Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Copper Rocks! by SusannaOriginals

Warm, earthy, sexy copper with an ethnic goddess warmth that can make silver look chilly and gold look tawdry. It's a pliable, soft metal that lends itself to the vision and imagination of the metalsmith and redolent in history, known to be used in Egypt circa 3900 B.C. It is believed to have healing powers, mystical and magical powers and be linked to the goddesses Aphrodite, Ishtar and Astarte.

There are two reasons that keep women from buying copper. One is that copper will develop a dark patina over time and the other is the fear of it turning skin green. These two problems are actually related. Copper can either darken or oxidize and, as the Statue of Liberty, oxidization will turn it greenish blue. If the oil from your skin is the right chemical composition, it can actually start the oxidization process and the color rubs off on your skin. Some people have the same problem with silver. The solution to that is to make sure any piece of copper jewelry you wear has been covered with a clear coating of some kind which most jewelers do as a matter of course with special lacquers or waxes. Any coating will have to be redone over time, but even a coat of clear nail polish will put a thin film between your skin and the metal.

Some people love the dark patina that copper will develop with exposure to air and many jewelers apply a patina to low spots of a design to enhance the piece of jewelry. For those people who prefer the warm, sunny original copper color, the answer is simple and one of the cheapest jewelry cleaners available. Lemon juice! Soak the whole piece or just wipe the high points with a lemon soaked cloth. Wipe it clean. The pennies in the picture were sitting on my counter and I just poured a few drops of reconstituted lemon juice on them and rubbed with my fingers. The end result was within two minutes. I've even cut a piece of lemon and rubbed my copper with it, producing the same results. Note that the one penny is 1980, over 30 years old with stains and the other is 1999, still 12 years old and this was just a quick demonstration.

Although the price of copper has risen with that of gold and silver, it still remains very affordable and gives the opportunity to obtain a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry art at a reasonable price. Look after your copper with these easy remedies and you will love it for generations.

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