FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Current shop production time is 1-3 business days (plus shipping time)

 

Aluminum 1100 is the primary silver metal used to make the majority of the items Heel Lilies carries in stock.  Why Aluminum?  Aluminum becomes more durable the thicker the gauge and leaves an impression on your item that is smooth and delicate.  IQS states, "It responds well to decorative finishes which make it suitable for giftware and other decorative purposes."  This alloy is non heat treatable, and is also the lowest strength of the alloys and can be used for many parts where product purity is a priority.  This form of aluminum has excellent resistance to corrosion and is widely used in the chemical and food processing industries (Industrial Quick Search, INC. Manufacturer Directory, April 29, 2014).Aluminum 1100

Copper is a naturally occurring metallic element illuminating a darker red color.  It has been used for generations to create jewelry in all forms including pure copper as well as several metal alloys.  Please note that copper metal will turn a dark color.  This is a natural chemical reaction due to exposure of air for a long period of time.  The reaction is known as patina, which is a thin layer that variously forms on copper, bronze, and similar metals (referred to commonly as tarnished produced by oxidation or other chemical processes). To correct this natural process you can pick up copper polishing pads at a local craft store.  Gently rub the white pad in one direction across the copper jewelry only to shine and restore the original appearance upon receiving your item. 

The Sterling Silver found in our products is Sterling 925.  Real 925 sterling silver consists of 92.5 percent pure silver and the remaining percentage is made up of another alloy, generally copper.  925 silver can be polished by hand to eliminate harsh buffing which permanently damages and devalues a piece of silver.  Hand polishing will preserve the unique patinas that do not usually or easily occur.  Silver can be compromised by components in the atmosphere such as pollution or silver sulfide.  This process will appear as a black tarnish during exposure to airborne compounds of sulfur (byproducts of the burning of fossil fuels and some industrial processes).  As the purity of silver decreases after some time it can cause corrosion or tarnishing because of the mixture of other metals in the alloy, usually copper (The Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers, revised fourth edition (1998), by Dorothy T. Rainwater and Judy Redfield; Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, PA.)

Pewter is a malleable metal alloy, traditionally 85-99% tin, with the remainder consisting of copper, antimony, bismuth and today is lead-free in jewelry.  Pewter is a variation of zinc alloys.  Pewter is referred to as "fine metal" and priced in the middle of aluminum and sterling silver.  Pewter is uniquely shaped and will have a hand-poured look from the melting process.  This process is what sets it apart in the aesthetics of the different designs throughout Heel Lilies.  Many hand stampers prefer pewter more these days than aluminum due to the quality and character in the metal.

Tibetan silver is commonly used throughout many shops that sell hand-stamped items.  Heel Lilies does use some of the Tibetan silver charms on items but I carefully have chosen an honest supplier. Tibetan silver is somewhat similar to pewter.  It is an alloy that tend to be a base iron, overlaid with pewter and silver plating.  It has an overall appearance of aged silver but can be polished to provide highlights on the castings.  Chinese Tibetan silver beads should be avoided at all costs as most if not all contain lead and in few cases arsenic has been found.  Heel Lilies primarily uses lead and nickel free, zinc alloy metal charms from Canada, avoiding Tibetan silver as much as possible.  Some charms are made with an antiqued bronze color but the material is still zinc alloy.

All jump-rings used to complete necklaces are 925/10 sterling silver filled.  To maintain the integrity of the items I create I made this switch early on when I received feed back from customers that their items were "coming apart" or breaking.  Each item is assembled with different gauges to compliment the item. 

Pearls and crystals used within Heel Lilies are all made of Swarovski elements.  We take pride in hand crafting the best of each piece to your order and this upgrade comes standard on each piece created in our shop.  Our supplier is a certified Swarovski distributor. "Founded in 1895 in Austria, Swarovski designs, creates, and markets high-quality crystal product collections such as jewelry, accessories, decorative items commanding impeccable craftsmanship" (Swarovski.com).