brass bracelet with imitation pearls

Brass Jewelry Pros and Cons: Questions and Answers [2020 Updated]

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brass bracelet with imitation pearls

Brass jewelry offers a shiny gold like look at an affordable price.

This is why many jewelry lovers add brass pieces to their collection.

However, brass jewelry has pros and cons that should be considered.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.

It is used to make all sorts of items from musical instruments to household items to jewelry.

While it is not a precious metal like gold and silver, brass is commonly used thanks to its abundance and inherent strength.

Pros Cons
  • It is popular
  • Brass jewelry is safe to wear
  • Finished brass jewelry does not tarnish
  • Brass jewelry looks like gold
  • It is easy to clean
  • Brass is not hypoallergenic
  • It may change color

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Brass Jewelry Pros

Brass jewelry is popular

Brass is one of the most commonly used metals in jewelry.

You can find all sorts of jewelry made from brass.

And, if you have a particular design in mind, you can probably get a brass version with little research.

Brass pieces are widely available and even more often than gold or silver.

Its vintage gold plated look makes it a trendy choice.

So, there is continuous high demand and high supply at the same time!

Brass jewelry is safe to wear

There are many metals not good for jewelry, like toxic metals.

Brass is not toxic.

It is a safe metal that does not contain any harmful properties.

This means that you can wear it without fear of intoxication.

But beware: it is sometimes alloyed with nickel, which may cause allergic reactions.

Sensitive skins may react in unwanted ways to nickel.

This is a con of brass jewelry that we’ll revisit below.

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Finished brass jewelry does not tarnish

Unlike many other metals that are used in jewelry, finished brass does not tarnish.

Tarnish is the blackish layer than cover some metals by time.

The most prominent example is sterling silver.

925 Silver, with copper in its composition, tends to tarnish.

Deodorants, perfumes and other chemicals fasten this result.

This brings more work to do for a shiny sterling bracelet.

But, as brass does not tarnish, with minimal cleaning, you can keep your items in like-new condition.

However, this is only true with finished brass jewelry.

If the brass is unfinished, then it can tarnish rather easily.

Tarnish may occur on finished pieces if the coating wears off and gets into contact with air and humidity.

Brass jewelry looks like gold plated jewelry

Arguably, the biggest advantage of brass jewelry is great look it offers.

Brass pieces enjoy gold-like appearance, with very affordable prices.

This means that you can have an impressive line of jewelry made from brass which compares well with expensive metals.

Please note there is gold plated brass jewelry also.

While vermeil and gold plated jewelry will offer similar looks, brass pieces clearly win on price.

Vermeil, or gold vermeil, is the name for silver which has a gold coating.

There are also jewelry made of cheaper inner base metals than gold or silver, which are called, simply, gold-plated jewelry.

You can easily build up a shiny collection with an amazing budget by choosing brass over other gold plated alternatives.

Plus, this opens the door for getting creative and showing off how smart you are!

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Brass jewelry is easy to clean

Cleaning your brass pieces is not a difficult task.

A damp cloth and a little soap will easily clean the brass to keep it in like-new condition.

Ketchup is also a good cleaner.

It’s acid from the tomatoes is enough to take away any tarnish buildup on unfinished brass without damaging the metal itself.

Brass Jewelry Cons

Brass is not hypoallergenic

For those with sensitive skin, brass jewelry may cause some irritation or discoloration.

The best way to find out is to make a short test.

Simply place something made of brass against your skin to see if there is a reaction.

Just test and see.

You may also like to borrow a brass bracelet from a friend and wear it for a short time.

If your skin is sensitive to brass and gives itching and blister, then you can choose another metal.

Brass jewelry may change color

While brass is durable, it can change color over time.

Even with proper cleaning, brass will start to appear differently after a period.

This means that you might not like its appearance ten or twenty years from your purchase.

On other hand, a very non-reactive metal like gold will keep its initial look much much longer.

Brass jewelry can turn your skin green after a while.

This color change comes from the copper content in the alloy.

Copper interacts with oxygen, humidity and skin oil and makes a dark greenish color.

Pay attention to finished and unfinished brass

Before you make your purchase, keep in mind that there is a substantial difference between finished and unfinished brass.

You should probably avoid unfinished brass unless you are willing to spend the extra time in cleaning and fighting tarnish.

Otherwise, stick to finished brass to save time.

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The Verdict: Brass Jewelry Pros and Cons

To end with, brass is solid choice for jewelry.

It offers an attractive gold-like look, with a fine, affordable price.

Finished brass is a material easy to maintain, unlike sterling silver.

Allergies aside, picking a finished brass jewelry piece may be a smart choice for your jewelry collection.

You can benefit from the low prices of brass jewelry and add more shiny gold-like items to your collection.

Check our post on Brass vs Bronze Jewelry for comparing these similar metals.

Where to buy brass jewelry?

You can check designs and prices of brass jewelry on Amazon.

Click on the photo to check on Amazon