Review of the Unicorn Ambrosia necklace.
Over the past couple of months, I have undergone several rounds of allergy testing and discovered that many of my health issues are related to environmental and/or food allergies (tales for another day). Currently I am on the reintroduction phase of my elimination diet, so I have been restraining myself from buying too many new beauty products :-) Of course, this means that I now have a growing wish list, which I may have to share with you soon!
Considering the circumstances, I thought it would be the ideal time to do my first Quirky (Naturally) post. So, I hope you will enjoy reading about a fabulous jewelry purchase I made back in April, from a wonderfully unique Etsy shop.
Disclosure: I purchased my necklace from Cinders Jewelry Design on Etsy. Images are my own, except those in the “More from Cinders Jewelry” section, which are used courtesy of Cinders Jewelry Design. Links are NOT affiliated and I am in no way being compensated for writing this post.
Cinders Jewelry Design is an online boutique with bohemian flair, established in 2012 by Lucinda Curcio, a.k.a. Cinders. The artist hails from Melbourne, Australia and creates 100% cruelty free, OOAK bohemian, victorian, and steampunk jewels. From her shop:
I started Cinders Jewelry Design in early June 2012 as a hobby because I have always loved being creative and I have been a painter my whole life. I am a vegan and a massive animal lover and I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t more cruelty free jewelry out there. The only animal products I will use in my jewelry are cruelty free, naturally shed feathers :-) I love experimenting with different colours, textures, themes, and mythologies to create intricate and beautiful wearable art. I have always adored the allure and mystery of Bohemian and Gypsy cultures and I also love the gorgeous femininity of the Victorian era. I have always loved quantum physics and studying the inner working of things, hence my love for Steampunk.
A designer that adores all that is bohemian, gypsy, victorian, steampunk, and scientific? This is a girl after my own heart!
Last year, while I was searching for jewelry to complement my outfit for the Steampunk World’s Fair, I added a cool ring made of watch parts (from the Cinders Jewelry shop) to my favorites list. I ended up purchasing earrings from another seller at the time, but was reintroduced to Cinders Jewelry Design during my most recent quarterly perusal of my Etsy bookmarks. I don’t know if any of you do the same thing, but every few months I check out my favorites to see if there are any items I should be putting back on my radar!
The Necklace: Unicorn Ambrosia
The Description (adapted from the shop listing): Amazing, high quality, foiled acrylic fire opals are set on a gorgeous, color treated, one of a kind metal necklace. This shimmering rainbow piece with mesmerizing and hypnotic colors will turn heads and quickly become a favorite accessory. Perfect for all occasions, Unicorn Ambrosia will beautifully complement any outfit.
Comes packaged in a pretty gift box. I also received a nice handwritten note (which I always appreciate), as well as a business card.
Materials include three foiled acrylic fire opals, one blue faceted rhinestone, rainbow titanium color treated metal, and a gold toned lobster clasp.
Color can be described as duochrome since the jewels change depending upon how the light hits them. The large opal in the center leans toward purple, but sometimes has a bright blue shimmer. The other two opals often look pink/magenta and golden yellow, but again, each stone shows a polychromatic and kaleidoscopic mix of blue, purple, magenta, yellow, copper orange, and/or green. The rhinestone is a turquoise toned mermaid blue and the collar piece has the metallic coloring of anodized metal, in this case a mix of purple, blue, green, and silver.
Length is 17” (6” in diameter), however I asked to have the piece adjusted to a length of 15” with an extender to 16”.
Retails for $68 AUD (which is ~$65 US).
Customer Service was friendly and helpful! I contacted Cinders back in April to a) tell her that I love her work and b) ask a few questions before making a purchase decision. She was quick to respond each time (generally within 24 hours) and is a lovely seller. I inquired as to whether the necklace could be adjusted to a length smaller than advertised and she was more than willing to shorten it for me. I placed my order on a Thursday and my necklace was adjusted and mailed out by Monday!
Shipping: One of the negatives of ordering products from other countries is that the shipping costs tend to be quite a bit higher. Regular shipping for this particular piece was $9.90, which is very reasonable (and much less than I had expected) for a package traveling all the way from Australia. However, when ordering from outside the US, I often opt to have parcels registered (with tracking) and this is where the cost can add up. In this case, it was an extra $10 on top of the regular postage for peace of mind :-) Of course, in comparison to the $30 shipping rates that are preventing me from placing several orders from Canadian companies, $19.90 doesn’t seem so bad for something from across the globe.
The package arrived in almost exactly 2 weeks, just as expected :)
Fun Fact: Cinders informed me that the loss rate on airmail is around 2 in every 50 orders.
