Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to questions about the materials that RIVA New York uses for our pieces
What is recycled gold? Is every 14K gold piece from RIVA New York made of recycled gold? How is it sourced?
Recycled gold, sometimes referred to as reclaimed gold, is gold made from old jewelry (or gold bars or coins), and discarded electrical and electronic equipment. The gold is melted down, refined (and re-refined) until all impurities and other metals are removed, and the gold goes back to its most pure form. Gold can be recycled with very little to no degradation, and so purchasing/owning jewelry made from recycled gold is a very smart and sustainable approach.
And, yes, every 14K gold piece from RIVA New York is made of 100% recycled gold. We purchase recycled gold from SCS-certified suppliers; we also recycle gold from old jewelry and jewelry scraps.
Is every sterling silver piece from RIVA New York made from recycled materials?
At the moment, not every sterling silver piece from RIVA New York is made from recycled silver. We have some necklace and bracelet styles that use chain components from our partner in northern Italy—the Bowery chain necklace and bracelet, the Astor chain necklace and bracelet, the Madison chain necklace and bracelet, and the charm necklaces and bracelets that use the Madison chain as a base—who use newly mined silver to make their chains. Other than the abovementioned styles, everything else is made from recycled silver—RIVA purchase recycled silver from SCS-certified suppliers; we also recycle silver from old jewelry and jewelry scraps.
What is gold vermeil?
Gold vermeil is a type of high-end gold plating. Gold vermeil is more hypoallergenic because it uses a thicker layer of gold (at least 2.5 microns thick) compared to regular gold plating. Gold vermeil is a more affordable alternative to solid gold pieces.
How is gold vermeil different from gold plated?
Gold-plated jewelry uses a thin layer of gold, usually 0.5 microns thick; whereas gold vermeil uses gold plating that is at least 2.5 microns thick. Also, not all gold-plated jewelry uses sterling silver as the base material; gold vermeil jewelry requires a base material of sterling silver.
Does RIVA New York offer 14K gold or gold vermeil in other colors, like rose gold and white gold?
At the moment, we only offer 14K yellow gold and yellow gold vermeil.
What are recycled glass beads? Where do RIVA New York's recycled glass beads come from?
Recycled glass beads, which we use for our Expression Collection bead necklaces and bracelets, are ornamental beads made from glass, often discarded bottles. The ones that RIVA New York uses for our recycled glass bead bracelets and necklaces are from the Krobo people, an ethnic group in Ghana, who make the beads by crushing discarded glass bottles into fine particles, which are then heat-treated and molded into beads using clay molds (a cassava leaf stem is used to make holes into the molded material). The Krobo people have been using this technique for many, many generations. Our supplier is the Santa Monica-based company The Bead Chest, who source directly from the artisans in Ghana.
What is a swivel bale?
The swivel bale is used on some of our charms. This 360-degree bale allows you to position the charm in any direction you see fit. It is intended to be used on RIVA’s Invisible Clasps and hoop earrings.
How did you achieve the half-and-half look of your two-tone pieces? Is it half gold, half silver?
No, our two-tone pieces are most certainly not half gold, half silver. If you see a product marked as "two-tone" in our Website, it means the entire piece is in 925 sterling silver. We just added gold vermeil plating to approximately half of the piece to get the two-tone look. By no means is the part plated in gold vermeil to be construed as solid gold.
What is Fairmined?
Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal/small-scale mining organizations, created by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), a non-profit organization globally recognized as a pioneer of responsible artisanal/small-scale mining. The Fairmined standard requires the following: formal and legal mining operations; environmental protection; safe working conditions; traceability; supporting the socio-economic development of communities around the mines.
What is the difference between Fairmined gold and Fairmined Ecological gold?
The gold produced under the abovementioned standards is called Fairmined gold. Fairmined Ecological gold is gold that is produced under the same strict standards for responsible mining that applies to Fairmined gold, but with an added requirement: there must be no use of any toxic chemicals (like mercury and cyanide) in the mining process. The gold used for RIVA New York’s Fairmined Gold Collection is Fairmined Ecological gold.
Are we able to trace RIVA New York’s Fairmined Gold Collection pieces back to the mine of origin?
