Many people enjoy wearing jewelry, but not everyone can afford to spend money on good quality pieces, like real silver and gold jewelry. Unfortunately, cheap pieces of jewelry may discolor your skin after a short time. So, how can you keep jewelry from turning copper?
In all honesty, everyone has worn fake pieces of jewelry (inexpensive fashion jewelry)at specific points in their lives. There is no shame in it, actually. As a matter of fact, mixing costume jewelry with your more elegant and more expensive pieces is an excellent way to showcase your sense of style and follow the modern trends without breaking your bank account. If you are not sure about how you will look with a new jewelry trend, fake jewelry is the best alternative.
However, the appearance of costume jewelry changes after a while of use. Whether it contains gold or silver plating, it tends to wear off fairly quickly due to various factors, revealing the jewelry metal underneath it. Most of us have experienced green discoloration on our fingers after wearing a ring a few times.
Let us find out how we can keep our jewelry from turning copper and why it changes color in the first place.
Before telling you guys how to keep jewelry from turning copper, Let me explain why some jewelry turn copper.
Why does some jewelry turn copper?
There are several types of jewelry that look beautiful and expensive, even though they do not contain any precious gems.
Costume jewelry is not as durable as real pieces of jewelry; thus, it requires special attention and care to keep it looking beautiful and shiny.
Failure to properly care for your pieces of cheap jewelry will leave it tarnished and discolored. Here are some reasons why your jewelry is turning copper
1. Material construction
When you notice that your jewelry is changing color and turning copper, it likely contains some copper in its material construction.
Luckily, copper is an antimicrobial substance, meaning it inhibits or kills the growth of any microorganisms as well as destroys various viruses.
As such, it does not cause any harm to your skin. The element is also antifungal and antibacterial, making it ideal for use in making hospital materials like bandages, towels, dermal gauze, and wound products, among many others.
Sterling silver jewelry also contains some copper in it since it is a copper-silver alloy.
This type of jewelry has a reputation of tarnishing due to exposure to certain chemical compounds, leaving a black mark on the wearer’s skin. Depending on the amount of copper in the jewelry, your skin may either have green or black discoloration marks.
2. Metallic abrasion
One of the common causes why jewelry turns copper is because of metallic abrasion.
Often, people wear various types of cosmetics and oils on their skin to moisturize and look more attractive. However, these substances contain different chemical compounds that react with costume jewelry, contributing to its change of color.
Metallic abrasion occurs when these chemical compounds from cosmetics come into contact with jewelry metals and cause some of its tiny particles to rub or wear off, leaving a jet black residue on your skin.
When this residue falls on absorbent surfaces like clothing and your skin, it sticks and forms a black smudge.
Jewelers mix various metals to increase tensile strength and make them more malleable and durable.
For instance, pure gold is too soft for use in making jewelry. As such, it is combined with various proportions of base metals, like copper and silver, to make it more workable and harder.
When such pieces of jewelry are exposed to moist or wet conditions, they quickly corrode, exposing the base metal. Whether it is sweat or pool water, these pieces of jewelry react with these mild chemicals, causing corrosion and change of color of the piece.
Similarly, skin perspiration and copper elements mix to form chelated pieces of copper that readily absorb into the skin, turning it green.
Luckily, as discussed earlier, copper does not harm the human skin in any way.
It is actually believed that copper provides relief from blood circulation and arthritis issues. However, its discoloration property is quite frustrating and embarrassing to some people.
How to keep jewelry from turning copper?
Keeping your jewelry from turning copper is a simple task. Often, fashion jewelry contains more of the common materials like plated metals, beads, glass, and semi-precious stones that make it more affordable.
These materials help in creating a similar look and style to fine jewelry without the high cost of real diamonds and gold. However, it is likely that this jewelry will not last forever. Luckily, you can maximize their lifespan and minimize their signs of wear by following the steps below.
1. Regular cleaning and proper storage
The more you wear your fashion jewelry, the more you need to clean it. It is also helpful to remember that sterling silver, as well as your fake jewelry, should undergo the same cleaning procedure to maintain its lustrous appearance.
Keeping your jewelry clean helps in preventing it from oxidizing and discoloring your skin.
Wipe your pieces of jewelry with a soft and clean cloth to remove any accumulated body oils and sweat.
Once your jewelry is clean, wrap it in an anti-tarnish cloth or bag, or even a zip lock bag to ensure it does not oxidize while in storage.
You may also opt for some 3M anti-tarnish strips that suck all the air surrounding your jewelry, further preventing it from tarnishing over time. It is also advisable to store your fashion jewelry in a dark jewelry box to avoid excessive exposure to sunlight.
2. Apply clear nail polish
Applying a coat of clear nail polish to your fashion jewelry also helps in preventing it from turning copper.
It provides a protective layer to your jewelry, ensuring that it does not combine with various chemicals from perspiration and cosmetic products that cause them to turn copper.
However, you will have to apply the coat of clear nail polish regularly as it quickly wears off after continuously wearing the jewelry.
Many jewelry experts recommend re-applying the clear nail polish at least every two weeks. You may also opt to spray your jewelry with jewelry protectant spray as it has the same effect as applying clear nail polish.
3. Wear your cosmetic products before wearing your fashion jewelry
By putting on your lotions, oils, and other cosmetic products before wearing your jewelry, you prevent the chemical compounds and moisture on the skin from coming into contact with the jewelry.
Apply a thin layer of your cosmetics around the areas where your skin will come into contact with the jewelry.
The lotion and other products that you apply on your skin also act as a protective barrier between your skin and the jewelry, preventing it from turning copper and discoloring your skin.
Using the tips and tricks mentioned above will help you in keeping your jewelry from turning copper. Whether they consist of sterling silver, copper, gold or silver plating, or a combination of various metals, your pieces will remain in tip-top shape for an extended period. If you are still in doubt, ask your local jeweler on the best way to care for your fashion jewelry top prevent it from turning copper.
Guys, thank for reading this post. I really hope you guys get what you want. Read this post to learn more jewelry care tips.
or post like this one: How to Prevent Gold-Plated Jewelry from Tarnishing
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.