by April Sanders
Copper is popular in many different styles of jewelry, from ethnic designs in handmade jewelry to modern pieces. When new and unfinished, it can be as shiny and pink as rose gold. Over time, the copper will develop a patina and darken into a warm brown color. Although copper tarnishes easily, it is popular with artisans and jewelers who love to work with the soft metal. Follow these instructions to care for your copper jewelry.
Clean your copper jewelry whenever you notice that it is becoming dingy or dirty. This will depend on how often you wear it. To clean it, prepare a mixture of warm water and a few drops of mild soap. Then dip a soft rag into the mixture and wipe your copper clean. Rinse with clean water and dry the jewelry gently with a soft cloth.
Polish your copper jewelry to maintain the pink color and shine. Do this every time you see the color darkening. Prepare a cup of lemon juice and add a dash of salt. Dip your copper jewelry into the lemon juice and swirl it around a bit. This will remove the patina that comes with tarnishing. Remove your jewelry and rinse it off thoroughly with water. Let the jewelry dry completely before wearing it. You can also use a jewelry polishing cloth to polish your copper if you don't have lemon juice handy.
Store your copper jewelry in a plastic zipper bag to prevent air from tarnishing it when you aren't wearing it. On the other hand, you can let it develop a rich patina if you like that look.
Do not use silver polish on copper. Many silver polishes have abrasives that can scratch the soft surface of copper.
Do not polish copper jewelry that has an "added" patina. Some jewelry designers add a patina on purpose to enhance the look of the piece.