Help & FAQ
BELLA BOUTIQUE - Frequently Asked Questions
We at BELLA BOUTIQUE have compiled a list of your frequently asked questions so that you may be guided by our processes and therefore be more informed about the quality of jewelry that we have to offer.
Q: What is the so-called “electroplating” process used for jewelry?
Electroplating may sound like a complicated process for jewelry but it’s really a simple thing. Electroplating is often used to protect jewelry by providing an added insulation or coating on them to prevent the jewelry from corroding and falling prey to rust. Even common wear and tear is minimized because of electroplating. Now, here at BELLA BOUTIQUE, we use only 14 and 18 karat yellow gold and rhodium to strengthen our original artwork. Let’s try and understand how electroplating is achieved.
First, you need to immerse the piece of jewelry to be coated in an electrolysis bath. An electrolysis bath is simply a mixture composed of water and the salt form of the metal that will be used for the coating of the piece of jewelry. The raw jewelry is called the cathode and it will be attached to the negative terminal of the electrolysis circuit. The metal from which the coating will come from will be attached to the positive terminal of the circuit and this is called the anode.
Once the circuit is complete, you can now apply an electrical charge to activate the molecules in the solution. The anode becomes dissolved in the electrolysis bath but will become fused with the metals that are from the original piece of jewelry. Eventually, this new alloy will find itself attached to the surface of the cathode and continue to fuse with the original metal even after the cathode has been taken out of the bath. The amount of metal that will be used in the coating will be the same as the amount of metal dissolved in the solution. The longer that the process takes, based on how much metal is to be dissolved, means that the thicker the coating in the new jewelry is.
Q: What are the original metals that you use in your jewelry?
BELLA BOUTIQUE strives to give our customers every edge with our fashion jewelry lines and so we offer three main metals for our jewelry pieces. Each of these raw materials exude their own unique and distinct flavor and appeal to many different fashion senses.
Brass is one of the popular metals for jewelry because of its malleability, corrosion resistant properties and varieties in color. You may have heard of brass as a metal in relation to musical instruments because brass also has excellent acoustic properties. Brass is an alloy made up of copper and zinc and has a low melting point which makes it easy for it to be cast. Depending on your desired proportions of copper and zinc, you can make hard and soft brass metals suitable for your needs.
What makes it a popular metal for fashion jewelry is that you can shape it to your desired design and turn it into many different colors and hues just by the addition of specific metals. For instance, brass can be made into a chocolaty color with the addition of manganese. Add a little zinc and you’ll get a brass metal with yellow hues. Brass colors include variations of red, yellow, gold and silver.
One of the very popular metals for fashion jewelry is stainless steel, which we often associate with kitchen utensils, surgical instruments, major appliances and cookware. Stainless steel is fast becoming a favorite because it is corrosion- and rust-resistant, highly durable and resistant to scratches. Stainless steel is defined as an alloy of steel that contains at least 10.5% chromium. Chromium is the substance that differentiates stainless steel from carbon steel which is more prone to corrosion and rust. The chromium in stainless steel serves as the layer of protection to the metal. When it is exposed to oxygen, the chromium forms an invisible, thin layer over the steel that stops corrosion if it forms and blocks it from ever dispersing on the surface of the steel.
One advantage of stainless steel over some metal alloys especially in fashion jewelry is that to make the desired stainless steel piece, the jeweler will need one chunk of stainless steel material and cut out the desired design from it. Therefore, you have a really indestructible, always lustrous, antibacterial, seamless piece of handcrafted jewelry whenever you choose to go for stainless steel jewelry.
92.5% Sterling Silver
A very common and still highly popular metal for fashion jewelry is 92.5% sterling silver. You may be wondering why we call it 92.5% sterling silver. It’s simply because the metal is a combination of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals (usually copper). You may think that this diminishes the type of metal because it may appear to be less than pure. But the truth is, pure silver or almost 99.9% of it is too soft, too malleable to be made into anything. It simply cannot be shaped or structured. In order to do that, you need to reduce the amount of silver to 92.5% and mix it with another metal to give it strength, malleability and structure. Copper is usually the common element that is used although modern times have yielded other interesting combinations, some of which are intended to reduce tarnish and prevent firescale (the metal turning purple or red).
Q: Why is sterling silver a popular choice among fashionistas?
For many years, gold has been the preferred choice for jewelry fans. They’re durable, they’re considered an investment and they’re available as many types of jewelry. But the cost of gold paved the way for sterling silver to be popular. Sterling silver is considerably less expensive than gold but still also possesses the qualities that most people look for in jewelry. What’s more, sterling silver is adaptable to many fashion trends. It can both be casual and formal depending on how you mix and match the pieces that you already have. It can also be both cheap and expensive depending on the design and the inclusion of gems in each piece.
Q: What is Cubic Zirconia (CZ)?
