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by Jesús Zabala - 4 min read

Brass vs Copper Jewelry

Brass and copper are two popular metals used in jewelry making. Brass contains copper, so making a difference between brass and copper may be challenging. That is why we want to compare brass vs copper jewelry.

Brass and copper have several qualities that make them different. Now, let’s go through them!

Brass vs Copper Jewelry

Both metals offer unique visual appeal and versatility. Yet, there are some differences between them in terms of color, composition, and durability. Here are the essential differences between copper and brass jewelry.

Brass vs Copper Jewelry
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Hvarts

Visual appeal 

Copper is known for its unique color and warm tones. It has a reddish-brown nuance that allows us to create jewelry with a rustic, vintage, and earthy charm. The best is that copper’s warm shades can complement many skin tones and improve the overall look of an outfit.

On the other hand, brass jewelry is valued for its versatility and design options. Brass is made of copper and zinc, which gives it a beautiful golden color. Brass even resembles gold. No wonder brass jewelry pieces are among our best sellers, like our beautiful Bali Rose Ring.

Moreover, brass makes a great alternative for people who like wearing gold without paying a fortune. Brass can be easily shaped and molded into different designs, which is excellent in the jewelry industry because it allows the creation of many styles and patterns.


When it comes to versatility, both copper and brass offer endless possibilities. Copper is a very malleable metal. Due to this, we can easily shape and texture it. 

We often use hammering, enameling, and etching techniques to create unique designs on copper jewelry pieces. Copper’s softness allows easy manipulation and adjustments, making it a great choice for custom-made pieces.

Brass is super strong and durable; we use it in bold jewelry. It can withstand wear and tear better than copper, which makes it more suitable for everyday jewelry. 

We advise combining brass with leather, beads, and gemstones. You can polish brass but also leave it unpolished for a vintage look.

Durability and longevity

Strength and durability are the basic features that differentiate brass and copper. Copper is known for its excellent malleability but is not as strong and hard as brass. This makes copper more prone to wear and tear.

Brass is stronger because, in its composition, it also has zinc. This element makes the material harder and resistant to wear and tear. Therefore, it is an ideal choice for everyday jewelry.

Both materials require regular maintenance and care if you want them to last longer. Regular cleaning and polishing can also help retail its luster and prevent patina development. Moreover, avoiding exposure to harsh conditions can prolong the lifespan of your copper and brass jewelry.

Hypoallergenic properties of copper and brass jewelry

Hypoallergenic characteristics are another important factor when choosing jewelry. We must point out that brass and copper might cause allergic reactions, but copper may often be more hypoallergenic than brass.

Copper has antimicrobial characteristics, potentially reducing the risk of infections or skin irritations. Copper jewelry might also have health benefits, like improved blood circulation or reduced joint stiffness.

On the contrary, brass may include nickel, an allergen. Yet, remember that brass jewelry made from high-quality brass or brass alloys may be purified from these components. We advise testing jewelry on a small skin patch because every person’s sensitivity to allergens varies.

Hypoallergenic properties of copper and brass jewelry

Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Diana Macias

Price and affordability

When it comes to cost, copper is generally less expensive than brass. Copper is a pure metal that requires a simpler production process and lower material costs than brass. It is also readily available.

In contrast, brass is more expensive because of the extra steps involved in its production and the cost of the alloying metal, zinc. Yet, the prices of both metals can vary based on the design and craftsmanship.

Care and maintenance

Cleaning brass jewelry involves a few simple steps. First, we advise you to make a cleaning solution by mixing warm water with mild soap or dish detergent. Use a soft sponge or cloth to clean brass jewelry. 

Finally, rinse the jewelry with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth. Use a brass cleaner or homemade lemon juice and baking soda solution to make your jewelry shinier. Leave the cleaner on the jewelry for a few minutes, then rinse and dry it.

When it comes to copper jewelry, we advise you to clean it regularly to maintain its shine. One option to clean copper jewelry pieces is to mix equal parts of vinegar and water and soak the copper jewelry in it for a few minutes. When finished, rinse it thoroughly and dry it with a soft cloth. 

The second option is mixing lemon juice and salt and applying them to the jewelry pieces. Scrub this paste on the jewelry with a soft cloth, rinse, and dry it afterward. Moreover, we recommend storing both brass and copper in an airtight container to prevent tarnishing.

Care and maintenance
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Stanislav71


How does brass vs copper jewelry compare? Copper has a unique color and warm tone, giving the jewelry a rustic look. Copper is also very malleable, meaning it can be easily shaped. This metal may have antimicrobial characteristics and possibly reduces the risk of infections.

Unlike brass, copper is not so strong, but you can prolong its lifespan with regular maintenance and care. Plus, copper is cheaper than brass.

Brass, on the other hand, is versatile, and because of the yellow color, it resembles gold. This metal is also very durable, making it suitable for everyday jewelry. 

Brass is less suitable for sensitive skin than copper because it may contain traces of nickel. Like copper, brass requires regular care and maintenance if you want your brass jewelry to last long.

So, is copper or brass better for jewelry? Both metals are great for jewelry making; just remember to care for them properly.

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.