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Some Facts About Copper

Posted by Linnae Dufresne on

Copper is a mineral and an element that is essential to our everyday lives, and has been since pre-historic times. In fact, the Bronze Era was actually named after the copper alloy, bronze. Copper and its many alloys have played an important role in many ancient civilizations and still continue to throughout our modern times.

Copper is a major industrial metal because of its high durability, malleability, thermal and electrical conductivity, and resistance to corrosion. It is also an essential nutrient in our diet. And, because of its anti-microbial properties it is becoming increasingly important in the prevention of infection.

Copper is easily alloyed with other metals and there are currently more than 570 copper alloys made; 350 of them have been acknowledged by the U.S. EPA as anti-microbial!* You can find copper used: in hospitals in bandages and dermal wound care products, in military uniforms, in sportswear for protection against excess wear and bacterial resistance, and even in cosmetics. The fact is that copper has many uses and is extremely valuable!

* U.S. EPA registration is based on independent laboratory tests showing that, when cleaned regularly, copper, brass and bronze kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7

Because it is durable, easy to manipulate, and its beautiful color copper is widely used in jewelry. Brasses and Bronzes are probably the most well-known families of copper-base alloys. Brasses are mainly copper and zinc. And, recently Rose Gold has become a popular alloy in the fashion industry. Rose Gold is made up of approximately 75% gold, 23% Copper and 2% Silver.

There are many benefits to wearing copper as jewelry as well as its beauty. Along with the anti-microbial benefits, copper bracelets have been worn (for hundreds of years) with the belief that it helped relieve pain with arthritis. And, there have been claims that it helps with improving blood circulation, increased energy reducing inflammation, aiding in detoxification processes, and stabilizing metabolism.    

Note: I make NO health claims here, I’m just providing some interesting information I found during my own research!!!

When wearing copper jewelry be aware that it can turn your skin green. This happens because of oxidation. The copper reacts with oxygen and your skin oils creating a green layer of copper carbonate on your skin. Although it can be unsightly, it’s not harmful. It typically occurs more with rings and items that are worn close to the skin, like rings. It can be avoided by sealing the copper with either clear nail polish or a metal jewelry sealer. Note that the sealer eventually wears off and will need to be reapplied occasionally. And, for most people, the skin discoloration isn't bothersome.

Keeping your copper jewelry clean will help in the prevention of oxidation turning your skin green. Be sure to take off your copper jewelry every night and wipe with a clean soft cloth. Doing this will remove the body oils; the cleaner you keep your copper jewelry the less likely your skin will discolor.

You will notice that over time that your copper jewelry will patina and age, even if it comes with a patina already on it. Sealing will help slow color changes but oxidation is inevitable, and its just part of the beauty of it!  

If you have any questions about the copper jewelry you have purchased from me please don't hesitate sending me an email. 

 

 

 

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