COPPER JEWELRY & GREEN SKIN
Adapted from Sergio Lub'S article of September 1996
often asked: "Will this bracelet or ring turn my skin green?"
My answer is: "I don't know". I work with pure copper and
the way a person reacts to pure copper is often different. The
best way to find out is by trying one.
customers who like to wear copper do not care about having an
occasional green stain. Other people are very health conscious
and, as proof that the copper is working, they expect to see a
green mark where copper touches the skin, the same marks that
make others feel self-conscious. Ironically, the green copper
stains seem to prefer the people who worry the most about getting
them. The same bracelet which remains shiny for one person, will
turn another person's wrist green, or may acquire multicolored
patinas on another. Could these changes be related to a person's
answer is Yes! The green stains are caused by deposits of chelated
copper and their presence relates directly to the body chemistry
of the wearer. Chelated means they are copper compounds in a soluble
form assimilable by our bodies. Copper in its pure metallic form
cannot be taken in by our bodies, while chelated copper compounds
are easily absorbed by our skin. They become visible when the
wearer's body dissolves the copper faster than it absorbs it.
This happens when there is profuse perspiration (as when exercising
on a hot day), or when our sweat becomes more acidic. The acidity
of our sweat increases with physical, emotional or mental stress.
It also increases with unhealthy diets. I find that eating junk
food and sugar creates the green stain for me.
marks are also believed to appear when the body is hungry for
copper. The human body needs more minerals when growing, when
pregnant, or when recovering from disease or surgery. A body starving
for copper will even manage to dissolve the copper contained in
gold alloys and leave marks under 14K gold rings. If you suspect
having copper deficiency, please consult your holistic doctor,
naturopath or dietician, who by ordering a simple blood test will
know the mineral supplements you need to regain balance. As prevention,
choose to eat organically grown produce whenever possible.
green stains are normally absorbed overnight, and if needed they
wash off with soapy water. If wearers strongly dislike the green
marks, they have two choices. They can choose to address the causes
and make healthier choices or simply ignore the warning and wear
no more copper.
a customer chooses to wear no copper and wishes to return a newly
purchased bracelet or ring, we offer as a courtesy to exchange
it for a design in sterling silver or one of our 14K Gold designs.
We also suggest people re-shine their old bracelets and rings
and give them away as presents.
On Skin - Scientific Facts
"Copper, when in contact with the skin, form chelates with human
sweat (sometimes seen as a green deposit under the bracelet or
ring) and is thus absorbed through the skin. Think of a bracelet
as a 'time-release' source of copper." Dr. Ray Walker, Univ. of
"Copper compounds are more effective and less toxic than drugs
being used to treat arthritis." Dr. John Sorenson, Univ. of Arkansas.
On Skin - Historical Data
"Treat inflammation with pulverized copper." From the Eber Papyrus,
one of the world's oldest medical texts.
In medieval Europe the famous physician Paracelsus prescribed
copper and brass bracelets to treat the "bad mixture of bodily
humors." They continued to be widely used in Europe until early
this century to promote physical and mental health and to increase
male potency (coincidentally a relation between copper deficiency
and sterility in cattle has been recently reported).
In 1939, the German physician Werner Hangarter, reported that
Finnish copper miners were free of arthritis in spite of rheumatism
being a widespread disease in Finland. He proceeded to successfully
treat rheumatoid arthritis, neck and back problems with copper
compounds. But interest in copper treatments became dormant after
WWII, which coincided with the introduction of corticoids, initially
hailed as "wonder drugs" until their side effects became better
On Skin - Some new questions
Arthritis is the number one crippling disease in America. The
American Arthritis Foundation calls copper bracelets an "unproven
remedy." There is overwhelming circumstantial evidence to warrant
clinical trials by the Food & Drug Administration to prove
or disprove the therapeutic effects of wearing copper. Having
at stake the potential discovery of a new treatment for arthritis,
why are those tests not being done?
In the developing world, where people cannot afford expensive
drugs, copper bracelets are sold by pharmacists as the treatment
of choice for aches and pains. But doctors in the USA are legally
prevented from suggesting copper and prescribe drugs instead.
As a result of this practice, arthritis sufferers in America often
spend more on pain pills than on nutritious food. All those pills
have fueled a multi-billion dollar industry for which a copper
treatment approved by the FDA would be bad news. Could it be that
in their efforts to preserve market share these powerful drug
companies are somehow diminishing our resolve to complete the
testing of this natural and affordable alternative?