COPPER JEWELRY –

everything you need to know

 

Is copper jewelry hypoallergenic? Are there health benefits to wearing it? Does copper tarnish easily? What is the best way to clean copper jewelry? Read this blog post for the answers to these questions and more!

Do you love copper jewelry? I personally love its rich color and the way it accents and brings out the colors in certain stones. Because of its warm pinkish orange color, it contrasts very nicely with blue and green stones such as amazonite, labradorite and turquoise. And I love mixing copper and silver to contrast and bring out different colors in a stone.

But did you know, copper has many wonderful qualities and benefits besides being beautiful?

copper and labradorite rings

What is copper used for?

Copper is a base metal that has been used for nearly as long as humans have been around. It is combined with other metals to produce alloys such as brass and bronze and is even present in small quantities in sterling silver and some gold alloys.

Copper has a very high melting point and conducts heat and electricity very well, so it has long been used for cooking pots and pans, as well as electrical wire and components.

Copper also has impressive antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. It is even used by the food industry as an antimicrobial surface for food preparation.

Is copper jewelry hypoallergenic?

As long as the jewelry is 100% copper, it should not produce an allergic reaction. Some confuse a green tint on the skin from wearing copper with an allergic reaction, but this is actually something else, keep reading to find out more.

Occasionally jewelry manufacturers will add a small amount of nickel to copper, and this is often what people have an allergic reaction to. All pure metals are considered hypoallergenic. In all of my designs I only use 100% pure copper, so you can be assured that you won’t have an allergic reaction.

real aspen leaf earrings in copper
moonstone and amazonite copper statement cuff bracelet

Are there health benefits to wearing copper bracelets?

Maybe you’ve heard that copper has health benefits, is this true? Here’s a quote from Medical News Today: “Copper is an essential nutrient for the body. Together with iron, it enables the body to form red blood cells. It helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function, and it contributes to iron absorption. Sufficient copper in the diet may help prevent cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, too.”

While copper can be found in food, there could be other benefits to wearing it. Wearing copper jewelry has the benefit of slow absorption which allows your body plenty of time to assimilate it. This is the same whether it be a copper bracelet or ring, although a bracelet will have more surface area for the copper to be in contact with your skin. Many people claim it helps them with headaches, arthritis, and other aches and pains.

Why does copper turn my skin green?

Copper does not turn everyone’s skin green, but if this is something you notice when you wear copper jewelry, it could be an important indication about your overall health. Copper reacts to acidity, so if your skin easily turns green when you wear copper you may be alerted to your body’s PH being unbalanced. This is important because an acidic body is a friendly environment to bacteria, viruses, cancer and other problems.

will copper turn my skin green
3 demijohn bottles in teal and green

Does copper jewelry tarnish easily?

Yes, copper tarnishes, especially in a humid environment. For example, you can certainly wear your copper jewelry in the shower, but it will likely tarnish quickly. Some people like this natural oxidization which darkens the copper, but if you prefer bright and shiny copper, don’t fret, there’s a VERY EASY solution!

What is the easiest way to clean copper jewelry?

My number one way that I use to clean copper jewelry is with ketchup. That’s right, you read that correctly, ketchup. Sure, you can find on Pinterest all sorts of fancy recipes for DIY copper cleaner which may include lemon juice, salt, tomato paste, etc. But in my experience, just regular old ketchup works like a dream! 

Here’s how to do it: simply rub the ketchup on the copper jewelry, careful to avoid any stones (if the acid in the ketchup sits on the stone it could etch the stone). Let it sit for 30 seconds to one minute, then wash in lukewarm water with dish soap. You can use a soft toothbrush to get into any tight areas if needed. Lastly, dry with a soft cloth and follow with a polishing cloth such as this one, if desired.

Of course, if you prefer not to use ketchup, you can use an actual copper polish such as this one here.

how to clean copper jewelry

If you aren’t interested in the health benefits of copper and would prefer your jewelry didn’t tarnish quickly or turn your skin green, there is another thing you can do. Simply take a small amount of jewelry wax, such as Renaissance wax (click here to see it on Amazon), rub it onto the copper and allow it to dry for about 30 minutes or so. Next, polish with a soft towel until you can’t see any wax residue. This will protect the surface of the copper and slow down any oxidization, however it will eventually wear off and you’ll need to reapply.

Copper jewelry is one of my favorites!

Not only is it beautiful, hypoallergenic, and possibly offers health benefits, but because it naturally oxidizes it is always changing and developing a natural patina. Wouldn’t you agree, this characteristic makes copper so interesting?

It also evokes feelings of being connected to ancient civilizations who also adorned themselves with this incredible metal and natural element of the earth.

Ready to find your own one of a kind piece of copper jewelry? Click here to see all my available pieces.

labradorite ring in copper