· By Rachel Dazey

Fascinating science behind copper

I've been learning more every day about copper's ability to destroy viruses. I find the history of how copper has been used for centuries fascinating. Like how the sea-faring Phoenicians inserted shavings from their bronze swords into battle wounds to prevent infection and as far back as 3200 B.C. Egyptians designated the ankh symbol, representing eternal life, to denote copper in hieroglyphs. Jewelers in Europe throughout the Cholera Epidemic got sick at a far lower rate than the normal population. How it works to create these health benefits is fascinating. As stated by the Smithsonian Magazine "Copper’s specific atomic makeup gives it extra killing power, Keevil says. Copper has a free electron in its outer orbital shell of electrons that easily takes part in oxidation-reduction reactions (which also makes the metal a good conductor). As a result, Schmidt says, it becomes a “molecular oxygen grenade.” Silver and gold don’t have the free electron, so they are less reactive.

Copper kills in other ways as well, according to Keevil, who has published papers on the effect. When a microbe lands on copper, ions blast the pathogen like an onslaught of missiles, preventing cell respiration and punching holes in the cell membrane or viral coating and creating free radicals that accelerate the kill, especially on dry surfaces. Most importantly, the ions seek and destroy the DNA and RNA inside a bacteria or virus, preventing the mutations that create drug-resistant superbugs. “The properties never wear off, even if it tarnishes,” Schmidt says." You can read the whole article here.

Malachite (the stone in the bolo above) also forms in the ground next to copper, I've heard it described as the mineral form of copper. I love using the two elements together. 

While I make no claim that wearing copper jewelry will keep you from getting sick, I think it's a great symbol of strength and hope; and do have a feeling that constantly rubbing my hands on my copper cuffs certainly doesn't hurt.  

We are still donating 50% of all copper cuff sales to the Red Dirt Relief Fund while the Covid-19 closures continue to spread the message of hope and strength to our community. You can buy them here.


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