Will Copper and Silver Wear Well Together?

by Kristine

I've been playing with some wire wrapping. I experimented with the copper and silver together. How do these wear together? I see many copper & silver pieces here and wonder if there is eventually some chemical reaction of the two together. Won't the copper blacken with age?

I know it's a personal preference but I'm also wondering about the long term differences in wearability. Thanks.

Stacy's Answer:

Good question, Kristine. I've been combining those two metals since way before it became popular to do so. Everyday, I personally wear items that blend silver and copper.

There is no chemical reaction between the metals. While it's true that copper does patina at a much faster rate than Sterling silver, remember that Fine silver is .999 silver content, Sterling silver is approx. 92.5% fine silver and 7.5% copper, Coin silver is 90% silver and 10% copper and Nickel silver really has no fine silver at all....it's 65% copper, 17% zinc and 18% nickel.

Sterling silver, because of its copper content, will also turn black over time or if it's exposed to elements like sweat (eew!)etc... I like to add different patinas to my copper and silver. If left to its own devices, copper turns sort of brown, just like a penny does...not black. A quick rub with a jewelry polishing cloth will restore it's bright copper luster.

An important consideration when cleaning and polishing the two metals together is that some of the chemicals used to brighten silver will have a chemical reaction with the copper (zinc does this) and turns it silver! Yes, you can polish it off, but your customers will think you've sold them something plated. Been there, had it happen to me with some copper findings once.

A Sunshine® Polishing Cloth is the absolute best for polishing copper. Anyway, after that lengthy explanation...YES, silver and copper work beautifully together!

Comments for Will Copper and Silver Wear Well Together?

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Nov 13, 2010
Silver Copper Cleaning
by: Deb Mae

Along with my tumbler on my sink at all times I have Dawn Foam soap (blue one) and a shaker with baking soda in it. I put a short pump of dawn in the palm of my hand and then a sprinkle of baking soda. Then rub the mixed metals in the solution between my palms and it will take out any tarnish and bring back to original shiney clean. Then I rinse under hot water and dry right away with one of the miracle cloths, actually I purchase large quainty pack from warehouse clubs in the automotive section. This works on all my jewelry.
Great fix when you don't have time to tumble. PS I have used this on every piece of jewelry and had no problems.

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