Many of my customers ask about how to keep their copper jewelry shiny and bright, and so today I am sharing my favorite method to clean, one that uses only natural ingredients you most likely have at home.
First thing you will need to do is make sure your metal is pure copper and not coated. Many jewelers use a sealant on their copper, and if this is the case, the below method won't be as effective. You will want to just shine that up with a polishing cloth. If the copper has a deliberate patina on it, the lemon juice will remove this, so I only recommend using this method on raw copper jewelry.
You will want to cut your lemon and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. One lemon should be plenty to clean your piece, I actually can clean 5-6 pieces from the juice of one lemon. If you have lemon juice in your fridge, you can use this too. I just like keeping fresh lemons around.
Pour a small amount of table salt into the lemon juice. Just enough to make a light paste.
Using a small brush (the freebie toothbrushes you get at the dentist or hotels are perfect for this), scoop up some of the paste and gently crub into the copper. If your piece is set in leather like the bracelet I used in the example below, work carefully to ensure you don't get the lemon juice and salt onto the leather.
Once you have achieved the shine you are looking for, rinse the paste off the piece, and dry thoroughly.
Copper has a tendency to darken with time, a phenomenon that many people enjoy, an aged patina can be beautiful on many designs and will highlight natural texture. But, if you are one of those people who loves the look of bright copper (and I am one of those people), you can easily restore shine in minutes.
Below are a grouping of items that have darkened a bit, the left is before a cleaning, and the right is after. You can get an even higher shine with a polishing cloth afterwards, but that isn't always necessary. In the pictures below, I did not use any other polishing besides the salt and lemon.
Here are some close up comparison, top row are the before, bottom row is after a little scrub.
I have also seen other acidic items that you can use if you don't have lemons on hand. Ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce and Tomato Juice have all been suggested to me. I am also curious, what methods have you tried that work well for your jewelry? Feel free to comment below!
If you have been following my most recent designs, you may have noticed how prevalent triangles in all forms have become in my work. While I initially just wrote it off as just a design element that I was being drawn to, a recent comment from a client got me thinking about why I am so compelled to use the triangle.
As I started looking into various meanings behind this symbol, I am not surprised at all that it has been tugging away at a part of my brain for awhile. When I started to pull together all the different meanings and symbolism associated with triangles, it all made sense to me.
One of the first thing that stands out to me is the natural connection to the number 3. Mathematically speaking, three is a cool number, representing the union of its two predecessors. Numerologically speaking, One represents force, Two represents an opening, and Three is the birthing of true wisdom.
Some of the more prevalent trinities associated with the triangle are:
What I think is so cool about the above list, there is something on there that appeals to everyone. Personally, I have a strong connection to the cycles of the moon, a dedicated yoga practice which relies on the mind, body spirit connection, and that's just the first two on the list.
No wonder my mind has been circling around triangles.
The form of the triangle is said to represent different energies depending on how it is worn. Lately, many of my pendants feature the inverted triangle, a well known symbol for the divine feminine, representing the sexual nature of the female, water, and religions connected to goddesses. The inverted triangle is also the alchemical symbol for water.
The crystals I have been working with only highlight these meanings, looking at the labradorite pendant below, how can you not see the fluidity of water, the flash of female intuition, and the vision of a filled and flowing chalice?
In addition, the triangle can symbolize how working together can unite people. They will use their traits that are the most strong ones they have. It can represent the process of development and getting to the highest point of a change that is spiritual. It can symbolize achieving dreams and ambitions.
Perhaps what is so intriguing to me about the nature of the triangle is that it can be a very versatile symbol with different meanings. It can represent balance and being creative. It can symbolize rising up, something being manifested, illuminated, or integrated. The triangle can represent proportion, something culminating, and being subjective. What other symbol can mean things that are polar opposites? The upside down triangle is female, lunar, passive, and symbolizes Mother. The right side up triangle is male, solar, active, and symbolizes Father.
I'm curious, how does the triangle resonate with you? Let me know in the comment section below.
Owner/Designer for Desert Daisy Jewelry. Crystal Enthusiast, Wanderer, Gypsy Soul.