Brass that smells

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canei wrote
on May 17, 2012 5:46 PM

Hi, a few weeks ago I got some brass chain, findings and a few "charms". After I made the bracelet I noticed a smell. Does anyone know if this is normal for "vintage" looking brass. It's untreated. My bracelet STINKS!!! Angry

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Valbeads wrote
on May 18, 2012 1:09 AM

No, it does not sound normal at all.  Do you mind if I inquire as to where you purchased the chain?  And I know it's kinda yucky, but could you describe the odor?  Because I worked in medicine for quite a few years, that could tell me if it's cheap metal or if it was reacting to your body chemistry.  I will answer tomorrow afternoon when I'm up and about.

Thanks!

Val

Val

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canei wrote
on May 18, 2012 1:38 PM

Hi and thanks...I got it from an internet bead company...www.eebeads.com. I've never purchased brass chain before only .925 or G.F. I wanted to incorporate some different metals. Just as an FYI. Back in the '80's I used to wear brass bangle bracelets and earrings and never had a smell...Let me know your thoughts when you get a chance.

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Valbeads wrote
on May 18, 2012 2:00 PM

Ok...eebeads is not a site I'm familiar with.  Sounds like you may have gotten a bad batch of brass.  Generally, brass is not supposed to have much of any odor at all.  I work with antique brass frequently because it has a nice patina and I do a lot of vintage pieces.  I'm wondering if it might be brass plated nickel? That would not be good.  That's a very cheap chain that will have an unpleasant odor and won't last.  Also, more and more people are developing allergies to nickel every year.  Even though I'm on a fixed income, I'm still very selective about where I purchase my jewelry findings and beads.  Because my local bead store recently closed, I shop exclusively online now.  I can give you the names of the companies I do business with, all of whom were originally recommended to me by others here at Beading Daily.  These compnies have excellent reputations, very reasonable prices, and superior customer service.  They are: Limabeads.com, Beadaholique.com, MKJewelry.com, and FireMountainGems.com.  Fire Mountain in particular has an amazing selection, and frequently has dollar sales on merchandise all the time, which I definitely take advantage of!  All these sites will also specifically inform you what the base metal to their findings are.  FMG does have nickel based items, but they will tell you up front.

My hope is that you can contact this etailer and request an exchange or a refund.  I really hope you didn't pay a lot for this chain, and I hope even more that I was of some assistane to you.  Good luck with everything and stay in touch so I know how things go.  Enjoy your beading!

Val

Val

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canei wrote
on May 18, 2012 7:05 PM

Thanks so much for the info about the brass. I shop at all of the places you mentioned except for MKJewelry.com never heard of them. I also got these glass "pearls" from them that scratched. There weren't Swarovski's.  I wasn't really happy with the entire purchase. I will put it in the lost column. I did question the seller but they are very curt with their responses. In the future I will call the company and ask about the brass...

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on May 18, 2012 8:16 PM

Oh, that's too bead! Eebeads is one of my favorite places to shop from. I've never once had a problem... Hmmm...

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canei wrote
on May 19, 2012 11:48 AM

They are ok... this wasn't my first order and I surprised when after a few days the bracelet had a smell. I've called other placed and they claim their brass doesn't have a smell. I also like eebeads. I live a few miles from them and my items get here the next day. They said that untreated brass will have an oder. Thanks!! 

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shanks wrote
on May 20, 2012 2:45 PM

Can some one tell me what "untreated" brass is?  Never heard of this before except for polishing.

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canei wrote
on May 20, 2012 2:50 PM

me too... that is all she replied back with "untreated" and sorry you don't like the smell. it's really bad. i refused to wear it. it came out so nice.

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Valbeads wrote
on May 20, 2012 10:33 PM

Glad I could be of help.  If you like Lima and Beadaholique, you will like MK, as well.  Their prices are very reasonabe, and they have a very nice selection of vintage-style lucite flowers, which are making a big comeback.  There's also a site that I found advertised by Beading Daily called Dollarbeads.com.  Their stuff isn't half bad, either.  I was able to get the crystal crackle glass that I enjoy working with at that site, and the give you a nice long string, too.  And of course, everything's $1.  Besides my crackle glass I've gotten some nice agate there, too.  Don't think they sell findings there, though.

As for treated brass?  Never heard of such a thing.  Treated with what?  Heat?  Other chemicals?  Sounds as if the representative either didn't know her product, or was trying to buffalo you.  If there's any way to speak to a supervisor or manager, I would suggest you try that route, or if, as you said it's local, perhaps pay a visit to the business itself?  If neither of these options work out I guess you can chalk it up to experience, but I probably wouldn't be anxious to do business with them again.

Sorry for the delay in responding; I'm usually busy with parish functions on weekends.  Enjoy your beading!

Val

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D.M.Z wrote
on May 21, 2012 12:31 PM

canei, I am really sorry about your bracelet. I have a very bad sense of smell because of my allergies because my nose is just out ot whack most of the time. But, I can smell raw brass and while I think it is funky, I don't think it is strong enough to stink.  If you like the bracelet, I'd consider spraying it or coating it with something. First clean it well, using soap and water first, then some alcohol and spray it with a product like Krylon matte finish or shiny depending on your chain. You may need to remove the charms and be sure to turn it and do several light coats getting insides and outsides. That should seal up any smells. I'd think about painting it, but with chain that could be a horrid job depending again on the chain involved. Good luck and I hope you can solve the problem since you like the bracelet. Donna

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Ceffyl1 wrote
on Nov 19, 2012 9:41 PM

Maybe you could "treat" it with floor polish? or Krylon? If you seal it, it may reduce the smell.

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Sherri S. wrote
on Jan 4, 2013 9:41 PM

"Treated" brass is brass that has been treated with something to prevent further tarnish.  Has anyone ever oxidized their own brass?  Once raw brass is oxidized, it needs to be treated so the color doesn't darken further.  I think they coat it with something, but I'm not sure what it is. 

As far as the "brass smell", that is a first for me!  I agree that treating it with something could seal in the smell, but not sure what that sealant would be.  I would suggest shopping at Rio Grande.  I'm sure they would carry some kind of metal sealant.

 Sherri S.

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