Frequently asked questions answered here.


  • How long has Hamilton Hill been in business?

Since October 19, 2001, to be exact 😊.

  • Have you been at Brightleaf Square the entire time?

No, but close. From October 2001 to October 2006, HH was across the street at 113 South Gregson Street.

  • Do you make all the jewelry?

We can’t take credit for all that goodness! But we can take credit for the curation. Some of the jewelry is made in HHouse, while much of it is designed and created by outstanding designers/makers in the U.S., western Europe, South America, and beyond.

  • Are most of your clients from Durham or nearby?

Most yes, but many are from around the country and occasionally abroad.

  • How do out-of-towners hear about Hamilton Hill?

While some stumble in while visiting Durham, many people find us when searching online for our designer partners (e.g., Niessing, Bernardo, Gellner). And people who move from Durham often become long-distance clients. We’re sad to say we never meet many of our clients in person but happy to say we develop lovely relationships via phone, email, text. One day we’ll visit you all!

  • Explain your Monday “by appointment” option.

Most Mondays, Hamilton Hill is staffed by two people who are primarily here to answer phones, receive deliveries, have quiet time for paperwork and benchwork. When you need to see one of us or pick up a piece on a Monday, we will schedule an appointment. Our door is locked Mondays so please ring the doorbell and we’ll be right there.

Online Shopping

  • Is everything on your site in inventory?

95% of pieces pictured are in inventory and ready to ship. A small percentage of pieces are samples or shown to indicate options, such as color. In these cases, we have tried to note this. Sold pieces are removed from the site between an hour to a day from time of purchase.

  • Is everything in the store on your site?

Close but not quite. Pieces not shown on the site include chains, loose diamonds, loose colored gemstones, occasional pieces that are tricky to photograph/describe.

  • Do you have more than one finger size available in your ring selection?

50-50. When we have more than one finger size in stock, we typically show the piece more than once (listing the size)on our site. When a finger size not in stock is needed, that size can be ordered or made for you. We’re happy to discuss measuring and reporting your finger size. How to proceed with that depends on the designer of the ring.

See sales tax information below.

Special Orders

  • How long does it take you to fill a special order?

Ordering a piece in your size, your color choice, etc., typically takes two to eight weeks. Designers’ processes and shipping times vary quite a bit.

  • What is the deposit needed to initiate a special order? May I pay in full?

50% is typical though other arrangements can be considered. Some people prefer to pay in full from the start.

  • And to pick up an order?

Special orders are typically paid in full when picked up.. Other arrangements can be considered.

  • What happens if my order is wrong?

If Hamilton Hill or a designer partner makes an error, we will correct it with the least disruption possible to you. Please carefully review your special-order requests/receipts to ensure you have correctly stated what you want. Incorrect finger sizes are the financial responsibility of Hamilton Hill if we measured your finger; self-reported sizes are the responsibility of the client.

  • Will you contact me when my order is ready?

Yes, as soon as it’s ready which includes inspecting, photographing, and recording details, we will contact you by text or email as you’ve requested.


  • Do you do repairs on jewelry not purchased from HH?

Yes, with great pleasure! Offering this service is part of our love of jewelry and our wish that you love yours.

  • What’s the cost to size a ring?

When we see the ring, we can generally tell you the cost right away. In some cases, we will need to follow up with you in a day or a few to offer a quote and get your permission to proceed. The complexity of ring sizings varies greatly (think simple bands going up/down one size versus intricate antique rings versus rings with many stones, etc.).

  • How long do repairs take?

A few hours to two+ weeks. When we can quickly size a simple band, even while you wait, we will do so if team time allows. Other repairs need to be put in the queue and in some cases parts or metals need to be ordered. We will never dilly dally as we know you want your jewelry back ASAP.

  • Do you string pearls and beads?

Yes, with and without knots between the pearls or beads. We also string them with “interchangeable clasp” mechanisms which our clients adore.


  • Do you do appraisals?

Yes, sometimes, maybe, sort of 😊. What is it you want? HH will provide a free “Statement of Replacement Cost” for pieces approximately $1000 and up sold or created by us. You may have digital or printed copies. Replacement costs can be updated from time to time. For appraisals on items not sold or created by HH, we can offer a referral. Let us know your needs (e.g., insurance, estate, curiosity) and we’ll make the referral. On the “curiosity” point, we will answer your questions if team time, training, and gemological equipment allow.

Recycling and Buying Jewelry and Metals

  • Do you buy jewelry, flatware, or gemstones from the general public or HH clientele?


  • Do you buy precious metals from the general public or HH clientele?

Please contact us to discuss recycling your gold through Hamilton Hill.

Sales Tax

  • When do you charge sales tax?

Durham County, NC sales tax is charged to anyone leaving Hamilton Hill with a new or repaired jewelry item. If your item(s) is shipped, county sales tax will be charged if shipped to your primary residence in NC. If shipped to your primary residence in another state, no sales tax will be charged as the NC location is HH’s only and that’s what the current tax code allows. Paying your state’s sales tax is up to you.

Style Consults

  • What do you mean when you say “style consults” available?

We mean let’s decide to review your jewelry collection and your look or let’s do it impromptu. Nothing is more fun! Again, we can have a plan and a method (you bring your “jewelry box” to us for evaluation) or we can play around when you drop in.,

Trunk Shows and Designer Visits

  • What’s a trunk show? Do the designers visit?

Trunk show is a euphemism for someone visiting with an unusually large selection of jewelry. The visitor might be the designer, the maker, the representative, the family member … Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of hosting many a designer/maker and many a highly trained representative, sometimes family members which is a fun connection to the work. Trunk shows offer great selection opportunities, a way to connect personally with the line, and opportunities for commissioning special pieces.