The questions that I get asked the most is “Will it Tarnish?” and “How do I care for my copper jewelry?”. The answer to the first question is yes! Copper oxidizes quickly and there is really no way to stop the process. Some people enjoy the lovely patina that copper develops over time but others prefer the shiny pinky glow of polished copper.
So – How to care for copper jewelry. It is really quite simple
Remove your copper jewelry before swimming/hot tubs, showering, applying lotions, sitting in the sauna, washing hands, or sleeping. All of these activities can in one way or another damage your jewelry
Wash your copper jewelry in warm water and a little Dawn detergent. Do this whenever your jewelry starts to look dingy. Dawn is an anti-greaser and will remove any body oils that have gotten on your jewelry. Dry completely with a soft cloth before wearing or storing. This will not polish your jewelry or remove the patina and is therefore a good first step.
If you want more of a polish, there are a few products that I would recommend for polishing. Do not polish your copper jewelry if you purchased it with a patina as this will remove the patina.
Use a Sunshine Cloth or a Jewelry Wipe to clean and polish – wipe your dry piece until the tarnish is removed. The cloth will turn black as the tarnished is being removed.
Create a mixture of lemon juice and salt is a jar. Place your piece is the jar and give the jar a few shakes. Remove the piece and rinse thoroughly, then dry completely with a soft cloth. Not recommended for pieces with stones.
Make a paste of barkeepers friend and water and apply this to the copper and rub with a soft sponge or cloth until the tarnish is removed. Rinse thoroughly and dry completely. Not recommended for pieces with stones
Do not use commercial copper cleaners as this may scratch your piece and ruin any stones that are on your piece. I would not use ultrasonic jewelry cleaning machines.