I don't think I was around during the previous thread.
I do know that laws vary from place to place. The surest way to
handle the situation is to have a contract (preferably written up by
an attorney or even from a legitimate source.)
There is always a chance you won't make your money if you don't ask
for a down payment. But if you do have a signed contract stating that
the person has a certain amount of time (check on what the policy is
where you live) to pay for and pick up the piece or pieces. Where you
live will decide what some of the conditions are. Other conditions
may apply. Arbitration or court are options as well, but the piece
has to have the work done in order to hold it if you do choose one of
these. And if your contract says 6 months after contact, you have to
actually contact the person, even if their number is disconnected.
Which means you have to list a date it can be picked up by, or have a
rider that states if you attempt to contact the person (x number of
times, record it on the contract in spaces pre-provided) and are
unable to do so over a certain period of time, there is x amount of
time before the jewelry becomes yours. So be very mindful of what you
put in the contract, as any errors fall in favor of the party who did
NOT write the contract.
And this is not intended to be legal advice. Contact a lawyer to
draw up a contract...it's a one time expense that could save you
trouble whether the person offers a deposit or not.