Yes! For our first few pieces, we are using Fairmined Ecological gold from the wonderful, hardworking folks at Minera Oro Puno, a Fairmined-certified mining organization in San Antonio de Putina, Perú. Each time we order Fairmined Ecological gold, the source mine is always identified, and so we will always be able to share the provenance with our jewelers, employees and customers. There is a chance that future batches will be made of Fairmined Ecological gold from other Fairmined-certified mines (at the moment, there are 7 Fairmined-certified mines in existence); and so we will be updating our Website accordingly.
Does RIVA New York offer styles/pieces made of Fairmined silver?
At the moment, everything in our Fairmined Gold Collection only comes in 14K yellow Fairmined Ecological gold. We do have plans of adding styles in Fairmined silver in the future!
Why don't you make your double-flared tunnel for stretched ear in sterling silver?
While sterling silver is safe to wear in fully-healed stretched ears, experts we have consulted with do not recommend it for extended wear. We want you to be able to wear our double-flared tunnels for longer than short term, which is why we decided to make them in nickel-free 14K yellow gold, one of the 2 most hypoallergenic metals for piercings. We might offer a 14K white gold option in the future, for people who really like the look of white metal. We are also looking to offer a titanium option in the near future.
A quick reference guide on how to care for your RIVA New York pieces to prevent dullness, tarnishing and scratches.
How do I take care of my 14K gold RIVA New York piece?
14K gold pieces will see very little tarnishing, if any at all, but this does not mean you do not have to care for them—after all, they are still susceptible to dents, dings and scratches. Best to take them off when you know you are about to handle household cleaning products and chemicals, and when you are about to handle tools. A great habit to get into would be to finish off your getting-ready routine by putting on your jewelry last—i.e., apply your lotions, creams, makeup, scents, etc., first, before you touch and put on your jewelry. As for cleaning your gold piece, use a solution of lukewarm water and dish soap (add a few drops of ammonia, if you have some); take a soft-bristled brush, dip it into the solution, and carefully brush your pieces, and then rinse. Air dry, or pat dry with a cloth or paper towel. To polish, carefully rub the surface of your piece with a polishing cloth. When you are not wearing them, we recommend storing your gold pieces in soft cloth bags (RIVA New York provides these with every purchase) or the original box to help prevent scratches.
How do I take care of my sterling silver RIVA New York piece?
Sterling silver should be regularly polished using a polishing cloth. A good habit would be to clean/polish your sterling silver pieces everyday after you take them off. If polishing them every day is too much for you, you can definitely polish them a few times a week (although we still do recommend that you take them off everyday, even if you do not polish them everyday). Avoid wearing your sterling silver jewelry when you shower (or when swimming), or when you’re doing activities that make you sweat. Also, make sure you are not wearing your sterling silver pieces when you’re putting on lotion, or cologne, or perfume, and when you’re applying makeup—a good rule of thumb would be to put your jewelry on after you are done applying lotion, scents and perfume. You should always store your sterling silver jewelry in an airtight pouch or box.
How do I take care of my gold vermeil RIVA New York piece?
The good news is gold vermeil pieces are easy to take care of: simply use a polishing cloth (soft cotton or microfiber). You can polish them a few times a week. Avoid wearing your gold vermeil jewelry when you shower (or when swimming), or when you’re doing activities that make you sweat. Also, make sure you are not wearing your gold vermeil pieces when you’re putting on lotion, or cologne, or perfume, and when you’re applying makeup—a good rule of thumb would be to finish off your routine by putting on your jewelry at the end. You may use lukewarm water and dish soap to clean your pieces, but do not submerge your pieces in the soap and water mixture! Instead, wet a soft, lint-free cloth in the warm soapy water and gently use that to wipe your piece; next, rinse by using another cloth dipped only in water; finally, gently pat your piece dry. Do not use any type of brush as this can be too abrasive to the gold plating. Lastly, you should always store your gold vermeil jewelry in an airtight pouch or box.
How do I take care of the gemstones in my RIVA New York piece?
