How To Clean Copper Jewelry the Right Way

Do you own copper jewelry? This warm-toned metal makes for a unique accent to everyday clothing. Due to its chemical makeup, sometimes metal jewelry can look dull or tarnished often. When your copper jewelry needs a refresh, cleaning it the right way is vital. 

What do you know about copper? Let's explore this material and its historical use in jewelry. Then, we'll look at how you can invest in top-tier chains and jewelry that will never tarnish. 

What Is Copper? 

You might know that lots of currency coins used to contain pure copper in their contents. Over time, that's changed for the most part. Still, copper plays a significant role in our lives today in more ways than you'd think. 

First and foremost, you should know that copper is an essential mineral; in fact, it's been around for nearly 10,000 years. It tends to be soft on its own, which is why some opt to combine it with bronze and brass, especially in jewelry. Did you know one of copper's uses is heat conduction? It also plays a role in the function of some medical instruments. 

This metal is a staple to life as we know it today for many other reasons. Now that we've taken a brief look at copper as an element,  let's talk about one of its greatest purposes: jewelry.

The Ancient History of Copper Jewelry 

When you imagine copper jewelry, where do you think it originated? This type of jewelry has an impressive history that dates thousands of years into the past. To fully appreciate your current copper jewelry, it's wise to learn more about its beginnings.

Egyptians First Discovered This Metal's Use 

The first people to start making jewelry from copper were the Egyptians. These people also learned that copper was more durable when paired with another metal, and they crafted the first copper alloys: bronze (copper and tin) and brass (copper and zinc). 

Egyptian royals commissioned jewelry makers to craft crowns and other jewelry that helped royalty and high officials communicate their status. They used it for spiritual purposes and soon discovered its benefits in medical procedures as well. Those who owned it and used it were highly regarded in society.

Native Americans Also Treasured This Metal 

On the North American continent, people discovered this property's uses and beauty as well. When European people began to inhabit the land, Native Americans learned that their copper jewelry could have trading significance. To this day, Native American people still produce copper jewelry for a range of purposes.  

People Have Attributed Healing Properties to This Metal 

Throughout history, many people have held the belief that copper maintains a healing essence. They attribute this benefit to the enzymatic chemical reactions that can occur with a person's physical chemistry. In other words, when someone comes in physical contact with this material, some people believe that particular micro-nutrients enter the bloodstream to promote wellbeing.

Some Have Revered Copper for Spiritual Properties 

While some have regarded copper for physical benefits, others have enjoyed copper for its believed spiritual properties. Many consider copper to be a grounding metal for a person's body and spirit. Historically, some used copper in talismans and totems because they believed copper could maintain physical protection inside and outside the body.

How To Clean Copper Jewelry 

In the modern era, many people enjoy copper jewelry for its warm hues. If you own copper chains, rings, or bracelets, you might want to know how to clean these pieces since copper can be challenging to maintain. Here are three approved cleaning methods you can attempt to keep your favorite jewelry details looking fresh.

Use the Lemon or Lemon Juice Method 

Do you have a lemon in the kitchen? Grab a kitchen knife and carefully slice it in half. Try salting the open face, then rub your copper jewelry with the lemon to refresh your chains.

If you don't have a whole lemon, you can use lemon juice, too. Find a bowl big enough for your copper jewelry, then cover your bracelets, rings, and necklaces with lemon juice and a dash of salt. You may want to let it sit for a few minutes to get the full benefits.

Next, grab an old soft-bristled toothbrush to start cleaning rougher areas. Then, rinse your pieces with water, dry them, and store them somewhere clean.

Try Cleaning Copper Jewelry with Vinegar 

You can also use vinegar to help your copper jewelry look its best. For this method, you'll need vinegar, salt, and flour. You can mix equal parts of each ingredient to create a paste. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, rub the vinegar mixture into the piece you want to be clean. Then, rinse the paste off, dry your jewelry, and enjoy wearing it again.

Give Ketchup a Try

Here's a method that's less conventional but still worth trying. Let's say you're out of vinegar and lemon juice. Did you know you can use ketchup to clean copper jewelry?

Using a soft cloth or toothbrush, simply rub the ketchup into the jewelry to refresh dull spots and enhance your copper's shine. Rinse and dry as usual and get back to enjoying your favorite accessories with little effort.

Take Caution with Gemstones 

It's worth noting that several of these mixtures contain acidic ingredients. If any of your copper jewelry includes gemstones, protect them from acidic cleaning mixtures to maintain their attractive shine.

What To Do if Your Copper Jewelry Tarnishes

Copper has been well-loved by many people throughout history for its contribution to jewelry and other industries. There is a downside to copper, however. It's often challenging to maintain and can tarnish quickly. What should you do when your copper pieces aren't looking their best, even after cleaning?

Use a Chemical Copper Solution 

Your first option is to use a chemical solution designed for cleaning copper. This method might help return some of your jewelry's shine and eliminate tarnish. 

Replace Your Jewelry with Pieces That Won't Tarnish 

If a copper cleaner doesn't remove the tarnished, dull spots on your favorite pieces, it may be time to replace them. Fortunately, you can invest in necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings that will never rust. You can avoid the hassle of removing tarnish in the future. 

When you make the critical decision to replace your jewelry or upgrade your selection, CRAFTD is your most reliable resource. You can take a look at some of our favorite pieces and see which fits your look most. 

  • CRAFTD Vitruvian Man Ring: Are you looking to add more statement pieces to the jewelry you wear each day? Rings are an excellent avenue for adding self-expression and eye-catching details to your typical jewelry ensemble. Our Vitruvian Man Ring is a timeless design you can wear to strengthen your confidence and clothing.
  • CRAFTD Cuban Bracelet: Are you ready to add a staple bracelet to your daily fits? Our Cuban Chain bracelet is a go-to choice for a flawlessly cool fit. You can choose gold or stainless steel to accentuate your other jewelry.
  • CRAFTD Cuban Chain: Once you've got the Cuban bracelet, it only makes sense to add the Cuban Chain. Our CRAFTD Cuban chain features a timeless design that's quintessential of chain jewelry. Wear it alone or pair it with other chains or pendants for a more complex aesthetic appearance. 
  • CRAFTD Dagger Earring: There's never a better time to try something than today. If you've been waiting for an opportunity to get into wearing earrings, here's your sign. Our CRAFTD Dagger earring adds a perfect touch of personality to your curated weekend apparel. 

Why CRAFTD Pieces Don't Tarnish 

We're serious about providing you with high-quality options so you can have a personal jewelry selection that lasts as long as you need it to. Our jewelry features pieces in both 18-karat plated gold and stainless steel that we anodize and seal to ensure long-lasting wear. It's our way to make sure you can have world-class jewelry without breaking your bank.

To Sum it Up 

We've learned about copper's properties, history, and use in jewelry, as well as a few of the best cleaning methods. Maintaining this kind of jewelry can be tricky, and you might want to switch to gold and stainless steel from time to time.

When you want to wear long-lasting jewelry, you can feel confident knowing your CRAFTD chains won't tarnish, break, or rust, no matter how much you wear them to boxing class or the beach. You don't have to deal with copper pieces that lose the look you love – choose jewelry that endures. 

 

Sources:

Copper Bracelets Cleaning and Care Guide | Jewelry Notes

Copper Alloys in Coinage | Copper Alliance UK

Copper: An Ancient Metal | Dartmouth Toxic Metals

Copper: Health benefits | Medical News Today