Here we are going to look at whether or not you ought to reach for that copper jewelry on the display rack. We answer the questions as to whether it typically causes allergic reactions or if it’s overall safe to wear. Let’s dive in.
Is copper hypoallergenic?
People know copper for its ability to turn the skin green. That is a reaction that takes place between the metal and what’s on the skin. That could be your sweat, lotion, or other chemicals. The reaction is referred to as oxidation and causes patina and the copper to become dull.
Therefore, we can say that copper does react with the skin, but it doesn’t cause rashes or other issues. The most that will happen is that your skin will turn green. That’s mostly if your skin is generally acidic.
Is copper jewelry safe to wear?
Overall, wearing copper is safe. However, if you want to avoid that green color on your skin, then there are things that you can do.
The home hacks you can try applying UV stable lacquer on the copper jewelry.
If you don’t have that, then you can use clear nail polish on the inside part that come into contact with your skin. Read more here: is copper jewelry safe to wear?
Copper jewelry pros and cons
Let’s take a look at the positives and negatives of copper. There are a few things that might surprise you when it comes to the positive aspects of copper. Read on to find out.
One of the things that make copper suitable for jewelry and other uses is that it is corrosion-resistant.
Overall, it is a durable metal that is equally lightweight. For that reason, it is easier to work with, so you’re able to make a tone of designs with them. That’s why you’ll find an array of jewelry made of copper.
The other aspect that makes copper ideal is that it is a naturally occurring metal. It is also more straightforward when it comes to mining it as compared to other metals.
When it comes to processing it for use, it is more environmentally friendly as compared to, for example, steel and plastic. That said, copper is lead-free and thus not a hypoallergenic in that regard.
The other aspect of copper is that tarnishing is not entirely a bad thing. We just have to look at the Statue of Liberty and the aqua patina that it has. Copper, when exposed to elements, can change and create an entirely different but still beautiful color. Therefore, you can consider tarnishing as a sign of aging that adds character to a piece. If anything, it is considered to be vintage or an antique.
When exposed to acidic conditions, copper does tarnish, and you’ll be able to see the effects on your jewelry.
The other aspect is that the copper does tarnish, causing your jewelry to change color as the years go by. For some people, they don’t mind this, but others would like to have their jewelry look the same as the first time they bought it.
As mentioned, copper is lightweight. That said, it is soft, thus making it easier to work with. The drawback of that is that the same softness makes it more prone to damage.
You have to be mindful of how you handle your copper pieces, ensuring that they don’t hit hard against a surface as it’ll dent and damage.
The other reality of copper is that it is not too common in the jewelry market. Sure, there is much you can make with it, but there are other metals that compete with it and cause jewelry makers to kick it to the carb.
The reality is that copper is just a few dollars cheaper than sterling silver. That makes people want to gravitate to sterling silver instead because it has the edge over copper.
What causes copper to tarnish?
The primary reason copper tarnishes are because of a chemical reaction between copper and oxygen. Copper begins to oxidize as soon as it is exposed to oxygen. That could be in the atmosphere, the rain, condensation, or even humidity.
Apart from the oxygen, there are other chemicals in the environment and atmosphere in general that come into contact with the copper metal. Saltwater is also a culprit, along with other acid compounds. As with the Statue of Liberty, we can tell that tarnishing occurs in stages.
Every time there is a reaction with a new compound, you will find that copper tarnishes to a different color. When copper first begins to tarnish, it is usually a dark version of the copper color. After, it turns to dark gray and eventually blue. After, the color changes to black.
A while later is when you get the aqua-green patina. The other thing that makes copper tarnishing different is that the top layer that tarnishes forms a barrier which stops further corrosion of the copper metal underneath. In some regard, you can say that tarnishing of copper is a good thing for the metal itself.
Note: the only point where oxidation of copper is a bad thing is when it comes to cookware. When it comes into contact with acidic food, it produces verdigris, which is toxic and poisonous and thus should not be ingested.
There is much to like about copper both when it is new and free of tarnish and when it does indeed get tarnished with age.
There is an antique look that copper gives space or even an outfit that most people like. The only drawback is when it turns the skin green, but with a few hacks, you’re able to wear your copper jewelry with confidence.
For more metals, I hope you guys read this post: What Metal Jewelry is Hypoallergenic?(18 Metals Explained)