Jewelry is made to be worn so here are a few pointers to keep your jewelry in the best possible shape for the long haul.
Take your jewelry off before showering, swimming, sweating it out at the gym, and before applying lotions and perfumes.
Brass is an alloy and will very much tarnish naturally with wear and when exposed to oxygen. If the antique-y patina-ed look is not your thing, the new brass sheen can be easily achieved with a soft cloth and a household brass cleaner.
Sterling Silver can also tarnish naturally but is very easy to restore by buffing with a polishing cloth and storing in an air tight container or bag when not worn. Definitely avoid chlorine!
Gold Vermeil is a layer of gold over a base metal of sterling silver. Best to buff gently with a soft cloth and store in a pouch when not being worn. The same can be done with Gold Plated or Filled pieces.
For Gold Filled pieces, simply cleaning regularly with a little warm water then drying with a soft cloth will help to keep the original shine.