The best method to keep your handmade copper jewelry nice and dazzling, is to store it in a re-sealable plastic bag or jewelry amoire with anti-tarnish paper. Before storing your handmade copper jewelry, make sure it is clean and moisture free. Look for handmade copper jewelry that has been treated with a protective coating that resists tarnishing. This coating usually wears off over time, especially if the jewelry is in direct contact with skin, such as rings, bracelets, necklaces, and cuffs. Copper earrings usually remain shiny the longest.Once tarnish occurs, it is surprisingly easy to care for copper jewelry just as it is for Sterling Silver or gold jewelry. A good point to remember is that copper is the catalyst that speeds up oxidation/tarnish in precious metals, so only 24K Gold and Fine Silver will not tarnish, since they are not alloyed with copper.
One of the easiest ways to bring back the luster of most copper jewelry is by using a jewelry polishing cloth that can be found at most local drugstores, jewelry stores, or most online jewelry sites. Most jewelers polishing (or rogue) cloths can last for years and is well worth having. For more intricate pieces, take your jewelry to your local jeweler and have it steam or ultrasonically cleaned. Don’t risk damaging or devaluing the piece by cleaning it yourself if it’s set with gemstones. Don’t be penny wise, pound foulish. Most gemstones can be easily damaged if cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner. If your are unsure, take your jewelry to a professional. Most handmade copper jewelry designers stand behind their jewelry and would be more than happy to restore their jewelry for a small fee or even sometimes for free.
Here are some easy tips if you are short on time and need a quick and easy cleaning solution (be sure not to use these on handmade copper jewelry with pearls or gemstones):
* Vinegar – (White, Apple Cider, Wine, Balsamic) – Set the jewelry in a plastic or glass container. Make sure you don’t use metal. Cover the item completely with vinegar. Let it soak in the solution for about 15 minutes. Rinse under warm water, dry off, and your finished!
*Lime or Lemon Juice – Follow the instructions for vinegar as detailed above and throw in a pinch of salt to speed up the reaction.
* Worcestershire Sauce or Ketchup – Squeeze a dab onto a soft cloth or toothbrush, then rinse throughly under lukewarm water. Make sure not to expose gemstones, as they should not be exposed to any natural or chemical cleaners.
Unique copper jewelry by San Francisco jewelry designer John S. Brana include beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces designed to set the wearer apart from the crowd. Whether classic or contemporary, each piece is unique, meticulously handcrafted, and made from top-quality copper.