Raw brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Unless sealed and protected from the elements, after many years, the patina that develops can vary from a dark rich brown or a reddish ginger color, depending on the copper content.
Unless otherwise stated, the vintage brass pieces used in the design of my creations are raw and unplated. The patinas are just as they were found, naturally developed over time and exposure to the elements depending on how they were stored. As I design my jewelry, I apply Renaissance Wax. This protects the patina but it also wears off over time and exposure.
In order to retain the finish as it is, avoid allowing it to get wet. Apply your perfumes and lotions first and allow to dry thoroughly before putting on your jewelry. After wearing, gently wipe it off with a soft, dry cloth to remove any makeup, skin oils, etc., and store in airtight packaging, such as a zip lock bag.
Continuing long-term care:
For pieces with the original bright finish: clean as instructed above, occasionally apply a little household wax, and buff before sealing in its airtight packaging.
For pieces with a dark or ginger patina: very gently clean as instructed above, but please do not polish the piece with brass cleaner, as it will remove the patina that has taken many years to develop. Once it's been gently cleaned with the soft, dry cloth, avoiding vigorous rubbing, you can occasionally apply a little household wax, and very lightly buff (again with a soft dry cloth and avoiding vigorous rubbing), and seal in its airtight packaging.