A simple but effective way to clean your gemstone jewelry or the gemstones in your jewelry is by using lukewarm water with a few drops of dish detergent. You may use a soft brush (and old toothbrush, for example) to scrub gently, especially behind the stone where dust and dirt can collect, and once you’re done scrubbing you just rinse in it lukewarm water and then pat dry with a soft cloth. (Please be mindful of the metals used in your piece; see sections above to read up on instructions and contraindications for cleaning 14K gold, sterling silver and gold vermeil jewelry.) If your piece does not require a deep clean, and you just need to, say, dust it, we recommend using a small handheld air blower (e.g., the ones that photographers use to clean their lenses). It is best to take off your gemstone jewelry when taking a shower, swimming, and especially when cleaning, washing dishes, etc.
Ever wondered what the story is behind every RIVA New York Collection?
What is the Expression Collection?
The Expression Collection is RIVA New York’s inaugural collection that aims to celebrate your personal style—and cement our shared commitment to sustainability—by offering modular pieces that you can put together to create something that is uniquely you and then transform as your style evolves in the future. It consists of our Wall Street foundation chains, our recycled glass bead foundation necklaces and bracelets, a variety of charms, plus our signature Invisible Clasps.
How do I build my RIVA New York Expression Collection piece?
First: Select your Wall Street chain length and metal; the Wall Street chain is available in 14K yellow gold, sterling silver, or gold vermeil. Or, if you wish to go the bead route, select the bead necklace or chain base of your choice, and then select the length.
Second: Choose your Invisible Clasp. Choose from a variety of shapes, colors, and materials!
Third: Add a charm. The charm selection takes it one more step into personalization. You can add a stone or letter charm, or an themed enamel charm. (This is optional; you may opt to check out without a charm, or add the charm later!)
You may do these steps in our Shop pages and add each item to cart, but there is also an easy way to build your piece: just click here to go to our new Build Your Own Necklace/Bracelet pages.
What is a "foundation" chain?
We call our Wall Street necklaces and bracelets "foundation" chains (we might refer to them as a base chains in other areas of our Website) because they are the foundation of a RIVA New York Expression Collection piece. You get to choose an Invisible Clasp for your chain, and then you get to add a charm (optional)—so you end up with a piece that is uniquely you! A foundation chain does not have a closure, and that is simply because the Invisible Clasp that you select to go with it will serve as its closure. To make it easy for you, we have created a Build Your Own Chain Necklace or Bracelet page so you do not have to jump back and fort between our Shop pages and your Cart as you build your custom piece—and it’s super fun, so you should try it!
We also offer recycled glass bead necklaces and bracelets as part of the Expression Collection, for those who want beads instead of a chain. In this case, we may refer to them as "foundation" beads. We also created a Build Your Own Bead Necklace or Bracelet page!
What do I do if I keep getting error messages when I use RIVA New York's Build Your Own Necklace or Bracelet pages?
If you are encountering difficulties or errors while using RIVA New York’s Build Your Own Necklace or Bracelet pages, we apologize. This page is built on an “app” or widget that we appended to our Shopify store, and updates to this “app” or widget do need to be applied manually (i.e., not automatic). Please contact us ASAP if you feel the errors you are encountering are due to a technical issue, and we will do our best to resolve it (we can even take your order manually over the phone). If you are receiving error messaging in the form of a pop-up, it is highly likely that it is because you skipped a required step. Take note that some steps are required (like picking a chain or bead base, a length for your chain or bead base, an Invisible Clasp, a metal/style for your Invisible Clasp, etc.). If you skipped a required step, the Build Your Own Necklace or Bracelet page will not allow you to go to the next step, much less add your item to the Cart.
You've placed your RIVA New York order, and now you've got some questions. Answers to the most common order-related questions are listed below!
How do I view my order?
When you placed your order on rivanewyork.com, you were asked to enter your e-mail address. When you completed the payment and the order was confirmed, you should have automatically received an order confirmation e-mail. If you are unable to find this confirmation e-mail, please check your Spam folder; if you are unable to find the confirmation e-mail anywhere, you may send us a request to resend it.
How do I cancel my order?
You are unable to cancel your order on rivanewyork.com, so please reach out to us to request to cancel your order. Send an e-mail with your order number to email@example.com (for security purposes, you must use the e-mail address that you used to place the order). If your cancellation request is sent within 24 hours of you placing the order, we will consider this a “Void,” and we will process the cancellation and refund within 24 hours of you reaching out to us. If your cancellation request is sent past the first 24 hours of you placing the order, so long as your order has not shipped yet, we will process the cancellation and the refund within 3-7 business days.
