I primarily work with raw brass which is an alloy of copper and zinc and is nickel-safe. It does require a little extra care than other metals but if properly done, it will last a lifetime.
Brass naturally darkens over time and will tarnish when exposed to heat and humidity. This does not harm the metal and actually acts as a protective layer! If you enjoy the aged look of patina created by tarnish, you can simply let it do it's thing.
To keep brass bright & shiny:
- avoid getting jewelry wet
- do not wear jewelry to sleep, shower, workout or swim
- store jewelry in an airtight bag or container in a cool, dry place (NOT the bathroom)
- polish periodically with a sunshine cloth
There is a slight chance brass will turn your skin green due to the high copper content. This is completely harmless and temporary - some people even believe it has healing properties! Whether or not you turn green is largely due to your individual chemistry and can be avoided by following the above instructions.