We receive a number of common care questions related to the jewelry purchased from us. Here are answers to a number of the most common queries.


"My MakeShift piece seems darker now than when I first received it.”

Each salvaged metal artifact that comprises a MakeShift piece has been cleaned, polished waxed, and buffed. All of our metals are “bare", meaning they have no coatings. Over the lifetime of any metal, the tones of the metal may darken as the metal forms a patina. This is a natural process that occurs with almost all metals as they oxidize from moisture in the environment.


  • Easy and gentle: Hand-buff the metal surface with a jeweler’s cloth, obtainable at most jewelry stores for around $5. This will highlight any raised surfaces and leave some shadows behind of the patina.
  • Gritty and thorough:  Buff the surface of the metal with very fine fine steel wool (“0000” grade is ideal). This more aggressive technique will get down to the bare metal if repetition and moderate pressure are used. Avoid any painted or enameled areas (such as various machine plates). After buffing, apply a thin coat of paste wax to the surface in a well ventilated area, let dry, and polish off any residue with a clean cloth.


“My bronze & copper MakeShift ring leaves a green band on my finger.”

Don’t worry. The oxidation of the metal with your skin, oil, and sweat is not a sign of poor metal or craftsmanship! All of our jewelry is “bare metal” jewelry, meaning none of our products have lacquers or plastic coatings on them. The properties of copper, brass, or bronze cause the metal to oxidize when the metal reacts to the salt from your skin. Metal oxidation leaves a more noticeable impression on people in humid environments or people with sweatier hands than others.

Solution: If you dislike the residue, clean the inside of the ring out with steel wool or a scrubby pad.  Once the jewelry is clean and dry, paint a coating of either clear nail polish or any type of metal lacquer inside the ring. Let it dry thoroughly. This will seal off the metal preventing oxidation. Give it a try, and if this does not prove satisfactory, we will gladly take the ring back as a return or exchange.