Frequently asked questions

Where do the butterflies come from?

The butterflies used in our jewellery are sourced from an organisation that manages conservation projects all over the world. The organisation currently supports families in 21 different countries.

Agricultural development has caused the natural habitat of a lot of butterfly species to become threatened, and their populations started dwindling. Sustainable farming programs were therefore started to enable farmers from third world countries to keep the rain forests on their land intact, while still providing a livelihood that paid better than mono-cultural crops. The breeding program enables thousands of butterflies to be bred. A portion of the butterflies are caught and sold, and the money generated from the sales ensures that the tropical forests, which are vital to their survival, are preserved.

By purchasing our jewellery, you are not only doing your bit for the environment and the butterfly species that depend on it, you are also providing employment for the families in third world countries who breed and raise these delicate creatures. Click here to find out more.

Where can I find out more about insect conservation?

Extensive research has been done on the many benefits of sustainably farming insects.

When purchasing insect products, it is important to make sure that they are sourced from sustainable sources. We have compiled a number of articles on the subject that you can read, share, print or download. Click here to find out more.

Where did the idea come from?

Papillon Belle is the brainchild of South African based graphic designer & illustrator Audrey Botha.

“Butterflies have always been a source of inspiration to me. Ten years ago, I inherited two antique brooches made with real butterfly wings from my Grandmother. The brooches dated back to the Victorian era and I became very interested in how you can take something as transient as a butterfly and immortalise it in a piece of jewellery that can be passed down three generations.

I wanted to create a range of timeless, classic pieces inspired by butterflies that could become contemporary family heirlooms. When I came across the Antennae Foundation and the wonderful work that they do in insect conservation, it became the final motivation for me to start Papillon Belle.”

What is the difference between glass and perspex?

The butterfly wings in our large Signature pendants are set in glass and the Sterling Silver frames are engraved with a logo and year of manufacture.

The small Signature pendants are made with acrylic perspex and are not engraved, making this a more affordable option.

Benefits of Acrylic Perspex
Acrylic Perspex looks exactly like glass, but it is a lot more affordable. We use the same material used in high quality sunglass lenses. There is a 20 year guarantee from the manufacturers on discolouration (this is dependant on the amount of UV exposure). If you follow the care instructions and look after your jewellery, your pendant should last you a lifetime.

Benefits of Glass
Glass on the other hand is scratch resistant and won’t discolour over time. All our glass is cut by hand in South Africa. If you choose to encase your wing in glass, we will engrave the Papillon Belle logo and the year of manufacture on the frame, so you can pass it down as a family heirloom from generation to generation.

Limited edition pendants are always made using glass and are engraved with an edition number in addition to the logo and year of manufacture.

Click here to find out more about our Signature Range

Who are the Antennae Foundation?

The Antennae Foundation supports local farmers and breeders worldwide to prevent deforestation in rainforests caused by  farming monocultures. 

Families are given the opportunity to collect, farm and breed insects and earn a livelihood that does not require them to destroy valuable rain forest land. Click here to find out more.

How is the jewellery packaged?

Each Papillon Belle piece comes with luxury bespoke packaging, making it the perfect gift for a special occasion.

Pendants & Earrings
Each Large Signature pendant is sold in a luxury gift box lined with protective sponge and a black velvet lining. The logo is foiled in silver on the lid of the box. We issue a certificate of authenticity containing information on the range, the specimen and it’s country of origin as well as instructions on how to care for your pendant.

Charms & Rings
Each charm and ring is sold in a luxury velvet pouch with the logo foiled in silver on the lid of the box. We issue a certificate of authenticity containing information on the range, the specimen and it’s country of origin as well as instructions on how to care for your piece.

If you are purchasing a gift, you have the option to add wrapping paper and a gift bag to your order.

How do I care for my jewellery?

Caring for butterfly wing jewellery
Our jewellery will benefit from careful handling. Please follow the care instructions to maintain its shine and colour for years to come.

Our pendants are not waterproof. Care should be taken to avoid contact with moisture, as this will damage the wing. Do not apply moisturiser and perfume close to the wing. When not worn, store in a cool dark dry place to preserve the colour for years to come. Polish with a dry silver polishing cloth. To ensure the longevity of your pendant, we highly recommend that you add one of our Sterling Silver polishing cloths to your order.

Caring for Sterling Silver
Avoid exposure: Contact with household chemicals, perspiration, rubber, chlorinated water, or any substances which contain sulfur (e.g., mayonnaise, eggs, mustard, onions, latex, wool), will cause corrosion and tarnish – so it’s a good idea to remove silver jewelry when doing household chores. Direct sunlight also causes silver to tarnish, so be sure to take off your silver jewelry before you go swimming and sunbathing.

Lotions, cosmetics, hair spray and hair products, and perfumes are also “enemies” of silver and will accelerate tarnishing. There’s a reason generations of women have been getting dressed with jewelry last, as a finishing touch!

Storage: As exposure to air tarnishes silver, storing your jewelry in airtight plastic bags with anti-tarnish strips is a great preventative measure. Just make sure you don’t store multiple jewelry pieces in the same bag: silver is a soft metal, so the individual pieces can scratch each other. Link or chain bracelets should be kept unclasped or unhooked to prevent scratching as well. If you can’t use plastic bags, try to make sure that the storage area has low humidity.

Polishing: Simply polishing your silver works well using a dry Sterling Silver polishing cloth. You can add one of these to your order on the product page.

Silver is soft and can become scratched easily. Do not use paper towels or tissues to polish your jewelry as they contain fibers that can scratch the silver.

When polishing, use long back-and-forth motions that mirror the grain of the silver. Do not rub in circles, as this will magnify any tiny scratches. Also, change to a different section of your cloth frequently to avoid placing tarnish back on the silver.

Caring for Gold Plated Sterling Silver
Do not spray perfume or other sprays directly onto your gold plated jewelry. Wait until your lotion or cream is dry or has been absorbed by your skin before you wear your gold plated jewellery. Remove your gold plated jewelry when you exercising or swimming. Clean your plated jewelry with a cotton ball or a very soft cloth to remove any dust and dirt it has acquired. To avoid scratches, keep your jewelry in its original packaging separate from other jewelry.

Gold Plating is not permanent and will wear off over time. Papillon Belle offers a re-plating service for all gold plated jewellery at a nominal fee.

Be careful when cleaning Gold Plated items, as excessive polishing can remove the plating and leave pieces worse than when they started.