How to Prevent Skin Discoloration When Wearing Copper Jewelry

Large Raw Quartz Crystal Rock Statement Pendant Necklace, by Anna Harper

Some people buy copper jewelry, especially bracelets, for the professed healing properties that result from the direct contact of copper with their skin. Many people who wear copper for health reasons, don’t mind the skin discoloration. They want their jewelry to have direct contact with their skin so it can readily absorb the copper.

Copper is a naturally occurring element found in nature. When exposed to the elements, it can react chemically, turning a darker color, commonly referred to as copper “patina.” Reactions varies according to body chemistry, both in how long it takes for the green discoloration to form and in how dark the color becomes. The skin discoloration is not harmful, and can usually be washed off with soap and water. If not washed off, it is absorbed by the body.

However, some people wear copper jewelry for adornment only, and do not want skin discoloration. I am one of them. I love the beautiful rose tone that is the same as rose gold without the cost, but would rather not have the discoloration. If you would like to minimize the discoloration here are the five ways to do it.

1. Keep your copper jewelry dry. Don’t wear it all the time. Take it off when working out, swimming, at the beach, in high humidity or in the sun for long periods, and when washing your hands. And make sure your hands are free from soap and dry before putting you jewelry back on.

2. Keep your copper jewelry clean. When you take your jewelry off, lightly wipe it down with an anti-tarnish cloth to remove the beginning oxidation. Any anti-tarnish cloth for silver will work. Plus, you can also store it in a ziplock bag to slow down the tarnishing effect.

3. Discoloration can be minimized or prevented by adding a barrier between the copper and your skin. I use Renaissance Wax to protect my jewelry. This is not a permanent solution and you will have to reapply it often.

4. Deliberately oxidize your pieces for a vintage look. Liver of sulfur is easy and most efficient way to do this. And you can also do it safely and easily by using simple items found in your kitchen. If you want to try it, you learn how to do it here: "Oxidizing Sterling Silver - A Step By Step Do It Yourself Guide." It works on copper too! This not a permanent solution and must be reapplied once it wears off. I like to use the

Renaissance wax on top of this and that helps make the finish deeper and last longer.

5. Keep your copper jewelry away from chemicals. Never use hand lotion when wearing your copper jewelry. Don’t wear your jewelry while cleaning.

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