I Have a Lot of Faux and Some Real Opal Jewelry

I like Opals…a lot….So here’s what I have on https://www.etsy.com/shop/LauraWilsonGallery right now…I have magnetic earrings and magnetic brooches for you to look at. The brooches are one of a kind. I have more than one in each earring style…

Click here for:

Opal Jewelry, Faux and Real



Dry Mining For Gold In Kingman Arizona

We heard that there’s gold in them there hills.

I joined the local gold prospecting club in Kingman Arizona because nowadays, it’s pretty hard to find land that hasn’t had the mineral rights claimed. When you join the club, you get a map and permission to mine on their mining claims.

Otherwise, you have to research the claims, which is more work than I want to do. The problem out here in Kingman is that it’s dry. Thom has panned on and off for years all over the country and he told me he didn’t like dry mining and I see why. The drive and the hike is great, I like that part.

It’s an adventure to find the mines, and it’s a lot of driving out on rough dirt roads, best if you have a 4 wheel drive.  We’re old so we haven’t figured out how to use the GPS on our new cell phones, but I think we will next time out. The directions are not exactly perfect, they don’t give you exact miles between turns, but we managed to find it anyway. The club signs are beat up and hard to read, but they are there.

Lots of black sand out there which means there is gold, too. Not that easy to find in dry mining, lots of work, lots of digging.

Our brand new Home Depot shovel plastic handle broke within the first 5 minutes, so we didn’t get but a ½ bucket and returned the shovel when we got back. They did however, give us a credit, so we bought another shovel and thought we’d go to garage sales and look for a used shovel with a better handle. Seems like you can’t buy just a handle here in Kingman.

The drive out to the claim (except for the chemtrails) was really nice.

Dry mining day one7

Dry mining day one6

Saw some beautiful cactus out there, at least 5 different kinds. I’d love to go photograph them when they are in bloom; especially the barrel cactus. These looked like they may be blooming. The ends almost look like a flower.

Kingman Cactus1

Set it up to pan the dirt in a gold pan and a big square pan full of water underneath. It took me all of 5 minutes to decide I’d rather just photograph the process. Boring…

kingman dry mining a4 Large e-mail view


kingman dry mining16

So in the end, just a lot of black sand…We didn’t find any gold…I’m sure it’s a lot more exciting when you actually find flecks of gold or better yet, a nugget…


Hand Painted Pet Portrait Jewelry


Hand Painted Pet Portrait

Send me your favorite head shot photo of your pet and I will hand saw the shape and hand paint it for you or as a special gift to a loved one.
1) Send me a picture
2) I’ll crop it and get your OK
3) I’ll make it and send you a pic for your final approval
4) I’ll ship it out and you’ll absolutely love it!
I will make it roughly 25 mm (one inch) in size unless you request it be made smaller or larger.
You can also order from my current selection, bearing in mind each will always be unique since each one is hand sawed with a tiny jeweler’s saw and hand painted. Each piece is then sealed with a clear protective finish.
The group picture is of brooches but you can order a magnetic eyeglass holder with the wire loop to hold your glasses.
Two strong neodymium magnets serve as a magnetic clasp to hold the piece on a jacket, blouse or scarf without damaging the fabric. One magnet is attached to the piece; the other goes inside your clothing, making it very easy to put on and take off.

Custom Hand Painted Cat Portrait



Dicroic Glass Eyeglass Holder

This is made from a beautiful piece of dichroic glass in oranges greens, gold and black. It’s hard to convey the beauty of the shimmering colors in a photograph.
I mounted it on a black aluminum rectangle with a brass wire lanyard. I love the way it looks like a little framed painting!
The piece is held on with neodymium magnets so there is never any damage to your clothes. The unique wire wrap loop holds your glasses securely and keeps them handy.
The beautiful colors of melted glass complements any outfit, making you feel beautiful and stylish..
Magnetic eyeglass holders are held on clothing with two extremely strong neodymium magnets that never cause any damage to the clothing. Reading glasses or sun glasses can be hung from the hand wrapped wire loop. Badges or I.D.s or badge reels can also be hung on the loop or keeps your glasses close and easy to quickly put them on when needed and then hang them in the loop when you don’t.


Fused Sterling Silver Beaded Necklace With Swarovski Crystal Accents

Fused Sterling Necklace

I used a torch to fuse sterling silver sheet and wire together at around 1600 degrees. Creating each piece is an adventure, because although I have a lot of control and experience, silver sometimes melts in unexpected ways, making each piece one of a kind. I set Swarovski crystals into the piece with cold pour enamel for a more contemporary look and used a silver hook and eye clasp. The total length is 16.5 inches. The glass and crystal beads are strung on tiger tail.
Signed, dated and copyrighted by Laura Wilson.
Handmade in the USA.

