Copper and Brass love to be worn! Brass and Copper are wonderful metals to wear. If you wear your jewelry regularly, it's harder for it to tarnish. Having worn and worked with brass and copper all my professional career, I prefer it. I've heard copper has healing abilities as well. We do have copper within our bodies. When pairing copper with gemstones, it helps us connect with the gemstones and amplifies our intentions as well as the abilities associated with the stones.
There are a few things you can do to keep your brass clean and aligned with your body, getting minimal tarnish on your skin! Because of its ability to balance itself with natural patina over time, sometimes brass and copper leave small green or blue marks on our skin. These marks are normal and will go away when you wash your hands. These marks are not toxic to us or our skin. It likely means your brass or copper got moist or wet which made it oxidize to protect the metal surface! It happens! This is copper's super power to protect itself.
When wearing brass and copper jewelry it's important to keep your jewelry dry and clean. When washing your hands or taking showers with your brass or copper jewelry, dry it off real well when you're finished. (This is almost a reminder to keep your hands clean, which is essential right now.) With copper or brass rings, you might prefer to take them off when showering or washing your hands. It's totally up to your preference. The main thing to keep in mind is keeping your copper or brass metals dry. If you wear your jewelry all the time, even in the shower, which I do, You naturally polish your metal and it has an organic shine from being a part of your wardrobe!
If you do have brass or copper jewelry that is tarnished, it's pretty simple to clean it! Wash your brass or copper pieces with a dish towel or a wash cloth and dish soap. You can let it soak for 10 mins or so if you want, depending on how tarnished your jewels are. You can even a use an old tooth brush with the soap to scrub off tarnish, grime, or dirt. There are also polishing cloths available for jewelry that will help with tarnish.
When not wearing your brass or copper jewelry make sure it is dry before you store it. I'd also recommend putting your brass or copper jewelry in a bag, box, or case, to prevent unwanted tarnish. The truth is that copper and brass will tarnish over time, just remember to give it a good wash like described above! It's important to wash and cleanse your crystals too. Cleaning is a good time to reflect and set new intentions. I know cleaning can be associated with a mess of negativity but we can make positive associations with cleaning to improve our life and perspective!
When purchasing brass or copper make sure it's nickel free. It is also common to find copper that is plated. There is also aluminum sold as copper or brass. Be careful what you buy! I get my brass and copper wire from Rio Grande. If you want to know more about where I source my metals from, please contact me directly. Some of my brass chains are up-cycled and most likely coated/plated copper. It can be hard to tell what you're purchasing when it comes to base metals. I am not sure why. Genuine copper is not magnetic, so if a magnet sticks to your 'copper', it's probably not copper.
Fun fact about Copper: when it's alloyed with zinc, you make Brass. Copper is in Sterling Silver. Copper is also responsible for many of the blue and green colors we see in stones such as Malachite, Azurite, and Turquoise. How cool is that? Michigan is also a place where copper is mined! You can find Michigan copper at some crystal shops around the state.
About the Author & Artist
Megan LaCroix also known as Citrine is the daughter of a Navy Veteran. She’s lived all over the US but has roots in Michigan where her family is from. Spending summers in Northern Michigan exploring nature inspired her to create art work starting with jewelry and photography. She’d spend hours looking for rocks and creating assorted beaded jewelry with her sisters. In 2014 She graduated from University of Michigan School of Art & Design with a BFA then moved to Detroit where she is currently living and working. She is a multi-media artist with ever expanding skills but is best known for her jewelry, screen printing, photography, and paintings. Detroit Graffiti has a significant influence on her painting and drawing style. She’s participated in ArtPrize 2015 & 2021 and currently has a studio in the Village Arts Factory of Canton, MI.