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Information on copper in jewellery taken from


Let's review some basic information about copper or any other metal turning your skin green.

If it hasn't happened to you yet, sooner or later a piece of jewelry that you may wear will turn your skin either greenish or some other unsightly color. The worst jewelry that stains your skin is plated jewelry, especially gold plated. It's because base metal (mostly the inexpensive kind) is plated with gold or silver, or copper. The plating will eventually wear off the metal; it's the metal which begins to oxidize. The better or thicker the plating the more time it will take to wear off.

So why can or does your skin turn green while wearing copper? It's known as the oxidation reaction. The copper reacts with oxygen in the air, your sweat and skin oils creating a green layer of copper carbonate on your skin. Relax; it shouldn't be anything to be concerned about, it just looks terrible. Most likely you're not allergic to the copper, very few people are. Simply keep your copper clean and dry and remove any oil or sweat which may be on your jewelry. It's as simple as that.

If your skin does turn color from jewelry, you may notice it more on different parts of your body. Rings which are worn close to the skin are the worst because of no air circulation between your finger and the ring. Your finger sweats and produces oils which are trapped between your finger and the ring.

Bracelets have air circulation between your wrist and the bracelet thus doesn't seem to produce as much discoloration of your skin. If you wear a copper bracelet or cuff that is tight against the skin, then most likely you'll have discoloration much like a ring.

Pendants worn over your clothes won't discolor because they aren't in contact with your sweat or skin oils. Pendants worn against the skin tend to move causing air circulation between the pendant and your skin. Unless you're a sweaty and oily person and jewelry tends to stick to your skin, you shouldn't have any discoloration.

There are plenty of people who wear copper pendants, chains, or bracelets almost every day and everywhere including the shower and seldom take their copper jewelry off. It doesn't turn their skin colors, why? Simply put it's because they are keeping the jewelry clean by showering in it; cleaning off any oxidation caused by your body.

Keeping your jewelry clean will help in the prevention of oxidation turning your skin green. Take off your copper jewelry every night. Wipe your jewelry with a clean soft cloth when you remove it. Doing this will clean any body oils or sweat off your jewelry. The cleaner you keep your copper jewelry the less likely your skin will discolor from oxidation


There are several recommendations on "coating" copper jewelry to prevent skin discoloration. Here's my opinion on some of them.

Applying a thin coat of clear nail polish to your jewelry
Don't do this; it looks terrible, it's time consuming, and the nail polish will flake off making your jewelry look cheap. Over time applying layers of nail polish over existing flaking polish will look and feel so bad you won't want to wear your jewelry any longer! If you must, this method does work, for a while.

Spray your jewelry with a clear sealer
I don't recommend this either, it's just like applying clear nail polish to your jewelry. This method does work if you choose to use it. 

Apply a coating of car or jewelry wax to the jewelry piece
This works very well. It also prevents your copper from tarnishing and keeps your copper jewelry nice and shinny. Eventually it will wear off (not flake off) depending on how often you wear your copper jewelry. Simply reapply the wax, let dry then buff your jewelry with a soft cloth.

Wipe your jewelry piece with a soft cloth before you put it on or after you take it off
Yes! This is the cheapest, easiest way of keeping your copper jewelry clean and to protect them from oxidation. Oxidation is what turns your skin colors. Keep your copper jewelry clean, it's as simple as that! Treat your copper jewelry as you would your expensive pieces of jewelry; wipe it with a clean soft cloth before putting it on or after taking it off. This helps remove the sweat and oils from your skin which causes oxidation. Keeping

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