The necklace wears beautifully as a statement piece and sits flat along the collarbone. Even though Unicorn Ambrosia does not look Egyptian, collarbone-style necklaces always make me feel like an Egyptian princess!!
Over the years, I have purchased a lot of jewelry online. Sometimes what you get is not what you are expecting, so I was happy to find that this piece looked exactly like the pictures on Etsy. And, the stones were even prettier in natural sunlight! I tried it on as soon as I got it out of the box.
This necklace is a great statement piece and looks best when worn alone, sans other jewelry. Of course, this is hard for me to pull off because I have several necklaces that I rarely remove. One in particular is a good luck charm, so when I wear Unicorn Ambrosia, I flip that necklace around so it hangs down my back :-) I’ve worn this piece several times so far and pairing it with a black or dark purple shirt really put it on display. Luckily, pretty much every piece of clothing I own is one of those two colors!
I do have to say that I’m not a fan of the clasp. Not only do I find the lobster half to be a little too small for my fingers and the jump rings to be too thin, but I would have preferred the clasp to be silver. Usually I switch these out myself since I have a stash from my own jewelry making, but this one is soldered, so I’m not going to mess with it. However, these small problems are not a deal breaker.
The second small issue is my fault! I was off in my measurements for the size adjustment, so 15” is actually still a bit too long for me. I originally determined my neck size using a cloth tape measure and I should have gone with the exact measurement of 14”, instead of erring on the side of caution and adding an inch. With a collar piece, sometimes an extra inch is needed so the piece doesn’t choke you, but in this case, I could have gone true to size. My best recommendation for sizing is to measure a piece of jewelry that you wear often (and that is somewhat similar to what you are buying). This way, you know the fit and where you want it to fall, however if you don’t have any comparable pieces in your collection, then you may have to go the tape measure route like I did. But, don’t feel like you have to add inches, especially for chokers. Not sure if this tip will help anyone, but perhaps!
Overall, this piece is stunning and I’m sure I will be sporting it at a few weddings this summer.
Pros & Cons
Pros: gorgeous stones, comfortable to wear, great as a statement piece, wonderful customer service
Cons: shipping can be costly when ordering outside of your country (especially if you register your parcel), my length estimate was a tad off (which isn’t the fault of Cinders, but still a con), not a fan of the clasp
More from Cinders Jewelry
Each and every piece in Cinders’ shop is unique. So, for those that are interested in seeing what else Cinders has to offer, I’d like to share a few designs that are currently available for purchase in her shop (at the time of posting). All descriptions are adapted from their respective Etsy listings.
Eclectic Fusion: A set of four bohemian bracelets—a pink dragon vein agate wrap bracelet with a druzy crystal charm; an aqua pearl, swarovski, and moonstone bracelet with tree of life, shooting star, key, and bird charms; an adjustable sparkling rhinestone bangle; and a turquoise gemstone and blue lucite bead bracelet. Retails for ~$52.23 US. I think these make a pretty set!
Kinetic: A unisex steampunk ring. A silver stainless steel band is adorned with carefully arranged antique watch parts and rubies. Retails for ~$42.73 US. This was actually the ring that I first bookmarked last year and I still love it! Cinders also takes custom orders for these.
Apollo’s Dream: A deluxe, OOAK steampunk dreamcatcher that is inspired by the sun god Apollo. It features brilliant golden wings, polished watch and clock gears, a gemstone encrusted sun, and moons and stars. Cymophane (cat’s eye) jewels, faux suede in warm earth colors, metallic threads, and gold chains hanging from delicate golden hands round out the design. Retails for ~$113.95 US. I am a bit of a dreamcatcher addict and this one is absolutely stunning!
Galileo: Gypsy crystal earrings, made with deep blue goldstone (sun siatra) gemstones, milky white opals, swarovski crystals, star stampings, and silver filigrees. Retails for ~$37.03 US. These would look fabulous paired with a black dress for a night out.
Eco Eccentric Approved?
Yup. I would recommend checking out the Cinders Jewelry Design shop if you like unique pieces with a bohemian, victorian, or steampunk style. Cinders is wonderful to work with :-) I enjoyed looking through her sold items here to see what other buyers snatched up. If you are interested in a custom piece, definitely send her a message. And if you see something you like, but need it adjusted, make sure you measure yourself properly (unlike me)!
Purchase from Cinders Jewelry Design
Prices range from: $20 all the way up to $150 USD
Buy on the Cinders Etsy shop
Do any of Cinders’ pieces strike your fancy? Do you want to see more jewelry reviews on Eco Eccentric in the future? Let me know in the comments below!
♥ Link Love: Check out Hannah’s post on Disfunkshion Magazine for some insight into Cinders Jewelry Design.