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Metals

Copper: Of all the metals I use in my jewelry, copper is perhaps the most interesting.  It is one of the most useful of all metals, and probably the first used by man.  Copper has an infinite recyclable life and has earned the status of the world's most reusable resource.  The copper found in a penny today may be as old as the pharaohs.  A copper pendant found in what is now Iraq, has been dated 8700 B.C.  

Copper has been used for jewelry and as a means of improving health perhaps since man first discovered it.  It seems that we can't live without it.  Copper is one of those metallic elements which are essential to human health.  However, since the body cannot manufacture copper, it must absorb the essential element by other means.  Many foods have copper in them and of course, there is that Old Wives' Tale:   Wearing Copper Jewelry, such as a ring or bracelet, can reduce the pain associated with arthritis and other ills.  It seems that some of these old wives' tales and folk remedies are getting renewed attention from our scientific community.  Perhaps this is because we can no longer ignore the fact that they actually work and offer help to so many people.  Here are some interesting facts about the benefits of copper to the human body. 

Copper is involved in the formation of collagen (the fibrous protein in bone, cartilage, tendons and other connective tissue) and protective coverings for nerves.  

The bacteria killing properties of copper has been known for thousands of years.   More recently, a study has demonstrated that pathogens such as the Polio virus, Ecoli, Legionella pneumophila and others are inhibited by contact with copperhttp://www.copper.org/newsreleases/9807ecoli.htm

The copper based paints and brass door knobs and push plates, which are about 75% copper, have been found to reduce cross contamination in hospitals.  http://environment.copper.org/doorknob.htm

Copper in Human Health: http://environment.copper.org/uk/uk96.htm

Copper and the Environment: http://environment.copper.org/homepage.htm

Gold: The gold used in this jewelry is known as 14K yellow gold.  Pure gold is expressed as 24K or fine gold and is 99.95% pure.  The number 14 refers to the amount of pure gold in the alloy (a mixture of different metals) and is a ratio of 14 parts out of 24 parts pure gold.  The K stands for Karat.  The term Karat refers specifically to the relative purity of gold and should not be confused with carat which is a unit of measurement for precious stones, or carrot which is that long orange root that your mother always told you to eat. 

Pure gold, being too soft for most uses, is alloyed with other metals to give it the desired hardness and color.  The primary metals used in gold alloys are silver and copper.  The proportion of silver to copper determine the color or more precisely the direction of color.  A higher copper content produces a more reddish cast where less copper yields a more yellow cast. 

Silver:  The silver used in the jewelry industry and in this jewelry is called Sterling Silver.  Sterling Silver is the name given to a standard high-grade alloy containing a minimum of 92.5 % pure silver and 7.5 % copper.  This grade of silver is often stamped on jewelry with the word "STERLING" or the number "925" to signify the purity of the metal.   Pure silver is a very soft metal.   Too soft to use in jewelry by itself.  The addition of 7.5% copper makes this alloy so hard that it requires annealing ( heating followed by cooling to relieve stress and soften metal) in order to work it into the silver jewelry that you see here. 

 

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