Copper is an essential mineral found in plant life and in the human body. Since 100% of copper can be recycled without any loss of its original mined quality, it is the third most recycled metal.
Copper deficiency can be caused by a diet that lacks foods containing copper (such as shellfish, certain nuts, chocolate, liver, or red wine) or from ingesting high doses of vitamin C or zinc, both of which can block copper’s absorption. The body uses copper for proper bone, nervous system, joint, and circulatory system health. Oral supplements can overload the body with unnecessary copper and can do damage in people who are unable to metabolize the mineral. Therefore, some people find it beneficial to wear copper jewelry for the purpose of having a small amount of copper absorbed through the skin.
Most people have the ability to take in as much copper as their body needs and block any excess, which makes copper jewelry perfectly fine, and perhaps even beneficial, for most.
The healing properties of copper are an enzymatic chemical reaction positively involving the body’s own chemistry. For this to happen, copper must come into contact with the body’s skin oils and acids, so coated copper will not work. When copper is in direct contact with the skin, the micro-nutrient properties of copper enter the bloodstream through the skin as a copper salt, resulting from a mix of body oils and acids, and the chelated copper picked up from the copper source.
People who are deficient in copper may benefit from wearing copper jewelry, since it can be absorbed through the skin. Jewelry is a good way of taking in the small amount of the mineral needed. The healing properties of copper, in the form of bracelets, necklaces, rings, or earrings, can allow a minimal amount of the mineral into the body without overwhelming it. Some wearers of copper jewelry find it relieves the symptoms of arthritis and circulation problems.
On a holistic level, copper has historically been associated as the body metal, and is considered a grounding metal for the human body and spirit. (Silver is the metal of the spirit, and gold is the metal of the mind.)
Spiritually, copper is also considered a metal capable of storing healing properties holistically, as well as having protective properties. This is why it was used in ancient times for totems and talismans.
Because holistic and spiritual uses of the copper properties are holistic in nature, copper can be coated for these properties to work, in theory. However, some people still believe these properties could be blocked by the physical barrier of a coating on the copper. For healing purposes, the copper should not be coated to allow direct contact with the skin.