How to Care for Your Copper Jewelry
Oh, the warm red glow of copper! Over the centuries, it's been used for pots and pans, sinks, plumbing pipes, and yes, for jewelry. But how do you keep it looking nice and shiny and prevent it from turning your skin green? Here at Buckaroo Bling, we've got a lot of designs made in copper, so I figured I'd give you a few tips for copper care to help you warm up to this warm colored metal.
Most of the care tips, including keeping your bling away from moisture, use of anti-tarnish products and jewelry polishing cloths are the same as the tips I gave you in this blog post regarding care of sterling silver jewelry. Still, there are a couple of tips related just to copper that I want to share with you.
- A lot of quality copper jewelry out on the market, including Buckaroo Bling pieces, is made from pure, untreated copper. That means, when exposed to humidity and oils naturally found in human skin, that jewelry's going to tarnish forming a greenish/bluish patina known as verdigris. So, how do you keep it from turning your skin green? First, let me tell you, that patina is generally harmless in small quantities (unless you have extreme metal allergy) and can be washed off the skin within a couple of days. But there's another issue here: green skin is plain unsightly. So what do you do to keep your piece of copper jewelry from discoloring your skin? The simplest way is to coat the metal with some type of varnish. It doesn't even have to be jeweler's varnish. Your good old clear nail polish would do an excellent job. Just make sure you've completely cleaned and dried your piece of copper jewelry before you attempt this. How's that for a DIY project?
- If you have a piece of jewelry made exclusively of pure copper, without any gemstones or other materials, the easiest and most inexpensive way to clean it is with household vinegar. Just submerge your bracelet, chain, or ring into vinegar for about 20 minutes, then thoroughly rinse it with water, and dry with a soft cloth. Acetic acid, the chemical in vinegar, is the best and most widely used cleaner for copper. Word to the wise: you've got to be 100% sure that your jewelry is made of pure copper, without any gemstones or other materials included, and without any coating, or you might find yourself ruining a perfectly good - albeit a bit tarnished - piece of jewelry.
If you want more general tips on jewelry cleaning, take a look at this blog post I wrote a while back. On the other hand, if all this talk of copper jewelry got you hankering for a new bit of bling, check our what we've got in our shop by clicking the orange button below.