Will brass turn your skin green?
This is a question I often get, and I find the answer quite interesting actually.
The way the skin reacts to brass will depend from person to person, and will actually also change depending on how you feel (if you're tired, if you're stressed, etc) - as your emotions will affect the acidity on your skin. The moment of the year may also affect the reaction - if your body is warm and often moist in summer for example.
I have been selling brass jewels since 2014, and the brass cuffs I sell have been many, many humans "everyday-go-to-jewels". Jewels they wear everyday of the year and can't live without anymore.
I have been nicely surprised to hear that very often, those jewels didn't leave any mark - or "only sometimes".
Which will probably be - sometimes when the person was tired or stressed out (or sweating a lot in summer or during physical activities!)
This feedback also came from people who did often get green marks with "cheap jewelry" they purchased in the passed. But didn't get the same result with my brass jewels.
So chances are : you won't have a green/grey mark. Or maybe just sometimes. Or maybe you will, if your skin acidity is high... Each of us is different :) There is no 1 general answer which is valid for everyone.
In any case, do not worry, it is a normal oxidation reaction and should fade a few minutes after removing the item. You can prevent this reaction by keeping your piece clean and dry, or coating the backside of it in a few layers of clear nail polish.
I hope this'll help you understand a little more how this happens!
Will brass remain that golden color over time?
Yes! Brass tarnishes a little faster than silver, but for the rest, you can clean it and care for it in just the same way. It will remain beautifully golden if you care for it well.
I don't use varnishes, and don't apply any kind of layer on the metal*, so you can clean it without fear of damaging the surface.
I often include a polishing cloth together with your order. If the tarnishing is superficial, the cloth will help bring back the metal's shine.
If the brass has tarnished in a stronger way, special jewelry cleaning products will help (the same as the ones for silver works perfectly for brass). I like to use the brand HG.
Toothpaste on a toothbrush can also work great - but you have to be really careful not to leave any paste residue in any little crevice of the metal, or it might damage it greatly with time. So brush your jewel under running water thoroughly to clean everything out perfectly, and dry your jewel well with a towel.
*a sole exception to this is when jewels feature a vegetal imprint or ethnic patterns. To these, an oxydation patina is applied (creating a dark shade) to highlights the details.
Will my ears react to your earrings ?
Even when the main part of an earring is in brass, I always use silver for the ear posts or the ear wires (so : the part of the earring that goes through your skin will always be silver).
Over the years, it has been extremely rare when I heard someone's kin reacting to my earrings - because it is very rare when people's skin reacts to silver.
Some stud earrings are sold with backings (that little piece that blocks the earring at the back of your lobe) which aren't in silver, but are in a zink alloy. When it is, it is always mentioned in the item's description. Some people have sometimes mentioned they reacted to those backings. Which is why I always also include an additional pair of rubber backings together with those earrings. You will always have both option in your order.
How to care for metal
What makes metal tarnish, is humidity : which is simply present in the air around us. And is even more present in a bathroom!
We often get the habit of taking our jewels out in the bathroom, and leave them laying around there (I don't follow my own advise and must admit : I still do this too! :D)
But that is actually the worst you can do. Jewels will oxidise much faster there.
The best way to store your jewel, and avoid them to oxidise too quickly, is to store them in a "dry" room, in a closed box. The box you receive from me when you order something will do the job fine!
So when you're not wearing your jewel, store it in a closed place, outside of the bathroom.
Try not to let the oxidation process go too far, or it will be more difficult to get it nice and clean again. Use the polishing cloth, rince the jewel with soapy water or toothpaste, make sure you rince it perfectly well not to leave any product residue on the metal. Dry it completely.