I work with a variety of materials including jeweler's brass, copper, .925 sterling silver, 14k gold-filled, semi-precious stones and antlers.
Jeweler's brass is an alloy of copper (85%) and zinc (15%)
.925 sterling silver is an alloy of silver (92.5%) and copper (7.5%)
14k gold-filled is a thick layer of gold that is pressure bonded to a brass core. It is hundreds of times thicker than gold-plated and will not flake or tarnish. It is suitable for most skin sensitivities.
All metals are nickel-safe!
Brass, copper, and sterling silver naturally darken 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 patina created by tarnish, you can simply let it do it's thing or it can easily be removed with a Sunshine polishing cloth.
Recommended care instructions:
*avoid getting jewelry wet
*store jewelry in a cool, dry place (NOT the bathroom)
*polish periodically with a jewelry cloth (Sunshine brand is my favorite).
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 keeping your jewelry clean and dry.
All of my antlers are naturally-shed and ethically sourced :)