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This is the Definitive Guide to Hand Stamped Brass Jewelry

September 23, 2019

This is the Definitive Guide to Hand Stamped Brass Jewelry | Jessie Girl Jewelry


Many people have a love / hate relationship with brass jewelry. Its ability to change color in the environment makes it unpredictable, and not everyone loves the darker brass look. Its weight feels substantial and luxurious, which is definitely a plus. But if you have the right chemistry, it can turn your skin green. What’s a jewelry wearer to do?


questioning woman


Let’s take a look at Brass in hand stamped jewelry, and some tips on wearing it with the least amount of frustration.


What exactly is brass, anyway?

Brass is a mix of copper and zinc, and is considered a base metal (as opposed to sterling silver which is considered a precious metal).  Here at Jessie Girl we use only NuGold Brass. NuGold is also a mix of copper and zinc, but the percentage of copper is higher than in traditional brass. This gives NuGold brass a color that closely resembles actual gold, whereas regular brass has a “yellower” hue.


Jessie Girl Jewelry skinny brass cuff


Properties of brass jewelry

Being a base metal, brass reacts to the environment around it. Over time, it turns darker as it is exposed to oxygen and other elements. It may develop a patina quickly or it may take a while, it really depends on a number of factors. Heat, humidity, chemicals - they all help with the oxidation process.


oxidized brass bracelet


Brass is a heavier metal, and brass jewelry pieces have a nice weight to them. It is also harder than sterling silver, making it a bit more brittle and just a touch harder to stamp. But that hardness also makes it more durable, and less likely to show scratching. It’s also less likely to become misshapen, which is great for pieces such as cuff bracelets.


Brass hand stamped pieces

We use brass mostly for cuff bracelets because they are easy to clean if a customer wants to keep their piece from oxidizing. Including a polishing pad with our pieces lets our customers clean them easily.

Brass shows off our different types of finishes beautifully. It looks great polished, but our brushed finish creates an elegant, understated look. And hammering brings out a terrific shine and texture.


natural vs darkened stamping


We also offer “natural” stamping on our brass pieces, meaning that we can leave the black patina out of the impressions. On the brass this look is especially pleasing, and is a favorite of our customers.

How to clean your brass jewelry

If you wish to keep your brass bright, there are a few things you can do.

  1. Never get your hand stamped jewelry wet! Water is corrosive to metals, and will just not be kind. Take off your jewelry before showering or swimming and keep it in a dry place when not wearing it.
  2. Wearing your jewelry will usually keep it from oxidizing, unless your skin has a chemical reaction with the metal. You will know this if it oxidizes very quickly when your wear it, or if it leaves a mark on your skin (which is harmless and will wash off). If this is the case, clean your piece and then use a clear nail polish (not top coat, but a true polish) and apply at least 2 coats of polish to your jewelry. This will create a barrier between your skin and the metal and should keep it from turning color and leaving a mark on your skin.
  3. Use the polishing pad that was sent with your piece, or purchase a jewelry polishing cloth to clean your jewelry. This is the easiest, safest way to keep it bright.
  4. Avoid liquids and pastes if you have black patina applied to your hand stamped jewelry - the liquid and paste cleaners will also clean the black patina right off your jewelry!
  5. If you do not have black patina on your piece, you can also use one of these cleaners to remove oxidation.

While brass jewelry can be a bit tricky, overall it is fun to wear and adds a functional style and warm color to your hand stamped jewelry collection.

Definitive guide to hand stamped brass jewelry


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