Does Copper Make You Go Green?

Views 2 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page

Why?

Just as iron that is left unprotected in open air will corrode and form a flaky orange-red outer layer, copper that is exposed to the elements undergoes a series of chemical reactions that give the shiny metal a pale green outer layer called a patina.
The patina actually protects the copper below the surface from further corrosion, making it a good water-proofing material for roofs (which is why the roofs of so many old buildings are bright green)
In fact, a good example is from USA the weathering and oxidation of the Statue of Liberty's copper skin has amounted to just .005 of an inch over the last century, according to the Copper Development Association

Patina therefore is not a bad thing In handcrafting jewellers circles Patina  is one of those words artsy types throw around. I create artsy jewelry, I'm an arty farty type; and I do say things like,  "This Copper Pendant will develop a lovely Patina in time."  But I'm also down to earth, so when I use the word, Patina, I go a bit further and try to explain myself. 

So purely Patina is the shift in colour of a metal's surface. It can develop naturally as a result of ongoing oxidation from exposure to moisture in the air; or as said latter the colour change can be induced with chemicals that speed the process, which I have used with liver sulphur and or patina effect with inks •ᵉᵗ.ͨ 

The simplest way to demonstrate is to examine a handfull of Copper pennies. You will notice the newer pennies are bright and shiny, while the older ones are darker. That's Patina At work.

Copper is a beautiful metal. Its colour varies from warm, glowing brown to deepest burnt umber. Or even green, like the Statue of Liberty.  ツ 
Some people call the dark brown Patina,  Antique, because that word is easier to relate to; but the colour variation that makes Copper so versatile and beautiful for one person, so attractive against any skin color, can be the very thing that makes another wearer say, Ohmigosh.. It's turning dark, and  head for the metal cleaner. 

The wire I use is enamelled and resists peeling or chipping despite extensive wire working, twisting or bending. Therefore № green for a long while 

Silver copper even more expensive but it is plated and will eventually wear away thus producing  № allergy skin reaction but the green mentioned. I think it's worth it for the jewellery but some won't think so. It just means more cleanliness than normal. 
I wear my jewellery ALL the time so I get to see the changes in the metal and I just absolutely love it
BUT 
Some jewellers rather than artisans use cheap copper wire. This can be used in industry or jewellery making. It's wrong but it is used. 

Always ask if it's non tarnish and where they got their wire, tubing or sheets from. 

China can be unscrupulous and say non tarnished yet on using I've found its not.
I do use a company from hongkong which I have used for years not for wire but other things and they sell as they say  

British companies do tend to be good but still varying degrees of quality. Expect to pay about £3.50 for a metre of copper for medium thickness. A metre sounds a lot but a ring can take from half a foot to 3 metres or more. The itty bitty coils on my tennis bracelets I used 8 yards (7.3metres) for 10 bracelets 

The copper wire I buy is about double to quadruple the price of ordinary copper wire. But it looks better and retains the colour or silver longer And even after silver goes off after continuous use non allergy 

If after a few years your copper wears away and developed patina and you don't like it then try this solution. 

I'll explain by using on pennies again

Pour a bit of lemon juice in a glass, just enough to cover a penny laying flat. Add a little salt and shake it a little until the salt dissolves. 
Then take a few pennies and drop them in. You will see changes very quickly as the solution clears away the darkness. The pennies will brighten; but if the Patina is really dark it won't come off completly. Next remove your pennies, rinse away all of the solution with water and dry them. 

If you'd prefer to keep your lemon juice for tea and your salt for popcorn, there are tons of metal cleaners that will do a good job
Brasso, and many other brands. 
Also are metal cleaning Mousses and Pastes and Oils.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides