- It's pretty. Really, you can't get more basic and essential than aesthetics. As a Capricorn and an earth sign, I love all things reminiscent of the dust and dirt, of the landscape and terrain and beautiful movement of Mother Nature. Copper fills this aesthetic need in me. It's warm and rich and earthy and wraps me up in its color the same as any rolling hill. I enjoy silver, don't get me wrong, but it often feels cold, clinical and industrial to me, so copper is always my preference.
- It's malleable. Not just in density, but it goes with everything! Yes the metal is easier for me to move and form and shape and curve, but beyond it's physical properties, it looks great with light and dark skin tones, it compliments gemstones from blues to reds and everything in between. And it pops when oxidized way more than any other metal I've used.
- Copper is affordable. What's affordable for me is affordable for my customer, and my motto has always been "handmade affordable wearable art". I understand there's a public perceived value that places silver and gold well above copper. I also understand that the perceived values of others do not have to (nor should they) mirror my own. I chose jewelry and metals, not based on their financial worth, but on my aesthetic reaction to it. I never want to make a "collectable" piece of jewelry. I want it used and worn and enjoyed. I want to see it dirty and well-loved. I want it to tell a story and for that story to represent a relationship I have with my work and my customers. The worth of a thing is in our love of it.
Now I get it... copper turns skin green. Copper requires more care to maintain its color. These aren't properties many people appreciate about this metal, but I'm here to set your mind at ease.
A variety of conditions can contribute to a discoloration of skin as a result of constant or intermediate contact with copper, including (but not limited to): the use of lotions or soaps, frequency of bathing, temperature and climate, pH balance, and length of exposure.
And, while copper jewelry does require more care than it's silver counterparts, and certainly more than gold jewelry, it's very easy to maintain. A simple, quick bath in a bit of Worcestershire Sauce (yes, you read that right), or a quick brush with a super fine steel wool pad (affordable and easily available at any hardware store) is all that's needed to maintain a beautiful finish. If worn frequently, an occasional gentle scrubbing with dish liquid beneath lukewarm water will keep your copper jewelry clean and fresh. Just dry thoroughly and store in a sealed container when not worn to slow the oxidation process.
And that's it! You can enjoy the warm, earthy tones of copper, even enjoy its metaphysical healing properties (which you can read more about here), without a concern for it's "worth". Beauty and worth is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.