Placing your handmade copper jewelry in re-sealable plastic bags along with anti-tarnish jewelry paper will keep it bright and shinny flor a long time. 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. Copper jewelry that comes in direct contact with the skin, such as rings, necklaces, cuffs, and bracelets will tarnish faster than earrings due to constant abrasion that wears off the protective coating.It’s surprisingly easy to care for handmade copper jewelry once the protective coating wears off, just as it is for caring for Sterling Silver jewelry. The only kind of metal that won’t tarnish, but is way too soft for most jewelry applications, are 24K Gold or Fine Silver. Copper acts as an oxidation catalyst, but due to its strength, is commonly alloyed with most metals.
One of the simplest ways to bring back shine to your handmade copper jewelry is by using a jewelry polishing cloth that can be purchased at most local drugstores or from your local jeweller. A jewelry cloth (commonly referred to as a rogue cloth) is well worth having, since it can last for years. For those more delicate pieces, have a professional jeweler steam clean or use an ultrasonic cleaner. If the piece is set with gemstones, don’t attempt to clean the piece yourself, or you could damage the piece and reduce the value. Quite a few gemstones can be easily damaged by using an ultrasonic cleaner, so you might save a few dollars by cleaning your jewelry yourself, but you might end up with a worthless piece. If your are unsure, take your jewelry to a professional. Touch base with the artist you bought your handmade copper jewelry from. Most artists will clean their own work for a nominal fee, or sometimes even for free.
If you are short on time and need a quick fix to spruce up your handmade copper jewelry, you can use any of these easy solutions (not to be used on jewelry with gemstones or pearls):
* Vinegar – (White, Apple Cider, Wine, Balsamic) – Set the jewelry in a plastic or glass container. Make sure you don’t use metal. Pour enough vinegar into the container until it covers the entire piece of jewelry. Let stand four about 10-15 minutes. Rinse under warm water, dry off, and your finished!
*Lime or Lemon Juice – Same directions as above for vinegar, but throw in a dash of salt as a catalyst.
*Ketchup or Worcestershire Sauce – 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.