Much of our jewellery is created with new Swarovski® crystals. However on my travels I do find, and like to use, good quality vintage Czech crystals in unusual sizes or colours that are not generally available today, and increasingly difficult to get hold of. Vintage stones by their very nature are limited in supply, and we cannot guarantee an item shown made with them will always be available.
Swarovski do update their colour charts twice-yearly, adding new colours and retiring others, so we cannot guarantee all colours will always be available.
Aurora Borealis (AB) effect, is the iridescent coating on crystals which was developed by Swarovski in 1956. This produces a rainbow-like effect with flashes of blue, green, gold and pink, much like the celestial Northern Lights.
Swarovski crystal pearls are simulated and made with a crystal core which gives them a realistic weight. Their unique layers of iridescent coating give them a uniform and lustrous appearance which is resistant to scratches and wear.
All new Swarovski crystals are purchased from Swarovski approved suppliers.
Foiled or Unfoiled Stones?
The backing to crystals is known as 'foiling' and produces the mirror like sparkle effect to the stones.
Modern foiled crystals have incredibly robust foiling to extend longevity that is very difficult to remove. Vintage stones' foiling however is less robust and can quite easily be removed. Removing the foil offers a new dimension to the stones, as a transparent version of their former selves is revealed. This produces a more subtle 'daytime' look, with a gentler sparkle than foiled stones. Modern stones are also available unfoiled in some instances.
All our jewellery metal parts (other than solid sterling silver, vermeil or gold filled) are made from brass that has been plated in gold or sterling silver. They are nickel free, so no worry about allergies.
Many of the component earrings (rather than those that are made of one complete piece) have the option, upon request, to exchange a standard plated ear wire for a sterling silver, vermeil or gold filled option, and the price will be adjusted accordingly.
Sterling Silver, Vermeil & Gold Filled Earring Wires
Sterling silver needs little introduction; this is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, hence its hallmark shows 925 to evidence its 92.5% purity. This is the most common silver metal used in jewellery making, as the copper addition makes it harder and more durable, though this addition of copper does cause some degree of tarnish over time if the item is not often worn.
There is also Fine silver which is 99.9% purity (hallmark 999) however this is generally considered too soft to make heavy-wear jewellery from (i.e. wedding rings). It does benefit however from being more tarnish resistant than sterling silver.
Gold filled jewellery is less well known, and is quite different to gold plated. Gold filled requires the item to be at least 1/20th (5%) by weight of real gold. The gold is heat-pressure bonded to an inner core of base metal, usually brass. The much higher level of real gold metal, compared to gold plate, is therefore reflected in the price. Gold filled is extremely hard wearing and should last a lifetime with reasonable care, and is perfect for anyone that can only wear real gold.
Vermeil is sterling silver coated with gold.
Gold plate and silver plate are plated over a base metal, usually brass.
Care of Costume Jewellery
Contact with lotions & potions, perfume, hairspray, perspiration, bathing, swimming and sea water should be avoided as it can affect the plating. A gentle polish with a soft lint free cloth after wearing your jewellery will help maintain its condition, and even better if you can keep it protected separately in a soft pouch or box. This also protects the crystals from knocking against other jewellery and possibly scratching their surface.
Silver plate, just like sterling silver, can over time begin to tarnish if not worn regularly, and this is perfectly normal. If so, it can be gently washed in soapy water and polished with a soft lint free cloth. Regular wear naturally minimises tarnish, and keeping in a soft pouch or box will help protect from natural air oxidisation.
Crystals are delicate, and if dropped on a hard surface may chip.
As jewellery contains small parts, please keep it away from babies, small children and pets!