I gave up on the traditional Japanese alloys more than 25 years ago
because of just this problem. Those materials are not part of our
culture and even customers who were very interested in the material
and process were not too keen on taking the chance that they would
not be able to restore the patina if it was compromised. I use brass
copper silver and broze for my mokume and a heat aptina that I then
encourage to age into a natural browner color. I sometimes protect
it with car wax, but not usually for jewelry. If someone polishes all
the oxides off, they will come back with normal handeling and
exposure to light, sweat, air etc. BTW, I very much avoid saying that
exposure to “sweat” will help along the color when talking to
customers since some of them are grossed out by the idea. “Oils and
amino acids from your skin” sounds more elegant.
I very much agree with Chris Ploof about this
The best thing to do is to not use patinas on anything that there
is even a remote chance of them rubbing off of. This will keep you
from having customers who are disappointed and upset.
The difference being that my mokume patina is self renewing and that
light polishing will clean up the silver and leave the copper dark.
I tell my customers, “All you have to know is that tarnish is a dirty
word but patina is an art word.”