COPPER JEWELRY CARE TIPS
TIPS ON CARING FOR YOUR COPPER JEWELRY
I offer 2 copper finishes, bright and aged (patina) copper. All my copper pieces are left without treatment, so you can benefit from its healing properties. Bright copper has a lustrous shine and will darken over time. Certain situations will make the copper oxidize faster. Aged copper gives the ring an antique look it will brighten over time, leaving you with a beautiful natural and shiny aged ring. The copper is dipped in Liver of Sulfur and polished to give it a gorgeous dark patina.
Copper always develops a patina, much like sterling silver, but faster and darker, especially in the presence of heat, sunlight, sweat, swimming pools and chlorine water, chemicals and cosmetics. Remove copper jewelry before bathing, swimming, doing dishes, putting on lotion or makeup. The best way to bring back luster to any piece of jewelry is to use a jewelry polishing cloth that can be easily purchased at my store, most jewelry stores, online, and at many drugstores. A jewelry polishing cloth can last for years.
- Do not expose copper jewelry (especially patinated copper jewelry) to water or any type of solvent - take off jewelry before washing dishes
- Remove all jewelry before showering or bathing
- Do not wear copper jewelry while swimming (chlorine and salt will permanently damage copper and/or patina)
- Do not wear copper jewelry while applying cosmetics or skin lotions
If you are wanting to use any harsh chemical cleaners, “dips” or any kind of acid soak, such as lemon juice, tomato juice or Worcestershire sauce to clean your copper, please make sure the stone you have is suitable to sit in acid. Some stones are ‘soft’ and acid may destroy the stone. A perfect example of a stone that should not be immersed in acid is Opal. It absorbs fluid and acid will, if left long enough, soak through the Opal and destroy it. If you are not sure, you can use a cloth dipped in cleaner and wipe down the copper area only.
THE HEALING PROPERTIES OF COPPER
Copper is antimicrobial and doesn't harm the skin in any way. An antimicrobial is a substance that kills or inhibits the growth of micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, or protozoan's, as well as destroying viruses. Copper is also an antifungal agent. It is still used in the treatment of skin disease and wounds today as it was thousands of years ago.
Copper jewelry has been worn for hundreds of years in the belief of reducing or helping Arthritic and Rheumatic diseases. People also look to copper for its healing properties in improving the circulation of blood, increasing energy, detoxification, reducing inflammation, stabilizing metabolism and improving oxygen use. Although folk lore abounds with stories of how the wearing of copper helps ease the pain and discomfort of arthritis, you might want to wear copper just because it is a beautiful piece of jewelry.
WHY IS MY SKIN TURNING GREEN?
It's known as the oxidation reaction and can happen due a variety of reasons. Body chemistry is one of the main factors. A body with a high pH level (acidic) secretes chelates in the sweat and oils that reacts with copper. High pH levels can be attributed to stress and/or diet. Copper can also react with the environment - heat, humidity and sweating can speed up the oxidation reaction. In all instances a green layer of copper carbonate is being formed on your skin. It is harmless and is nothing to be concerned about, it just looks unappealing. Most likely you're not allergic to the copper, very few people are. Rings which are worn close to the skin are the most likely to cause discoloration because of no air circulation between your finger and the ring. Your finger sweats and produces oils which are trapped. The same goes for bracelets. Soap and water should remove the discoloration easily, for more difficult stains use lemon juice or white vinegar.
Keeping your jewelry clean will help in the prevention of oxidation and turning your skin green. Take off your copper jewelry every night, don’t apply lotions or make up, and avoid washing up. Wipe your jewelry with a clean soft cloth when you remove it. Doing this will clean any body oils or sweat off your jewelry. The cleaner you keep your copper jewelry the less likely your skin will discolor from oxidation. You can also store it in a re-sealable bag or jewelry case with anti-tarnish paper, but do make sure the piece is moisture free before storing.
As copper can react to acidic environments and our body acidity is related to our diet, for a permanent solution to get rid of the green you might want to look into whether your body is too acidic. An acidic body can also lead to illnesses, so it's good to know if you're too acidic or not. Junk food, processed food, and lots of red meat will make our body acidic. Stress does too. This acidity is secreted in our sweat and oils, so it might be worth looking into having a more alkaline diet (think water, nuts and whole fruits and veggies). Or at least cutting down on some foods that are known to cause acidity. Some people wear copper just for this reason, it lets them know if they are getting too acidic. An alkaline or neutral body won't cause a green reaction at all.
WHAT'S THE SOLUTION?
Apart from keeping your jewelry clean, looking into diet and the environment where you live, the quickest and easiest solution to skin discoloration is to create a barrier between the metal and skin. Clear nail varnish can be applied to the inside of the band or any surface where the copper touches your skin to create the barrier. Alternatively, you can use jeweler’s wax, car wax or lacquer. All these methods will have to be periodically repeated because none of these methods are permanent and will need to reapplied once they wear off.
A lot of people are hesitant to wear copper but in fact it is less allergy inducing than most other metals as those often contain impurities. Electroformed copper is 100% pure copper.