Copper jewelry and green skin

January 13, 2016

Copper jewelry and green skin

Copper is a beautiful natural material that is also affordable. It makes wonderful pieces of jewelry. I personally love it and think it looks great just by itself or combined with turquoises.

The photo above comes from the Copper Museum in Clarkdale, AZ.

Unfortunately some of my galleries would not touch copper jewelry with a 10 feet pole. Why? mostly because their customers complain it makes their skin turn green. On another hand, I have heard of people seeking this green deposit as it is believed it helps with relieving arthritis pain. So, what’s with all of that?

About copper leaving a green deposit on the skin...

Well, it may happen or not because it is related to the wearer’s metabolism.

The green stains are caused by copper oxidation when in contact with sweat glands. Therefore, if you sweat profusely when working out, or gardening in the sun, maybe it’s not a good idea to wear your copper jewelry.
Copper oxidation can also occur in an acidic environment.

Your body acidity is related to your alimentation. Junk food, processed food and lots of red meat will make your body acidic. Fresh fruits and vegetables won’t.

That said, people’s reaction to copper cannot be predicted. By the way, copper is a material used in many alloys like bronze, brass and sterling silver. And yes, in extreme cases, sterling can also turn your skin green and cause allergies!

The green stains can be washed off with soap and water. Otherwise you will notice that they are absorbed overnight by your body.

Related post: About copper jewelry toxicity

About copper health's benefits...

It is a fact that our body needs copper and can get it from food like milk, nuts, seafood and yummy chocolate. If you wear copper jewelry and it leaves a green deposit, your body will also absorb it and put it at good use.

But is it true that copper bracelets are effective to relieve arthritis joint pain? Many doctors say no. Many wearers say yes.
Copper has been used for medicinal purposes in Ancient Egypt, Greece and by the Aztec civilization. Hippocrates himself mentions copper as a treatment for leg ulcers. Could it be that doctors today prefer to prescribe expensive pills (and fuel the multi-billion drug industry) rather than recommend a natural and affordable alternative? or is copper really an old folks remedy?

About the copper I use in my jewelry

I absolutely love copper jewelry and offer my chain mail copper jewelry pieces in a choice of 2 kind of copper depending if you want to wear copper for fashion or function:

  • natural pure copper.
    It will tarnish (which can be cleaned off if this effect is not desired) and may leave green stain on the skin.

  • non tarnish copper.
    This is natural pure copper that has been covered with a thin layer of clear polyurethane. This layer is extremely resilient and will isolate your skin from the copper, which also makes it also hypoallergenic.

Please, note that non tarnish copper is only available with chain mail designs. Other designs like bangles and cuff can only be made with natural copper. On another hand, natural copper can be sealed to resist tarnish.

Related post: How copper is used in jewelry

With sterling silver’s prices going through the roof, why not giving this beautiful and affordable material a chance? And if you decide you do not like it, maybe one of your friends will. Click here to check my copper jewelry collection.

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