted me to do the review- I would consider that great customer service, given that it was later in the evening. Several places would have waited until the next business day to complete the request, but Caitlin was friendly, and quick in her replies.

The biggest problem I experienced with the site wasn't even what most would consider a problem- trying to find exactly what I wanted. I'm a frugal girl, so when I look at buying new things, I look at several things.

  • Cost
  • Quality
  • How often I'll use the item
  • Reviews
 So the issues I had were more along the lines of narrowing down my choices, and deciding just how much I should spend. My gift certificate was good for $50.00, and I wanted to stay under that as much as possible before shipping costs.

I skipped bracelets all together- I wear them, just not often. I wear necklaces far more often, and love them. When you go to the necklace area, I was impressed with just how far they break the list down. You have the main headings of:
  • Pendant
  • Choker
  • Y Necklace
  • Floral
  • Modern & Abstract
  • Strand
  • Animal Themed
  • Heart Shaped
  • Pearl Strands
Additionally, each of the first four are sorted further down by the style of the band, and the stones on them, such as Garnte, Peridot, Citrine, Onyx, and even Glass.

I started my search under Strand, and while I found many necklaces I loved, 1 stood out to me- Party Balloons, by Anusara.

Party Balloons is a mulit-strand, bright colored necklace using both stones and small beads. The lines intertwine with one another, and it has an adjustable chain on the end for lengthening or shortening the necklace.

I opted to purchase this necklace, which was $47.95. There were two options for shipping, one taking 2-14 days, and the other taking anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Many of the items on the site are made by world wide artisans, and mine specifically was made in Thailand. I was not sure if the necklace would be shipping from Thailand or from somewhere more local, so I opted to pay a bit extra and go with the 2-14 day shipping.

The shipping charges were reasonable, too. I paid $5.95 to have it come faster. I don't recall the price for the longer shipping service, but it was less than $5.95. Both were reasonable, and they allowed the left over gift certificate to cover part of the shipping costs.

I purchased my necklace on Wed, August 18th. Confirmation of the order arrived that evening, and on Friday, august 20th, I got notification that my item was shipped already.

I was pleasantly surprised- my necklace arrived on Tuesday, August 24th- not even a full week after placing the order.

My necklace was brought to my door via UPS, and I did have to sign for delivery- insuring that the item made it into my hands.

My necklace arrived with it's own jewelry box- a small square box with fiber paper covering it, and a leaf pressed into the center. It's a lovely little keepsake box. Inside the box was a natural colored pillow with the necklace wound carefully around it to hold it into place.

Also inside the box was a slip of card stock talking about the box, which is made of natural sea paaper and a handmade mulberry bark paper, which is made in a renewable way in Thailand. Also included was a small booklet that talked about both the necklace, and the artist who created it.

The necklace itself is just as lovely as depicted in the photos online. The lines used on the necklace are finely woven gossamer.

The necklace isn't too formal looking, and could be worn with a nice dress out, or with a more casual work outfit. It's definitely my style, and a total keeper.

Overall, I give the site, the necklace, and the artisan Anusara all positive, glowing reviews.

Check back tomorrow for a week long giveaway! The prize? A $50 gift certificate to Novica!

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