Copper jewelry through the ages

Copper jewelry through the ages
Copper use dates back some 10,000 years across the globe. With such a long and diverse history, copper has been used for many things. From cooking utensils to decorative inlays on buildings, ornaments, weapons, armor and of course jewelry.

Copper jewelry collections span hundreds of years. In Ancient Egypt copper was used for jewelry and ornaments worn on the body to keep away evil as well as to show social status. There is evidence that the ancient Greeks or Mycenae possessed advanced smelting techniques when copper ingots were found on the island of Crete. My favorite copper jewelry was designed by Renoir from the 1950’s. These pieces are large, bold and beautifully sculpted.

Periwinkle and Pearls Bracelet

Because of coppers physical properties (conductivity, malleability, resistance to wear and corrosion) it is believed by some to have healing properties. Some believe that copper will stimulate the flow of energy in the body thus increasing blood flow and easing the pain of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. It is still highly debated today whether this is scientifically true. Back in the 1970’s, there was a large movement of believers that included new age healers who subscribed to these beliefs. Copper is representative of Taurus and Sagittarius astrological signs. In addition to those, copper also represents Earth/Fire elementals, the Sun and Mars, the "number One" and the "Base and Sacral" Chakras.

Blazing Sunshine Pendant

I use copper in many of my designs mostly because I love the color. There is nothing like that warm red tone paired with turquoise blue or carnelian red. Copper is easily manipulated for wire-wrapping and weaving. We can now buy copper that is coated so the “green band” left behind after wearing a jewelry piece is a thing of the past. There are still jewelry collectors that seek the green oxidation antique look of copper. It really depends on your personal preference. In comparison to gold and silver, copper is a very attractive alternative based on price per ounce. These are all good reasons to collect copper jewelry.

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