You may have been looking for affordable jewelry types with excellent qualities, and you came across bronze. If you want to know more about bronze jewelry, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’re sharing details about the components of bronze, its pros and cons, and care tips. We’re also showing you how to tell if it’s genuine, where to buy it from, and much more.
What is bronze jewelry made of?
Bronze jewelry has a lovely warm golden color and consists of 88% copper and 12% tin. Sometimes, bronze contains other metals such as aluminum, manganese, zinc, or nickel and non-metals such as phosphorus and metalloids such as silicon and arsenic.
The additional metals in bronze produce a range of alloys that might be harder than copper alone. They also have other beneficial properties such as machinability (easy to cut), strength, or ductility (stretches without breaking).
Is bronze a good material for jewelry?
Yes, bronze is a good material for making jewelry because it’s strong, durable, and affordable. In addition, bronze is excellent for detail work, so you’ll find delicate and gorgeous intricate jewelry made from bronze. It’s also easy to clean and will last for decades with good care.
Is bronze jewelry toxic?
No, it’s not toxic unless an individual is allergic to nickel. Nickel allergy symptoms include skin rashes, dry patches, red eyes, and discoloration.
In earlier times, lead was an element in bronze jewelry. Over time, individuals wearing such jewelry developed lead poisoning. Some of the symptoms of lead poisoning include joint and muscle pain, mood disorders, high blood pressure, developmental delay, and learning difficulties in children.
Today, bronze jewelry doesn’t contain lead; thus, there’s no risk of lead poisoning.
Does bronze tarnish easily?
Yes, bronze easily tarnishes when exposed to air and water.
Is bronze better than gold?
Bronze jewelry is more durable and affordable than gold jewelry, so it’s the better option in those aspects. However, most gold jewelry lovers associate the metal with prestige and prefer its appearance to that of bronze.
Pros and cons of bronze jewelry
Like most metals, bronze has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of bronze jewelry.
Pros of bronze jewelry
The advantages of bronze jewelry include the following:
- It’s highly durable. With proper care, your bronze jewelry can last for decades.
- Bronze is cheaper than gold and other precious metals, making it affordable for many people.
- It’s easy to clean.
- Bronze is versatile. It can be molded into different kinds of jewelry, making it popular among jewelry lovers.
- It can alleviate copper deficiency in the body. Over time, the skin will absorb the copper in the bronze jewelry; this can help alleviate symptoms of rheumatism, arthritis, and other conditions.
Cons of bronze jewelry
The downsides of bronze jewelry include the following:
- Bronze tarnishes as it reacts with oxygen and moisture, which cause it to lose its luster and develop a patina. The patina is a fine green layer on the bronze surface.
- It isn’t hypoallergenic. It often contains traces of other metals like nickel, which elicits an allergic reaction on sensitive skin.
- Bronze can turn the skin green. The copper content will react with skin oils to form a greenish layer of copper carbonate on the skin. This discoloration often occurs with tight jewelry worn in hot weather because of the lack of air circulation between the jewelry and the skin.
How can you tell if bronze is real?
The jewelry market is not short of scammers trying to sell fake jewelry as real. Knowing how to tell if your bronze jewelry is real is imperative. Strike your bronze jewelry against another metal and listen to the sound it makes. Real bronze will create a lovely ringing sound for a few seconds.
The tin atoms in bronze are well placed within copper’s molecules, providing stability and allowing for the transfer and reverberation of sound instead of absorbing it. A fake bronze piece creates a heavy, dull sound that disappears fast.
Caring for bronze jewelry
After buying your bronze jewelry, how do you care for it to serve you for a long time? We have some tips below.
How to clean bronze jewelry
Here’s what you need to clean your bronze jewelry:
- A bowl
- Dishwashing liquid
- Non-scratch scouring pad
- Cotton towel
- Jewelry cleaning cloth
- Fill the small bowl with water
- Add a drop of dishwashing liquid onto the scouring pad and dampen it with water.
- Scrub your bronze jewelry with the scouring pad. Scrub both the outside and inside of the jewelry.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Dry the jewelry with a cotton cloth.
- Use a jewelry cleaning cloth to restore its shine.
Does toothpaste clean bronze?
