My Cart


Copper Jewelry & Green Skin

People 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.

Most 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 metabolism?

The 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.

Green 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.

The 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.

If 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.

Copper 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 Newcastle, Australia.

– “Copper compounds are more effective and less toxic than drugs being used to treat arthritis.” Dr. John Sorenson, Univ. of Arkansas.

Copper 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 known.

Copper 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?

Adapted by Isidro Nilsson with permission from Sergio Lub’s article of September 1996

I hope you have enjoyed this article and perhaps learned something new.

Until next time,

Resource Box:

~ COPPER JEWELRY & GREEN SKIN ~ by Isidro Nilsson ~

Hello You!

Join our mailing list