|Quite a few years ago, when I first started making jewelry, I came across some horseshoe nail crosses...they looked interesting, and since I love making things with metal, I just had to have some. I purchased my first box of horseshoe nails, started playing with them....and soon enough I had a whole section of my website devoted to things made with horseshoe nails. And NOW, in 2017, I discovered COPPER-COATED horseshoe nails, and have fallen in love with them...you'll find some new creations using those here also.
Horseshoe nails are made of steel, plain ol' steel....which means they will rust if immersed in water. So I don't recommend wearing your horseshoe nail jewelry in the shower..... that being said, I have a customer who has worn his horseshoe nail bracelet every day for two years...even in the shower. The nails have patinaed brown, the silver links offer a beautiful contrast. And another customer has one of my horseshoe nail crosses, she wore it every day for several years also, and it turned completely black and smooth. So you never know how your horseshoe nail jewely will patina....but it's going to get better with time. And of course, when I *purposely* put some horseshoe nails in a jar of water for three weeks...the water itself turned rusty looking, but when I rinsed the nails, not much had happened to them. So, I dunno. Just keep a little teeny piece of fine steel wool on hand...if your horseshoe nail jewelry gets a little rust spot or needs brightening, buffing with fine steel wool will do the trick, and it'll brighten the sterling links too.
>>>>Copper coated horseshoe nails: Over time, and with heavy wear, some of this coating will most likely wear off. When I brought these home....the first thing I did was take a wire brush and a sander to a few, just to experiment. It'll probably take awhile for the copper to wear off completely....BUT, I can only see this as a patina kind of thing, with the copper wearing, and the steel coming through and then darkening as it does with wear, and all of it coming together over time for it's own individual look.