Cubic zirconia is best known as the gem that’s most similar to diamond. To the untrained eye, cubic zirconia can emulate the cut of a diamond and even the sheen of the gem. For those people who want the brilliance and shine of a diamond but don’t necessarily have the budget for it, choose to buy cubic zirconia jewelry as an alternative. Cubic zirconia is easily adaptable and popular as engagement and wedding rings but can also be designed as casual rings and even earrings and pendants in necklaces. There are many designs to suit every style.
Q: Why settle for either cubic zirconia or sterling silver jewelry?
There are many reasons why people buy jewelry whether it’s the real thing or it is just costume or fashion jewelry. First, jewelry enhances and accentuates the wardrobe that you’re wearing, creating a stylish silhouette with just the right combination. It can also create and update a style whether you’re going for the casual look or attending a formal affair. Often, the big problem with having to match styles with perfection is that you need to have money to afford the pieces of jewelry that you want. Your best bet if you’re on a budget is to settle for cubic zirconia or sterling silver jewelry as alternative.
The real pieces of jewelry are often very rarely worn and sometimes, it really takes a special occasion to bring them all out. Now, there are times when you want to attend an affair but you worry about losing your jewelry at the event so your next step is to have a replica of your jewelry made but in a much cheaper version – hence cubic zirconia or sterling silver.
Also, there are times when you want to keep wearing your diamond engagement ring but walking into a your local supermarket with that on can simply draw unwanted attention. This is also the perfect time to bring out your imitation diamond engagement ring, your cubic zirconia replacement so that even if you lose it while shopping, it won’t be such a big loss to you.
The trick to successfully wearing cubic zirconia and sterling silver jewelry is to be modest about them. Flaunting them just attracts too much attention and you may unwittingly draw the ire of some people who know the difference between what’s real and what’s fake. Just try to learn which pieces go well with your clothes and pick the right event for the right pieces so you’ll still look classy and well-adorned even if your pieces aren’t that expensive as the rest of the visitors.
CZ and Sterling Silver necklaces
One of the more important pieces of jewelry that you can have in your collection are the CZ and Sterling Silver necklaces. Necklaces are easy to pair off with your clothes and with many pendants available on the market today, you can easily find pieces to mix and match without any problem. The best part about CZ and Sterling Silver necklaces is that they’re not that expensive and you can afford to collect a few number of pieces to complement various affairs and events.
At BELLA BOUTIQUE, we endeavor to provide you with unique and custom-tailored pieces which you can’t find anywhere else. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing cubic zirconia and sterling silver. What matters is that you have a unique piece that totally complements your coloring, your sense of fashion, your wardrobe and the event that you’re attending.
CZ and Sterling Silver Bracelets
Bracelets can both be subtle like a complementary piece or loud if it’s the focal point in your fashion ensemble. For casual looks, you can simply wear a couple of CZ or Sterling silver bangle bracelets just to give a touch of whimsy to your look. Even men can wear CZ or Sterling silver bracelets, but they’re more into the masculine cuffs and bangles rather than the charms type of bracelets. We at BELLA BOUTIQUE have a large range of CZ and Sterling Silver bracelets to accentuate your wrists and arms and give you that right amount of flair for the day or night.
CZ and Sterling Silver Rings
When you hear cubic zirconia, you can’t help but associate it with engagement and wedding rings because they’re the cheaper alternative to diamond rings. Well, you may be right but that doesn’t mean that you’re not buying quality rings when you choose cubic zirconia over diamond rings. What it means is that maybe you just don’t have the budget for it now but eventually you will replace your CZ ring with a real diamond ring.
However, if you look at our selection of CZ and Sterling Silver rings, you may marvel at the designs and options that we offer. We can offer you traditional designs if you fancy the vintage settings for your rings. There are also selections for promise rings and eternity bands.
CZ and Sterling Silver Earrings
Earrings are the most versatile accessories that you can have in your jewelry collection. For one, they’re cheaper than other jewelry so you can afford to have more of them. Second, with just the right addition of the perfect earrings, you can easily brighten up not just your wardrobe but also your face because putting earrings on automatically draws the attention to your face.
There are many variations of earrings and if you want to start somewhere safe, you can easily buy cubic zirconia and sterling silver earrings. You can have something as simple as stud earrings or something fancy like chandelier earrings for the more formal gatherings. There are even clip-ons available from our BELLA BOUTIQUE store for those of you who have no pierced ears.
CZ and Sterling Silver Jewelry Sets
One easy way to expand your jewelry collection is to buy CZ and Sterling Silver Jewelry Sets. The advantage of buying jewelry sets is that you don’t have to worry about mixing and matching because you know from the start which pieces go with which. You can easily put them on without worrying whether they look good because you already know the styles they go well with. We offer many selections of CZ and Sterling Silver Jewelry sets to suit your taste and the occasion