How to care for Copper & Brass Jewelry

Copper is an essential trace mineral necessary for survival. Most of the copper in the body is found in the liver, brain, heart, kidneys and skeletal muscle. Copper helps with the formation of collagen, increases the absorption of iron and plays a role in energy production.
A Masai Shepard wears his bracelet for enhances strenght and endurance. A Tibetan Lama felt his bracelet helped find his way back to himself from deep meditation wanderings. A Sherpa guide believes his layered bracelet stores his extra energy when he was fresh and released it back to him when he needed it to walk that extra mile. High in the Andes, Inca descendants say that men should wear copper and leave gold to the gods.
Curious enough, in Mesoamerica the Aztecs had similar beliefs and so did the Egyptians many decades before that.
People around the world have long recognized that the wearing of a copper ring or bracelet assists in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism. The copper tarnish that rubs off on the skin from time to time is easily removable with soap and water and its said to be a sign that the ring or bracelet is working with the body’s needs.
Weather copper really is a treatment for arthritis and rheumatism, we don’t know, but the warm glow emanating from a beautifully polished piece of copper jewelry is hard to come by.
 
 

With the cost of gold being so high, brass is an excellent alternative to those whole love the warm, rich color of gold but can’t afford it’s price tag. However, the swap to brass does come with some (minor) care responsibilities. But follow the steps below and you’ll be able to enjoy your copper and brass jewelry for years to come.

How to Clean & Care for Copper and Brass Jewelry

  1. Copper and Brass does not like getting wet. Want to tarnish brass quickly? Just get it a little damp and you’ll see a brown patina form. While this can be quite lovely sometimes, if you’d like your Copper and Brass jewelry to shine like gold, keep it dry!
  2. Inevitably, however, no matter how hard you try to keep your Copper and Brass jewelry dry, it will tarnish over time. Oils and sweat are the main culprits here. 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 fine steel wool available at any hardware store. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a light buff will restore shine. You can also use products like Brasso to lightly buff your piece with.
  3. For a deeper clean in those hard-to-reach areas, create a mixture of lemon juice, baking powder, and water. Apply a little bit to your item and gently scrub with a toothbrush. The toothbrush should help you get into those dirty nooks and crannies, making your jewelry golden once again.
  4. If you ever get a little over-zealous in your scrubbing and remove detail in nooks and crannies that should have it, simply use a permanent marker to fill in those areas and then gently rub over them with fine steel wool to remove any surface excess.
  5. Some people have an allergy to Copper and Brass that causes a tint to be left behind on the skin. Simply seal the offending areas on your jewelry with any clear nail polish or clear Rustoleum to prevent this from happening. Reapply as needed.
  6. Even though we take great care in sealing your copper and brass pieces in a protective wax, they will continue to need your loving care.
As easy as that! Follow the steps above and you will get many happy years of wear from Copper and Brass jewelry.
COPPER ON SKIN – SCIENTIFIC FACTS
Copper, when in contact with the skin, forms chelates with human sweat, sometimes seen as green deposits under the jewelry piece and is thus absorbed through the skin.
The copper used in all ‘Megan Goldner Designs’ jewelry is 99.9% pure and is free from lead. The yellow metals are jeweler’s brass, which is a mixture of 85% copper and 15% Zinc.