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by Jesús Zabala - 4 min read

How Long Does Brass Jewelry Last?

Brass jewelry is one of the most desirable pieces of jewelry because of its golden tone and warm color. In addition, the affordable price and simple maintenance are additional reasons for brass to be the first choice for complementing fashion details. But how long does brass jewelry last?

Stay with us as we analyze the lifespan of brass, its composition, and how to maintain it so you can enjoy its beauty for a long time.

How Long Does Brass Jewelry Last
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How Long Does Brass Jewelry Last?

Brass jewelry can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. The lifespan of brass jewelry depends on several factors, including the quality of the brass, the frequency of use, and how well it is maintained.

Understanding the Durability of Brass Jewelry

Brass is an alloy composed of zinc and copper. Most of its composition is copper, 70-85%, while zinc is represented by 15-30%. Not only does this combination of copper and zinc give brass a recognizable golden appearance, but it offers numerous positive qualities.

One of the positive features of such jewelry is its strength and durability. The strength of this alloy is due to its composition, which is also responsible for the resistance to wear and damage.

In addition to its strength and durability, brass is also resistant to corrosion by creating a protective oxide layer on its surface, which prevents tarnish and ensures its longevity.

Factors Influencing the Lifespan of Brass Jewelry

As we mentioned earlier, several factors contribute to the longevity of brass jewelry. Such factors refer to the way of wearing the jewelry, exposure to external factors, and maintenance of the jewelry.

If you have a habit of wearing brass jewelry all the time, there is a high probability that its quality and durability will decrease with time. With regular wear, brass jewelry gets exposed to abrasive environments, leading to enhanced wear and tear. 

Another factor affecting jewelry's longevity is exposure to external factors. Brass jewelry, in particular, can degrade if exposed to moisture, sweat, perfumes, and other chemicals, resulting in surface tarnishing. Not only that, but excessive exposure can contribute to the acceleration of oxidation and discoloration of the jewelry.

Factors Influencing the Lifespan of Brass Jewelry
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Tarnish and Oxidation in Brass Jewelry

Over time, brass naturally oxidizes, resulting in a patina that significantly changes its appearance. Although many appreciate this appearance for giving it a vintage look and antique appeal, individuals opt for a polished, shiny surface.

Maintenance and prevention of tarnish

If you like the polished and shiny surface of brass jewelry, there are several ways you can prevent tarnish and keep the jewelry shiny. For this purpose, regular cleaning with soap and mild water, then wiping the brass with a soft cloth removes the brass jewelry tarnish and restores the shine of the jewelry.

In addition, you can also apply a protective coating such as wax or varnish, which would slow down oxidation and prevent tarnishing of brass jewelry.

Corrosion and Pitting in Brass Jewelry

In addition to oxidation, brass is susceptible to corrosion, especially in humid or wet conditions. Such long-term exposure of the brass to moisture can lead to pitting and a decrease in the quality of the jewelry. 

In addition, moisture can contribute to the acceleration of corrosion and the appearance of tarnish. To avoid such an occurrence, we recommend you avoid wearing brass jewelry in water.

Corrosion and Pitting in Brass Jewelry
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Care and Maintenance of Brass Jewelry

Caring for your brass jewelry is very important for its durability and quality. Therefore, in the following, we will give you some tips for maintaining and cleaning your favorite piece of jewelry.

Maintenance of brass jewelry

  • Avoid exposing your jewelry to water– before showering or swimming, remove brass jewelry to avoid tarnishing.
  • Store it in a safe place– to prevent jewelry from tarnishing, store it in a dry, airtight container or jewelry box.
  • Avoid harmful chemicals– bleach, ammonia, and sulfur can damage the brass surface and reduce quality.
  • Clean regularly– use a clean cloth to wipe the brass jewelry after each wear. You can also use special solutions that serve to clean brass jewelry.

Cleaning and polishing techniques for brass

To successfully remove the tarnish, we suggest a few simple steps that we hope will help you restore the shine of your jewelry. First mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl. You can add a small amount of salt if desired to remove stubborn tarnish. Then, soak the jewelry and let it soak for about 10-15 minutes. To properly clean the jewelry use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean dirt and tarnish from the jewelry. At the end, rinse with clean water and dry the jewelry with a soft cloth.

Cleaning and polishing techniques for brass
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We hope the article helped you learn how long does brass jewelry last. Regular care, maintenance and cleaning will contribute to your jewelry keeping its shine and beauty for many years.

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