Sunday, April 11, 2010

Copper - not just for good pots

I have worked primarily in sterling silver the last several years. But at a recent bead buying excursion, I got drawn into the shiny copper table and picked up a bunch of interesting stuff. I am facinated by the color of copper. I am further facinated by the fact that this lucious orangy color turns this unique green color when oxidized - rather than black or dingy like most other metals. As usual, this led me to do some research into the history of the use of copper in jewelry making. Here are some interesting facts I discovered.

The use of copper dates back at least 10,000 years to origins in the Middle East. From that point several independant sites show the technique of copper smelting being used. It was used in jewelry but to a much lesser degree than gold. Copper is used today in a lot of utilitarian applications - pipes onn higher end homes, roofing, the bottoms of high-end cookware, and many other uses. If you use sterling silver to make flatware it must contain a certain percentage of copper. One interesting fact is that U.S nickels are 75% copper and only 25% nickel.

I just love the color - it is like no other. So next month check in my store to see what interesting necklaces and bracelets I have made with my new found metal.

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