Bronze has the most beautiful rich luster, and is the closest color comparison to gold, making it a popular metal choice for many designers to work with. Bronze jewelry offers that gorgeous warm hue at a fraction of the cost of its precious metal counterpart, and can remain just as beautiful through the years if properly cared for.
Things to know:
Bronze is a mixed metal alloy, consisting of copper and tin. The higher level of copper creates a rosiness in the metal, making it look more like gold, whereas brass skews more yellow in tone with its copper and zinc combination.
It’s the higher levels of copper that can cause minor skin reactions (like your finger turning green when you sweat!). It’s a natural bodily reaction to copper, but it doesn’t happen to everyone. If you are allergic to copper, you should stay away from bronze jewelry- you’ll be more likely to experience irritations. Stick to sterling silver or gold.
*Pro tip: for extra protection against skin reactions, paint the inside of your ring with a couple coats of clear nail polish. Repeat this process every few months as the nail varnish wears off. You can always remove any excess with polish remover. And remember to stay clear of painting over any stones!
Is bronze jewelry still quality jewelry?
Yes of course! Is the short answer. When you buy handmade jewelry, you are paying for the design and the artist’s time to bring that piece to life. The quality is reflected in the time, care and attention to detail present in each lovely creation, regardless of the final metal you choose to adorn.
Bronze vs gold-filled or gold platted:
Some jewelers will gold plate their pieces. (A fancy way of saying: coated with a thin layer of gold). This is a more affordable way to offer “gold jewelry” to their customers. The downside: gold platting wears off rather quickly, leaving you with discolored base metal jewelry sooner rather than later. Solid bronze jewelry may tarnish quicker, but can always be brought back to its original state. If you opt for gold-platted pieces, try to keep them out of water as much as possible.
How can I keep my bronze jewelry looking shiny and new?
As with most metals, air and moisture are the biggest culprits that oxidize your jewelry. The more often you wear your jewelry the better, because the natural oils from your skin combined with daily hand washing with soap and water will keep your pieces remarkably sparkly.
*Pro tip: Rub a couple drops of olive oil into your bronze pieces and buff clean with a soft cloth to replenish luster and add an additional layer of protection.
If your jewelry has been sitting awhile, use a silver polishing cloth to rub off the excess oxidation. This will shine up the surfaces but keep the patina where it belongs.
You can also place your jewelry in a small bowl of water with a few drops of liquid dish soap, and scrub gently with an old tooth brush. Rinse in clean water and pat dry.
*Pro tip: Try storing your jewelry in silver cloth pouches to reduce exposure to air and moisture.
If you feel there is just too much build up, you can always have your pieces professionally cleaned and restored.
Have additional questions about how to clean your Saint Vagabond pieces? Reach out through the Contact Page and I’ll be happy to help.
Visit the collections for a peek at how Saint Vagabond creates with this favorite alternative to precious metals: