Metals + Care Guide
Metals + Care Guide
What do the abbreviations on your product descriptions mean?
AGP - Antique Gold Plated
SP - Silver Plated
GP - Gold Plated
SS - Sterling Silver 14k
GF - 14 Karat Gold Filled
The Metals We Use:
We use a variety of metals at Bella Vita. Most of our chains are plated, meaning they have a layer of silver or gold plated to a ‘base metal’ which is usually steel or brass. In addition to the plated metals we do use Brass, Stainless Steel, Copper, Bronze, Sterling Silver, 14k Gold Fill, and 14k Gold.
All jewelry items will have a detailed description telling about the metals and other materials used. If you have skin allergies or sensitivities to certain metals, let us know. We can offer alternative metals on most all of our designs. We can even source karat gold chains and pendants.
Brass - Considered a base metal, brass is made up of copper and zinc alloy. Brass is yellowish/gold in color. If not properly cared for, brass will show patina as it ages. This patina can be polished off with a polish cloth.
Copper - Is a soft, naturally occurring, malleable, and ductile metal. Pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Copper is used for many things, in jewelry it is often used as a constituent of various metal alloys, such as sterling silver.
Stainless Steel - This is a strong, industrial-looking metal that makes a good budget friendly alternative to sterling silver.
Bronze - Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin and has a lovely gold coloring when polished can resemble 14k gold. Bronze is a very strong metal used in jewelry design.
Sterling Silver - Silver is a very soft metal to work with in its purest form, so it’s often mixed with copper to make it more pliable. Fine silver is the purest form with a .999 level of purity. Sterling silver is the next purest silver and is often marked with the 92.5 marking.
Gold - One of the best metals (and most costly) to use for jewelry-making as it’s very soft and easy to work with. Gold is often mixed with metals like zinc or copper to make it more durable. Gold is measured in weight with 24 Karat being the purest form of gold (99.9%) right down to 10 Karat (41.7% pure gold).
14k Gold Fill - A 14K gold fill piece is created by wrapping and adhering an actual layer of 14K gold around a brass core. By law, that layer of gold has to be 1/20th gold by weight.
Base Metals - Brass, steel, and copper are considered base metals. Base metals are generally plated with a thin, micro layer of silver or gold.
Plated Metals - Silver and gold plated metals consists of base metal at the core and a very thin layer of gold or silver plated on to the base metal. Most costume jewelry is a version of this. Plated metals are an art and science as you can adjust the color of the gold or silver plated on the base metal. We use 12k gold plating colors with an oxidized patina to achieve the color of gold we want on our designs. This just means the artist that does our plating strives for a color of “gold” matching the standard color of 12k gold.
How do I care for my jewelry? There are lots of ways to care for your jewelry! First and foremost, keep your jewelry out of humid areas when you are not wearing it. Metal hates humidity, drill that in your brain, and don't forget it. Whatever you do, don't store your jewelry in the bathroom. Next, Keep your brass jewelry dry if possible, brass will tarnish if it is exposed to water. If you insist on wearing your jewelry without ever taking it off, let us know and we will set you up with a polish cloth.
Inevitably, however, no matter how hard you try to keep your brass jewelry dry, it will tarnish over time. To clean flat surfaces or jewelry that has detail you don’t want to disturb, like stampings, buff the piece with a jewelry polishing cloth, or use extra fine steel wool available at any hardware store. And, remember, everyone's body chemistry is different and your chemical makeup is the main culprit in how your jewelry is going to perform. If you are having problems with your jewelry we want to know! We will work with you to find a metal solution that works with your body chemistry/lifestyle.
If all else fails, just bring it to our shop or ship it to us and we will be happy to help you clean it!
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns
When will my order ship? All of our items are handmade and most of them are hand made to order meaning they are not made until you place the order. Normally your order will ship within 1 business day, but it could take as long as 7 - 10 business days depending on our work load at the time. If you need your order shipped more quickly, just call or email us to see if we can accommodate shipping it out right away. Again, some things we keep stocked and some things we make to order. We are happy to accommodate you if we can. Also, be aware that we are closed on Sunday and Monday, so if you place your order on one of those days, it will be fulfilled once our staff is back in the shop on Tuesday.
Can I pick up my order in your store? Yes! Picking up your online order at our Downtown Little Rock location will save you on shipping charges, so just select the "In Store Pickup" option for shipping when you check out. We will call or text you when your order is ready to pick up. It can usually be made that day, but some orders take more time to make so make sure to give us time to pull or make the jewelry before arriving at the shop to pick up your order. Also, be aware that we are closed on Sunday and Monday, so if you place your order on one of those days, it will be fulfilled once our staff is back in the shop on Tuesday.