How do I change my order?
You are unable to change your order on rivanewyork.com, so please reach out to us to request to cancel your order. Send an e-mail with your order number to firstname.lastname@example.org (for security purposes, you must use the e-mail address that you used to place the order). Ideally, we would like for change requests to be sent to us within 72 hours of you placing the order. Your original order will then be cancelled and your payment refunded, and then we will instruct you to place a new order. Please take note that as a result of changing your order, your shipping date might be affected (i.e., pushed to a later date).
How do I change my ship-to address?
You are unable to change your ship-to address on rivanewyork.com, so please reach out to us to request such a change. Send an e-mail with your order number to email@example.com (for security purposes, you must use the e-mail address that you used to place the order) and the reason for the change.
My order is a gift—can I include a personal note?
By all means! Please reach out to us within 48 hours of placing the order to request for a personal note to be included in your order. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, include the exact note you would like us to write/include. We will then write the note on a card, and send to you for approval. If you would like to write the note yourself, we recommend having the order shipped to you first, and then we will include a blank card for you to write your personal note on; you would then be responsible for shipping your gift to the recipient.
How can I track my order?
Once your order is ready to be shipped or has shipped, you will receive an e-mail notification with the UPS tracking number. You may use this tracking number to check the status of your shipment.
How long does it take to complete my piece/order?
It usually takes up to 10 business days (2 weeks) for us to complete a piece; we ask that you give us up to 10 business days to ship your order out. But please welcome the surprise if we are able to complete your piece and ship your order earlier! As our team grows, we will be working on cutting down lead times.
Where do I enter discount codes?
You will be able to enter discount codes in the checkout page. After providing your e-mail address, your ship-to address and your card/payment information, you will see a section called Order Summary that has a field that says “Discount Code.” Enter the discount code into that field, and hit the APPLY button. Please take note that you may not combine two or more discount codes, and that some discount codes have expiration dates.m Please also note that most discount codes can only be used once.
Shipping, Returns and Exchanges
Have a shipping-related question, or a question about returns or exchanges? See answers to most commonly asked questions below!
What are the shipping fees?
RIVA New York offers a flat rate shipping fee of $10 per order for customers in the continental United States.
Which carriers do RIVA New York use?
RIVA New York uses UPS for the shipping of orders. Upon shipment, you will be provided with a UPS Ground tracking number via e-mail.
What is RIVA New York’s return policy?
RIVA New York has a 30-day return policy. The window begins the day the order is delivered.
Please ship your order back to us in all original RIVA New York packaging. If that is not possible, we advise you to use packaging equivalent or smaller than the original packaging. RIVA New York reserves the right to deny a return that lacks to follow our guidelines. We don’t want that to happen so please read through the requirements thoroughly.
All returns must be unworn and in the original packaging.
What is RIVA New York’s exchange policy?
RIVA New York does not offer exchanges. If you'd like a different color/size please return the piece, and place a new order.
How do I initiate a return?
First, be sure to check our return policy to see if your item is eligible for a return.
If your item is eligible, send us an email at email@example.com to request for a return label, along with your reason for returning the item/s.
You will then be sent a shipping label in PDF, ready to be printed. Simply print the return label and affix it to your box. Ship your order back to us in the original packaging.
Will I be paying for the shipping for anything I want to return?
No, so long as your item/s is/are eligible for a return. You will be sent a return label via e-mail, for you to print and affix to your package.
When will my refund be processed?
Refunds will be processed within 3-5 business days of RIVA New York receiving the returned product/s. Make sure your piece is returnable before sending it in. If you send us a piece past the acceptable return date, or if you send a piece that is damaged/personalized, you will not receive a full refund.
How will my refund be processed?
Your refund will be processed to your original form of payment. If your original form of payment is associated with a bank account or credit card that has been closed, please contact your financial institution regarding the refund.
GET THE LOOK: ENNICA JACOB (JOURNALIST, JERSEY CITY, NJ) WEARS RIVA NEW YORK