Copper has been used by humankind for over 10 millennia, it was one of our first metals. There are many properties that have made it favourable to first peoples, the most important being that it has a cunning ability to resist corrosion.
Rather than rusting away from oxidization, it gains and grows a patina that highlights its features bringing it to life through colour and pattern. This antiqued patina that develops is part of copper’s charm, as it behaves as a living metal that will change due to exposure to natural oils, moisture, and deposits of trace minerals within the environment. This natural process is something we hope you can appreciate as it tells its own story.
To bring out the highlights of your piece as it ages you can use a brass brush to buff the piece to create dimension and depth. If you would like to slow copper's aging process we recommend that copper pieces are removed before handwashing, showering, bathing and swimming and that they be stored in a dry place.
You can restore the fiery lustre of copper by either using a product called "Brasso" or creating a simple paste of lemon juice and salt. Have a polishing cloth, toothbrush, Q-tip or a rag on hand while applying the pastes. A little goes a long way, so start by applying in an inconspicuous area to see how your piece reacts to the polishing and wipe away with a clean rag so that the lemon juice and salt doesn't stay on the surface. Avoid applying the polishing compound on to any stones that are present in your piece, you may go so far as to even add clear nail polish to the stone to ensure protection. These cleaning processes can also be used on your raw brass chain that I use with my creations.
Keep in mind that the cleaning may change the appearance of the patina, so begin carefully with the back of the piece to see how it reacts.
In order to connect with that primordial bond and relationship we share with copper I choose not to seal my electroformed jewellery pieces. This allows my copper creations to come to life, to grow and change with you as you wear and enjoy their unique beauty.
Any questions regarding restoring shine, patina, or care please contact me.
*Will my skin turn green?
Sometimes wearing copper jewellery directly against the skin will leave it with a non-permanent green stain. This is normal and a natural reaction to your body's pH, moisture, minerals, and oils on your skin that create a chemical reaction when they come into contact with copper causing it to oxidize.
If you do not like this and would like to try and prevent it from happening, you may seal the part that touches your skin with a clear varnish such as nail polish or jewellers wax. This is not a permanent solution and it will need to be repeated periodically.
Your copper jewelry's patina will shift and change over time depending on how you wear it. Please avoid wearing your jewelry in the shower or while working out to avoid your skin becoming green or avoid increasing the patina.
If your jewellery piece had a patina already on it and you would like to preserve that after it becomes dirty please rinse in clean water and dry thoroughly. To remove oxidation/ patina please refer to the above instructions on removal.
*Is the green stain poisonous?
Not in this context. Copper is only toxic in large enough quantities when ingested or inhaled.