Are you looking for the drawbacks of bronze jewelry? Bronze jewelry doesn’t come up in conversations much. Many focus on popular metals such as gold, sterling silver, stainless steel, and platinum. It’s all clearly with good reason.
Let’s look at what keeps people away from bronze and offer an alternative viewpoint of the same.
5 Little-Known Drawbacks of Bronze Jewelry
Let’s dive right in!
1.Bronze is an alloy
One might assume that bronze is naturally mined, but that’s not the case.
The purpose of combining all these elements is to offer hardness, strength, wear-resistance, and corrosion resistance.
2.Bronze can cause skin allergies
A lot of the bronze pieces in the jewelry industry do contain nickel.
Allergies to this element are common, affecting about six in 100 people as per the Department of Dermatology of New York University.
The effect is rashes, itching, swelling, reddening of the skin, and in some cases, causes black skin discoloration.
The metals within bronze oxidize once exposed to moisture and oxygen. That causes it to tarnish, making it darker or causes it to form a patina.
The latter is a thin greenish layer that appears over copper and bronze due to prolonged exposure to chemicals and other elements.
While the patina looks beautiful on the Statue of Liberty or an antique table, the same cannot be said when it forms on jewelry.
4.Bronze requires a lot of care
You continually have to keep your bronze jewelry dry and clean.
That means taking it off during any activity where the item will come into contact with water or a lot of moisture.
It includes showers, swimming, cleaning, washing hands, being in a sauna, or exercising.
People typically like jewelry to do daily activities without worrying, which makes bronze jewelry somewhat of an inconvenience.
5.Bronze may turn skin green
Copper is the main culprit when it comes to skin discoloration.
It is known for turning skin green, and since it’s contained within bronze, discoloration is almost inevitable.
The good thing is that it’s not an allergy; it’s merely a reaction between the bronze and the acids or sweat on your skin.
While it’s not harmful, the green color is quite unsightly.
How to mitigate the drawbacks of bronze jewelry
Not all hope is lost when it comes to bronze. Here are some ways you can still get to enjoy bronze jewelry.
You can use natural acids to clean bronze
Regular cleaning is one way to maintain your jewelry’s luster. One way to do so is by using natural acids such as lemon juice or vinegar.
Mix half part water and half part your acid of choice. Soak your jewelry for a few hours. After, take a soft cloth and rub the jewelry surface.
If the item has an intricate design, there’s likely dirt stuck in the nooks and crannies. You can use a soft brush to remove them. Once done, rinse with clean water and wipe dry with a soft cloth.
You can use a homemade paste to clean bronze
Alternatively, you can make a paste made of one-part vinegar, one-part flour, and half part salt.
Take the paste and spread it over the metal. Wait for one to two hours.
Before rinsing the paste off, rub the paste over the jewelry’s surface to remove any remaining dirt.
Olive oil is a remarkable polisher
Once the metal is dry, whichever process you choose, dab some olive oil on a cloth and polish the jeweler.
That will not only make it shine, but it’ll for a protective layer. However, please don’t put too much where it stains your clothing.
Use olive oil whenever you feel your jewelry is losing its luster.
Varnish prevents bronze from tarnishing
If you don’t want to clean your bronze jewelry regularly, then varnish is the route to go. You don’t have to go out and get one; clear nail polish will get the job done just as well.
Even so, you do need to polish the piece using a soft dry towel to protect the varnish.
However, do keep in mind that not everyone is a fan of the high gloss finish varnish produces.
What makes bronze jewelry great?
Even with what seems like a myriad of drawbacks, bronze is a beautiful antique color that looks great on many skin tones.
The brownish-gold color does give the bronze an air of sophistication but only for a fraction of the price. It’s an excellent alternative for gold if you can’t afford to purchase it. It won’t get confused with gold, but it does have its appeal.
Bronze is also quite strong compared to other metals, sterling silver included.
If you’re looking for something you can wear without worrying about scratches and the like, then you can opt for bronze. It doesn’t mean you use abrasive cloths on it; it merely means it fairs on better.
Lastly, bronze is believed to help pain management in arthritis, rheumatism, and other illnesses. It’s thought copper seeps into the skin and is absorbed into the body; something welcomed for those with copper deficiency.
There’s still a need for research, but plenty of testimonials advocate for it.
Bronze jewelry can be deemed high maintenance and an inconvenience, but overall, it’s worth purchasing if you don’t have any sensitive skin.