We are going to answer the question How Long Does Copper Jewelry Last? Since the dawn of the human race, jewelry has been one of the most expensive things that we as humans want to own.
Due to the precious materials that jewelry is made from, prices have gone through the roof lately!
Of course, there’s jewelry made from less expensive materials, such as copper, but do they last as long as our precious gold or diamond jewelry?
In this article, we will answer the question… How Long Does Copper Jewelry Last?
How long does copper jewelry last?
This of course very much depends on how the jewelry is treated, but if stored right copper jewelry can last just as long as other materials can!
Copper pieces can last multiple generations, but the right conditions are essential for this to be realized.
In this article, we’ll take a look at everything surrounding the lifetime of copper jewelry.
How long does it last, and under what conditions does it last the longest?
Answers to these questions and much more will be covered in the following article.
So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
What Is Copper?
Before we can dive into the intricate details of copper jewelry and its lifetime, we should first take a step back and look at the material itself, what is copper?
Copper is red-colored base metal, it’s a pure element for which we use the symbol Cu.
The fact that it’s a pure element and a base metal means that it’s not a mix of different metals, copper is truly copper and only copper, which gives it some special characteristics such as great conductive properties for example!
Other base metals are silver and gold.
How Is Copper Made?
Copper, being an element, isn’t exactly ‘made the way you’d expect. Instead, it is extracted from so-called ores, which are rocks, or other metals, containing a small percentage of copper.
These ores are molten and put through an extraction process to extract the pure copper that we’re looking for in our jewelry!
In nature, copper is made from volcanic solutions. Due to the immense heat, the solutions are densely concentrated, therefore causing copper ores to form!
We then mine for these copper ores to extract our precious copper!
How Many Types Of Copper Are There?
Technically speaking there’s of course only one type of copper, and that is the raw element known as Cu.
However, in practice, there are over 400 different types of copper, most of them being copper alloys meaning that they’re copper mixed with small quantities of other metals such as nickel for example.
The strongest of these copper alloys is known as Copper Beryllium.
It is often used in construction as it has a similar strength to steel, but a better corrosion resistance!
As you would expect this is an alloy formed by the elements copper (Cu) and beryllium (Be).
How Can You Tell If Something Is 100% Copper?
Of course, a vital skill for anyone working with jewelry is being able to test the authenticity of different jewelry pieces!
This leads us to the question; how can we tell if something is solid copper? Let’s take a look!
First of all, you should look at the color, real copper has a red-like appearance while many alloys tend to lean more to the yellow side of the spectrum.
A second test you can do is known as the sound test, gently tap your object on something solid, pure copper is soft and should produce a very low and calming tone, while most alloys produce a higher pitch!
Does Copper Rust In Water?
To answer this question, we can be very short, no, copper doesn’t corrode in water!
Do note though that copper is corrosion resistant, not corrosion proof, this means that under normal circumstances it shouldn’t corrode, but when exposed to certain chemicals for longer periods of time it can form a green film, known as patina!
Copper doesn’t rust like other metals do, because it contains too little iron to be affected by water.
Is Aluminium Or Copper Stronger?
Copper is often praised for its strength, and rightfully so!
Another base metal that is often talked about due to its great strength is of course aluminum, but which one of the two is the strongest? Let’s find out!
Copper is the stronger material of the two, with a roughly 40% higher tensile strength and a lower thermal expansion coefficient.
However, aluminum does win in the prize and weight department, as it is cheaper and lighter!
Purely based on strength though, copper steals the show!
Is Copper Hard Or Soft?
Copper is known for being a very soft metal. As we’ve already mentioned in a previous paragraph, hitting copper on a solid object creates a low-pitched tone, this is due to its softness making it vibrate on a low frequency.
Copper is developed with three scales of hardness, dead-soft, half-hard, and hard.
Dead soft is the most flexible, but the least durable, while hard is the most rigid and most durable. As you can imagine, half-hard copper is used in most modern jewelry pieces!
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Touchstone Indian Handcrafted Healing Copper Bracelet Peace Chakra Yoga Meditation Mantra Jewelry Cuff.
Is Copper Stronger Than Steel?
The answer to this question depends on the size of the object we’re working with, in theory, steel is stronger than copper, but copper can be used in much smaller objects such as wires due to its low weight compared to steel.
Copper can’t be hardened like steel can, but there are ways to make copper harder!
Copper can be work-hardened through strain, meaning that bending and hammering the copper can increase how hard the copper is, but it’s not as effective as steel!
Copper In Electroforming
Of course, we, as electroforming artists, are most interested in using copper for our electroforming purposes. Can it be used for electroforming, and how does it perform? Let’s have a look!
Copper is the perfect material to use in electroforming.
It’s easy to work with, and using it we can create beautiful pieces of electroformed jewelry!
This brings down the cost as we don’t have to use solid copper, but it doesn’t take away anything from the beautiful copper look!
Elaine Coyne Forged Copper and Patina Brass Neo-Victorian Butterfly with Filigree Cuff Bracelet.
Final Thoughts… How Long Does Copper Jewelry Last?
All in all, we can conclude that copper is a beautiful material, it’s a beautiful balance between expensive and cheap, and between strong and weak, it’s the perfect round intermediate metal for both jewelry and electroforming artists!
We hope that this article has taught you a few things about copper.
Please let me know on the contact page if you have any questions… How Long Does Copper Jewelry Last?
Thank you for reading, and good luck working with copper!
If you liked this article then you will love How To Seal Copper Jewelry?
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