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Copper chains with cold connections

Have been fooling around with copper wire and making some chains
that are copies of those I’ve made in silver- but with all cold
connections, no soldering. Anyone know if these are safe to wear? I
checked the archives and couldn’t get a clear answer.

Elegant Insects jewelry

Anyone know if these are safe to wear? I checked the archives and
couldn't get a clear answer. 

Of course.



Regarding Copper chains, why would you think they may not be? I have
had Copper jewelry for over 50 years and may have had a green mark
on my skin, but no residual effects. If your cold connections are
smooth, and knowing the length of time you have been making jewelry,
I trust they are, I see no reason for concern.

I have recently been working with Copper as well, and rather enjoy
it. Takes patination beautifully, especially those from Sculpt


The effect of Copper on the skin will depend on the persons
perspiration, where they live ie how humid and/or hot their
enviroment. Most people’s perspiration has sodium chloride in it. ie
salt. this will react with moisture and the copper to produce a green
copper sulphate. so theres a risk in selling something like that.
Even laquering it will only last a year or so, then it needs re
doing. not easy.

Copper has been used in Africa for generations on coloured folk’s
skin with no ill effect.

ive made many hundreds of copper anti reumatism bracelets and only
had one person that couldnt get on with it. I gave them their money
back. Repolished it and sold it on to someone else.

As to wether they really work, all I say is many folk find they do. I
make sure its a fine piece of jewellry in any case. so it s not just
a bent piece of wire.

If they really have a problem, I line it with 10/1000in fine silver
brazed together. that always works. Not possible tho on chain.

Hello Sandra,

In the recent past there was an extensive thread regarding skin
contact of copper. All I can say is that I have not suffered any ill
effects from the copper cuff I wear constantly. It patinas based on
the chemicals I have used (like garden stuff and sulfur-based
shampoo!) and the amount of sweating I do.

I note that pharmacies commonly carry copper chains - apparently
they are a homeopathic “treatment” for arthritis. I make no comment
on medicinal value.

Judy in Kansas

Sandra-They will turn your neck green. No danger, just embarrassment.
I’ve known folks who believe that wearing a copper bracelet will cure
their arthritis. They’ve worn them for decades with no side effects.
You just don’t want to cook or eat acidic foods out of an unlined
copper container. Over time one may develop some issues.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

First off, why wouldn’t they be safe to wear? If someone likes the
look but reacts to copper they can wear the chain on top of
clothing. I do very little silver work anymore because my copper
sells sooooo much better.

The problem I see with what you’re talking about is that they would
break easily. I hand make all of my chains. Along with my pendants
they have become like a trademark of my style. However, I solder
every link. If I’m doing a rough, primitive look, I let the solder
show and don’t pickle the red away. If I want a more polished look, I
pickle, polish, and plate the chain with copper. Sometimes I use
lacquer on the focal part of a pendant, but frequently I leave just
bare copper. With no sealer on the copper, the copper will darken in
time. Many times my customers prefer that look, but if they decide
they want to brighten it all they have todo is to soak the piece in
lemon or lime juice then rub it with salt using their lemon wetted
fingers. This last month 75% of my business has come from repeat
customers. They have all had a good experience with this finishing
and they come back for more.


Hi Sandra,

Have been fooling around with copper wire and making some chains
that are copies of those I've made in silver- but with all cold
connections, no soldering. Anyone know if these are safe to wear?
I checked the archives and couldn't get a clear answer. 

I’m not sure what you mean by ‘safe to wear’.

If you mean how probable is that the links will open & the chain
will come apart, it depends. It depends on the size of the wire & the
link & the hardness of the wire used to make the links. If it’s a
light gauge wire & a soft temper wire the links will open easier than
if made with larger, harder temper wire.


Elaine: You may be confusing copper with nickle. Nickle is
considered to be toxic for some people against their skin.

Ruth Mary

Some further thoughts for you all,

Copper is lovely, and relatively cheap, so you can use lots of it.
you dont mention what thickness of wire you use, but dont be afraid
to use 1/8in thick or even more.

At that thickness, it will be firm enough not to need each joint to
be brazed.

to take this thread somewhat further, find your nearest welding
supplier,and ask for somed samples of 10% aluminium bronze brazing

comes in 1/16th in and 1/8 in thickness.

its a lovely yellow colour and because of its ali content, hardly
oxidises at all. even on a salty skin.

whilst there also ask for some 316 stainless welding rod. thats a
lovely white colour, and will NOT tarish.

have a go, its all lovely metal to work with.

For wire thats as near as you can get to a true bronze, find a
spring maker. He will tell you where you can get phospor bronze wire,
ie 7% tin /copper.

thats a lovely pink colour. also good for all sorts of Jewellry. to
find bronze sheet is allmost impossible. tho I get 1in dia salt water
condenser tube. called Kunifer 10, I slit it length wise,open it out
then ive sheet 3in wide and up to 36in long.!!

Needs must, the devil drives.

in Dorset

Thanks all for your really helpful ( and encouraging) I
can see that the real problem is making sure the edges of the links
are smooth and will not scratch or catch in clothing. The copper wire
takes nicely to tumbling in steel shot and a little burnishing
liquid–smoothing and hardening the links.

Elegant Insects Jewelry

A member of another list I’m on says, that she started taking Vitamin
D and her skin stopped turning green from the copper. I haven’t tried
it, I like the look of copper, but I haven’t made much from it but
I’m leaning in that direction.

Vicki K, SoCal

Rio Grande Jewelry sells bronze wire. It’s possible to make a chain
free of dangling ends. Each link would be as follows: 1) 3 loops of
overlapping wire in the form of a clover, 2) a bead 3) one loop
perpendicular to the clover going inside the clover of the next
link. This is a delicate -looking, but sturdy chain. In size 20
bronze wire, it’s stable.

Hi Sally,

I am interested in your description of this chain. Can you post or
send me an email off list with an image of this? It sounds very nice.

Thank You,


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