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Simple Tips to Keep Your Copper Wire Jewelry Looking Great

The NUMBER ONE rule for keeping your copper wire-wrapped jewelry looking good is ...KEEP IT DRY.

Like many handmade jewelry makers, I use untreated 99.9% pure copper wire almost exclusively.

It will slowly oxidize (turn a darker, more brown color and even black) over time, but even treated or "tarnish-resistant" copper wire isn't guaranteed to look shiny and new indefinitely. And some of the colored wire can chip, depending on how it's made.

Obviously, never shower or take a bath or go swimming or hot tubbing while wearing your copper jewelry.

Also, never store your jewelry next to a sink or in your bathroom, where the humidity from showers and bathing can accelerate the natural oxidation process and even turn your copper green. Blech. Keep it dry.

It's also not a great idea to wear copper jewelry while you're exercising or working out or doing anything else that might make you break into a sweat. {wink wink} ... Unless you want your wire to turn green.

#2. If your jewelry does get damp or wet, gently rub it dry with a soft, absorbent cloth as soon as possible. If it got really wet, using a blow dryer at the lowest heat setting can help dry it more quickly. After it's completely dry, use a jewelry cleaning/polishing cloth like the miniature ones I include with every order.

Keep in mind that I use "dead soft" copper wire, which can be bent out of shape if you rub too enthusiastically. Be gentle.

#3. Regularly use the jewelry cleaning/polishing cloth I include with every order (or a similar cloth) to help keep your jewelry looking good.

Giving the wires a gentle rub every time you take it off will help keep dust and debris off and keep it looking its best.

#4. Never sleep while wearing your copper wire jewelry. The wires can get bent out of shape; and of course, many of us sweat while we're sleeping (or trying to sleep).

#5. If the wires get a bit scuffed, marred, or scratched, as long as the injury isn't too deep, a simple nail buffer can remove the scratch. Just, as usual, be gentle and don't rub too vigorously. Deeper scratches can often be fixed by gently using the finer side of a nail file, or, preferably, with the "even out" or "smooth nail" sections of a multi-use nail buffer.

(They are inexpensive and available pretty much anywhere nail care products are sold)

#6. Gently rub the wires with the "buff" or "shine" section of a multi-use nail buffer once in a while to restore shine to the copper wires. (optional)

Depending on your personal taste and preferences, untreated copper wire jewelry might not be your thing. If you want your jewelry to always be shiny, then gold or platinum is your likely best option. Sterling silver, of course, also has oxidation issues.

But for many of us, there is beauty in oxidized copper; just as much, or almost as much, as "fresh" copper.

Many jewelry makers who work with copper actually put the wire through an intentional oxidation process as a finishing touch. There's even a product made for turning copper wire black, called liver of sulfur. Dipping a piece of jewelry into the substance almost instantly oxidizes the metal, turning the copper into an antiqued black color. It's all about what you like.

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