Care Tips for your Handmade Copper Jewelry
The best method to keep your copper jewelry nice and shiny, is to store it in a re-sealable plastic bag or jewelry case with anti-tarnish paper. Make sure your jewelry is clean and moisture free before storing.
- Do not expose copper jewelry (especially patinated copper jewelry) to water or any type of solvent
- Remove all jewelry before showering or bathing
- Do not wear jewelry while swimming (chlorine and salt will permanently damage copper and/or patina and will void our return policy).
When you receive my copper jewelry, the piece has been initially treated with a protective coating to provide you with the easiest care possible. With extended wear, however, the coating will eventually wear off (especially on surfaces that are in direct contact with the skin - rings, bracelets, necklaces). Once this 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.
The best way to bring back luster to any piece of jewelry is to use a jewelry polishing cloth that can be easily purchased at most jewelry stores, online, and at many drugstores. A jewelry polishing cloth can last for years. For those more delicate pieces, have a professional jeweler steam clean or use an ultrasonic cleaner. Don't attempt to clean the piece yourself, especially if set with a gemstone(s). Gems are easily damaged by ultrasonic cleaners, so you could end up with a worthless gemstone by trying to save a few bucks by doing things yourself. When in doubt, take your jewelry to a professional. At any point in time, you can mail any of my designs back to me for a free cleaning.
If you find yourself in a pinch for time, here are a few copper cleaning tips (do not use with gemstones or pearl set jewelry), you can use any of these acid based household products:
- Vinegar - (White, Apple Cider, Wine, Balsamic) Place the item in a glass or plastic container (not metal). Pour enough vinegar until it completely covers the piece. Let stand four about 10-15 minutes. Rinse. Dry. Done!
- Lemon or Lime Juice - Follow the directions used above for vinegar...add a dash of salt.
- Worcestershire Sauce or Ketchup Apply it with a toothbrush or soft cloth, then rinse thoroughly. Avoid getting ketchup on gemstones that should not be used with chemical cleaners.
Interesting Facts About Copper
Copper in its naturally occurring state was probably the first metal to be used by humans. Neolithic people used copper as a substitute for stone by 8000 B.C. It was first cast by the Egyptians around 4000 B.C., and was alloyed with tin to produce Bronze around 3500 B.C. Copper was associated with the goddess Aphrodite/Venus in mythology and alchemy, owing to its lustrous beauty and its ancient use in producing mirrors. Copper takes its name from the Latin aes Cyprium, meaning "metal of Cyprus," shortened to cyprium and later corrupted to cuprum.
Although folk lore abounds with stories of how the wearing of copper helps ease the pain and discomfort of arthritis, you might want to order one just because it is a beautiful piece of jewelry. The Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan has probably the world's largest concentration of native copper. Other localities include Bolivia, the Ural Mountains in Russia, England, Australia, Germany, and Arizona.