Yes, it does. Here’s what you’ll need to clean your jewelry with toothpaste:
- A toothbrush
- A bowl
- A cotton cloth
- Apply a coating of toothpaste to your bronze jewelry.
- Allow it to sit for ten minutes.
- Vigorously scrub it with a toothbrush.
- Rinse the jewelry with water.
- Dry the jewelry with a cotton cloth.
How to seal bronze jewelry
Sealing bronze jewelry prevents tarnishing and protects it from developing a green film of copper carbonate, which can discolor your skin. Here are three ways to seal your jewelry:
- Apply clear nail polish to the outside and inside of your bronze jewelry to prevent direct contact with the skin.
- Spray the piece with safe, clear acrylic lacquer like ProtectaClear for a more permanent glossy coating. The coating protects your jewelry against tarnishing, moisture, and UV rays.
- Smear your piece with car wax. It creates a transparent protective layer on the jewelry.
How to patina bronze jewelry
A patina is a brown or green film that occurs on the surface of bronze or similar metals, produced by oxidation over a long period. Some jewelry owners like to patina their metals to give them an old vintage look and add a timeless feel.
You can patina your bronze jewelry using kitchen basics like vinegar and salt. The first step is ensuring that your bronze is unlacquered. Rub the surface with wire wool or fine-grade sandpaper to remove the lacquer if your jewellery is lacquered.
- Household vinegar
- Table salt
- A container with a tight-fitting lid
- A paintbrush
- Pour a little vinegar into your container. Ensure the vinegar covers the bottom of the container.
- Add a few pinches of salt and stir it so that the salt dissolves in the vinegar.
- Dip your paintbrush into the salt vinegar mix and paint it over your bronze jewelry.
- Place the jewelry into the container and cover it with the lid.
- Turn the jewelry hourly, coating it in the vinegar and salt solution. Ensure that one area isn’t sitting in the liquid and turning much darker than the others.
- When satisfied with the color and patina on your jewelry, remove it from the container, rinse it with water, and then dry it thoroughly.
How to polish bronze jewelry
Polishing your jewelry helps to maintain its luster and shine. We have described how to polish your jewelry at home.
- Dishwashing liquid
- Cotton cloth
- One lemon
- Baking soda
- Clean the jewelry with soap and water. Then dry it thoroughly with a cotton cloth.
- Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a container or bowl.
- Add baking soda and stir to create a paste that is similar in consistency to toothpaste.
- Rub the paste onto your jewelry and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Rinse and dry the jewelry with a cotton cloth.
Wearing bronze jewelry
Knowing how to wear your bronze jewelry will help you accessorize your outfits well (with the right colors). It’s also important to know when not to wear your jewelry to keep it safe from tarnish.
What color of clothes goes well with bronze jewelry?
- Black: Black matches well with everything. Also the contrast of bronze against black makes a pretty powerful duo.
- Red: Red and bronze make for a striking color combination.
- Emerald green: This beautiful color is warm, making it an excellent match for bronze jewelry.
- White: If you’re wearing a white ensemble, bronze pieces like earrings, a bangle, or watch will create a striking contrast and make the jewelry stand out.
- Gold: Since bronze has a near-gold appearance, it will match well with a gold outfit.
- Yellow: Bronze’s gold-ish appearance goes well with yellow outfits.
Will bronze turn your skin green?
Yes, bronze will turn your skin green. When copper reacts with the oils, sweat, and acids on your skin, a green film of copper carbonate will also rub off on your skin.
Can you shower with bronze jewelry?
No, you cannot. We’d advise you to take off your jewelry before showering because bronze reacts with water which causes it to tarnish.
Best places to buy bronze jewelry
We’ve listed three reliable retailers for you to consider when purchasing your bronze jewelry.
Amazon has a wide collection of bronze jewelry including necklaces and earrings.
Ebay has a variety of bronze items ranging from necklaces, rings, bracelets, brooches and earrings.
Nordstrom is an online store that sells a variety of goods, including jewelry. If you’re interested in buying different types of bronze jewelry, Nordstrom is the right place for you as it offers a wide variety of bronze pieces.
A durable yet affordable metal
Bronze jewelry is good quality and also affordable – an excellent combination for a jewelry lover. Remember to seal your bronze jewelry so it doesn’t tarnish quickly and will serve you for a long time. With the right-colored outfit, your jewelry will make a fashionable statement.
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