One Star Review on Etsy

I wasn’t going to respond and then I remembered I have a WordPress site

Here’s the review:



Here’s what happened. A customer in the UK ordered a pair of $22 earrings with express shipping. I shipped it out the same day I received the order. The customer refused to pay his customs fee. He opened a case against me. It’s not even about the money, it’s only a total of $34.83.  It’s the principal of the thing. I’m always willing to work with customers if they are polite and until everyone is happy. This just felt like a scam to either get the money back from me and then pay the customs fee and pick up the package, or the customer really thought he could intimidate me into paying for his ignorance of custom fees. Really, how could you live in the UK and NOT know there are custom fees, or even think they are included in the shipping fees?

If he had just asked me nicely I might have refunded the $22 for the cost of the earrings instead of waiting for the USPS to return it. He didn’t. He chose to attack me by opening a case against me. If he had even bothered to find out what his customs fees were, I might have offered him a discount on his next order. He actually escalated the case for review on November 6th, and I am grateful that he did, because it was resolved quickly.

So, a big THANK YOU to Etsy for resolving the case quickly, and standing by the policy.

I’ll still refund his $22 when the USPS finally returns the package, because I’m an honest reputable businesswoman. However, I will not cave to threats and intimidation. As of today, the package is still being held for fees. I’m sure the USPS will eventually return it to me…

Case tracking

Here is an edited version of what happened. I left out the customers name and address, along with any other names:

“Etsy resolved the case in my favor because Sellers are not responsible for customs fees.


An item did not arrive.

The case was resolved on November 7, 2017.

The case was closed by Etsy Trust and Safety.

The item cost £17.34 and the customer paid £10.11 For UPS First Class International Package Service. The customer erroneously presumed that this would cover any custom fees.
I sent this letter to the customer:

Who pays for customs fees?

Generally, buyers pay the additional costs such as duties, taxes, and customs clearance fees. Import charges can vary widely but are most commonly based on the price and type of item, package weight and dimensions, origin country, and the taxes, duties, and fees of the destination country.
Most sellers on Etsy are unable to predict which of these fees, if any, will be applied, and Etsy does not expect sellers to calculate or collect these fees or taxes. 
I wish I could help, but I cannot afford to pay custom fees into other countries.
Sincerely yours,
Laura Wilson

Laura Wilson from LauraWilsonGalleryNovember 3, 2017

The customer refuses to pay his custom fees and pick up his package.
I have contacted Etsy help to resolve this problem.

Laura Wilson from LauraWilsonGalleryNovember 3, 2017

I’m happy to ship anywhere in the World, though I am not responsible for VAT or other import taxes and fees you may incur via your local customs office.
You will likely be required to pay this upon receipt of your package. This hefty tax is imposed by your government. I have absolutely nothing to do with it, nor am I responsible for paying it. I am also not able to mark your item as “gift” or mark it at a lower value, as that would be considered fraud. Please take this into consideration when making your purchase.

Laura Wilson from LauraWilsonGalleryNovember 4, 2017

According to my research this case against me is an invalid claim because it is a shipping problem.
Ineligible transactions
Some transactions on Etsy will not qualify for the case system. Some may violate Etsy’s policies. Others may not be covered by Etsy’s case system. Some examples:
• Items that are purchased in person
• Intangible items, including services
• Prohibited items on Etsy
• Transactions where payment is not made via Etsy’s checkout system
• Items that are returned without a return agreement
• Items that have been used, worn or washed after receiving
• Physical or tangible items that are not available for return
• Items that are received after the agreed-upon delivery date due to shipping delays
Cost of shipping disputes


Laura Wilson from LauraWilsonGalleryNovember 4, 2017

Still waiting for the customer to pay the custom fees and close the case.
Package is still in UK.

November 6, 2017

Laura Wilson from LauraWilsonGalleryNovember 6, 2017

My shipping policy is listed right on my front page stating that custom fees are paid by the customer and that I am not responsible.
BUYERS pay the additional costs such as duties, taxes, and customs clearance fees.
More info here:
I’m happy to ship anywhere in the World, though I am not responsible for VAT or other import taxes and fees you may incur via your local customs office.
You will likely be required to pay this upon receipt of your package.
I believe this is an invalid claim against my business.
I shipped in good faith the same day I received the order.
Hoping this can be resolved quickly.


November 7, 2017


November 7, 2017

From Etsy’s Dispute Resolution team.

Non-delivery can only occur when a seller receives payment and fails to ship the buyer’s items. After reviewing this case, it seems that this purchase has, in fact, been shipped by the seller. Etsy is unable to hold sellers responsible for items lost or delayed in the mail, as long as they have shipped the item to the address on the Etsy transaction receipt. For this reason, we must close this case.”