Brass is an alloy made of copper and zinc with added nickel to increase the hardness of the material. Brass is malleable and, therefore, ideal for complex jewelry designs. Many piercings made of 316L surgical steel have certain parts of the piece made of brass. Intricate details of the piercings made of brass result in a more affordable end product.
Brass tarnishes over time as it oxidizes from air and moisture. When you buy brass jewelry or any piece that contains a bit of brass, we recommend keeping the jewel dry at all times.
Pros and Cons
Brass jewelry is affordable.
Brass itself has a vintage look.
Brass has a resemblance to gold.
Brass is known to tarnish quickly.
Jewelry made of brass contains nickel.
Due to the high percentage of copper used in brass, the material resembles the look of gold. The downside of the copper content is that brass jewelry may turn your skin green. As brass oxidates, it will react to the sweat from your body, creating copper chelates.
Brass is a widespread material for jewelry makers around the world. Piercings of 316L surgical steel often come with stone settings or decorative parts. As brass is a resilient metal, it is often used as a second material to create such details. Using brass allows for more affordable jewelry pieces as the same design purely made of 316L surgical steel can easily cost twice as much.
Be aware that piercings partially made with brass can tarnish quickly. Keep such jewelry away from moisture and sweat to keep it in good condition for as long as possible. Note that brass will tarnish over time due to oxidation by air.
"The downside of the copper content is that brass jewelry may turn your skin green."
In addition to the main contents of copper and zinc, nickel is almost always added to the mix. Although this is not harmful to most people, when you are sensitive to nickel, such jewelry is not suitable.
When you store your brass jewelry, consider doing so in an airtight plastic bag to minimize exposure to air.
The most crucial tip for brass jewelry is to keep it away from any moisture or sweat. Don't wear your jewelry while taking a shower or when exercising. Minimize the exposure to air when you store your brass jewelry.
When you want to clean tarnished brass jewelry, use a specific brass cleaner or lemon juice to easily clean brass jewelry at home.
Other Material Guides
With Material Guides like this one, we want to help you make informed decisions when purchasing one of our Piercings online. We have written a Guide for most of the materials you will find in our webshop.
If you want to learn more about the differences between the materials used for Piercing Jewelry, read a bit more by browsing through all of our Material Guides. Our customer service can also assist you if you have any questions left before deciding what material best fits your needs.