Important Details About Copper

A native element and number 29 on the periodic table, copper is generally durable but is prone to tarnish from oxidation if not properly polished and stored. Copper has a unique orange-red color that makes this material a common—and beautiful—choice for jewelry. In fact, the earliest known artifact using copper is a pendant from northern Iraq dating back to 8,700 B.C. Some even believe that copper has a supernatural ability to balance mind and spirit.

JTV’s Exclusive Copper Jewelry Collection

JTV’s Timna Jewelry Collection™ features captivating copper pieces with ornate details and glowing gemstones like turquoise, sunstone and moonstone. This copper jewelry collection is inspired by the copper mines found in Israel’s Timna Valley and it reflects the rich colors and textures of this exotic region’s stone and sand formations. You can consider each piece of this collection a wearable work of art—even more reason to keep it perfectly polished.

Ready to Clean Your Copper Jewelry?

To get started you will need the following items:

  • Two bowls
  • Warm water
  • Mild soap 
  • Soft, dry cloth
  • Tweezers or tongs
  • A cotton swab
  • The polishing cloth that came with your Timna Jewelry Collection™ purchase or another jewelry polishing cloth

Begin by adding the warm water to each bowl and mixing a couple of drops of mild soap into one of the bowls. While some sources suggest using vinegar or vinegar-soap mixture, we do not recommend vinegar as it could break down the protective outer coating on your copper jewelry pieces. A mild soap is especially ideal if your copper jewelry includes gemstones.  

Items needed to clean copper jewelry

Step 1

Soak jewelry in warm, soapy water. 

Warm, soapy water will allow every crevice of the piece to be cleaned and sterilized. Let jewelry soak for up to 10 minutes. 


Putting copper jewelry in warm soapy water

Step 2

Use the tweezers to agitate your jewelry under the warm water. 

This allows you to stir your jewelry in the soapy water and avoid leaving fingerprints or oil from skin on the jewelry. 

Step 3

Dip your cotton swab in the soapy water and use it to clean finer details. 

Many of JTV’s copper Timna Jewelry Collection™ pieces have an open design with negative space and details like filigree that may need extra special attention to remove tarnish or buildup. Take your time to work the cotton swab over these places.  

Cleaning the details of copper jewelry with a cotton swab

Step 4

Rinse your jewelry in warm water. 

Rinsing thoroughly prevents soap build-up. We recommend rinsing your jewelry in a bowl of warm water and not over the sink where small jewelry pieces could slip down a drain.

Step 5

Pat your jewelry dry with a soft, absorbent cloth. 

If the cloth is too rough, it may cause damage to the piece by scratching it.

Patting copper jewelry dry with a soft absorbent cloth

How Often Should I Clean My Copper Jewelry?

It’s a good idea to take your jewelry through the cleaning process as soon as your copper pieces start to show signs of tarnish or after exposure to sweat, chemicals or acids. Otherwise, we recommend regularly polishing your copper jewelry pieces after each wear with a polishing cloth to remove any smudges or residues from the day. Each Timna Jewelry Collection™ piece comes with a special copper polishing cloth, but the Jewelry Cleaning Essentials Polishing Cloth will also work well to polish your copper jewelry.

Polishing copper jewelry with polishing cloth

More Tips to Care for Copper Jewelry

  • To prevent damage or discoloration, remove copper jewelry when swimming, entering a hot tub, doing a strenuous workout or cleaning with harsh chemicals.
  • Remove your copper jewelry when bathing to keep soap scum from building up on the surface and dulling the shine of the metal.
  • Keep your copper jewelry from coming into contact with perfumes, hair spray, makeup or lotions. 
  • Store jewelry pieces separately in a cool, dry area to prevent scratching and damage. You may even consider storing each piece in an airtight plastic bag to reduce air exposure and reduce its rate of tarnish.
  • We highly discourage using an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner to clean copper jewelry pieces. As well as causing potential damage to the metal, porous gemstones like turquoise, pearl, coral and more are often featured in copper jewelry and can be damaged in ultrasonic cleaners.

We hope our cleaning guide on copper jewelry was helpful! For more jewelry care tips, check out our jewelry cleaning guide for overall advice on jewelry maintenance.  

Erin Smith

Erin enjoys empowering fellow jewelry lovers with the knowledge and tools to care for their jewelry and keep it sparkling like the day they purchased it.

Read more about Erin on her author page

Erin Smith