Copper, my favorite metal Posted on 10 Jun 13:28
Copper is one of the metals that I use in making my jewelry. It is my favorite metal for a few reasons. First, copper is very easy to form in to nearly any shape that I want. Second. I love the color of copper because it is flattering to all complexions and third, copper has health and antimicrobial properties. Also, copper is used as an alloy in the other non noble metals that I work with, like Brass, nickel silver and bronze.
Did you know that copper is an essential trace mineral? People need copper in their diets because it is crucial for forming red blood cells. You don't have to eat your jewelry though.....most people get enough copper from including grains, beans, potatoes and leafy greens.
Some people thing that tarnish is dirty. In fact, it is just the opposite. Copper has antimicrobial properties......it will kill bacteria, viruses and yeasts on contact, according to a 2011 paper in the journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology. So NOW, copper is woven into fabrics to make antimicrobial garments like socks that fight foot fungus. Copper kills microbes by interfering with the electrical charge of their cell membranes.
So what is patina (tarnish)???? Copper turns green because of its exposure to oxygen and moisture. The result is copper oxide and it is a dull green. This tarnish protects the copper under it from further corrosion. This is the reason that the copper plated Statue of Liberty is green rather than orange red.
Copper was one of the first metals to be formed into jewelry. That is why the women that love the boho, organic tribal vibe will love to wear copper jewelry. And now that you know what patina is maybe you will start to love it. I love wearing stacks and stacks of hammered copper bangles.