What is copper and how it is used to make jewelry
I love making and wearing copper jewelry and I have done some home work to know more about this lovely and affordable material. Here I am sharing some information I have compiled that you may find interesting.
In the photo above: a slab of natural copper ore and a couple of my jingly bangle bracelets.
Some basic facts about copper:
- Copper is a metal that forms in the Earth. It is a chemical element with symbol Cu (from Latin: Cuprum) and atomic number 29.
- Copper is a soft metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity.
- Historians have determined that humans discovered copper about 9.000 years ago, probably because of its green or red color that makes it different than other surrounding rocks.
- Copper based minerals are blue and green: malachite, azurite, turquoise, chrysocolla.
- Copper, like gold, can occur in nuggets of pure metal that can be found laying around. It is a metal that will not disintegrate over time.
- Copper was the first metal discovered, worked and alloyed by man.
- Early uses of copper were for jewelry and tools, thus marking the beginning of the "copper age" from 7000BC to 3600BC.
- Copper is alloyed with tin to make bronze and with zinc to make brass.
- Copper is -with gold- the only metal on the element table that has color. All the other metals are shades of gray. FYI, bronze and brass are copper alloy and therefore not on the element table.
- Copper is the most important metal used in society today. Its properties are applied in electrical, construction (copper plumbing), transportation, kitchen ware, home decor and jewelry.
Copper jewelry has been found in archeological digs to indicate that earlier civilizations in Egypt, Iraq and pre-Columbian America were making jewelry out of copper to wear or trade. Since copper is so common in the American Southwest, Navajo indians have started making copper jewelry for trade purposes in the late 1800's.
Copper in its pure form is made into sheets, wires and tubes used to fabricated jewelry. It is also used to make metals alloys such as bronze, brass and sterling silver.
An interesting use of copper in jewelry is that it can be enameled. Also, it can be colored and patinated. It is such a versatile material!
Photo above: Set of copper thin bangles by Invincible Art jewelry
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