Turquoise and Copper Dangle Earrings
These lovely earrings are designed with 8mm x 20mm stabilized Turquoise Nugget beads, 6mm Turquoise Rondelles and Copper Corrugated spacers and bead caps. They are hung on my handcrafted wire wrapped Copper ear wires. These earrings measure 2 3/4" from the top of the ear wires. Copper and turquoise make such a lovely color combination. They seem to complement each other.
COPPER is a reddish gold metal that patinas to a warm brown. The oldest known metal, it was associated with the Greek goddess Aphrodite and her Roman counterpart, Venus. The discovery of copper dates from prehistoric times. There are reports of copper beads dating back to 9000BC found in Iraq. Methods for refining copper from its ores were discovered around 5000BC and a 1000 or so years later it was being used in pottery in North Africa
Keeping copper clean and dry, removing any oil or perspiration helps prevent oxidation. Although it can tarnish over time, copper resists tarnish better than many other jewelry metals (including sterling which turns black). When it does oxidize it takes on a soft brown, antiqued color as it darkens, a much sought after "vintage" look in jewelry. The tarnish on copper can be easily removed if you prefer a bright look. If you do prefer the bright look, keep your copper piece in an air tight bag or jewelry box to prevent tarnish when not wearing. In addition, Copper jewelry is often considered to have healing properties.
STABILIZED TURQUOISE is created by adding a clear resin to soft turquoise to enhance the color and increase the hardness. Turquoise is very porous allowing the resin to fill the tiny holes and crevices to form a firm stabilized stone. Dyed stones are treated with a colored resin instead of clear.
Natural turquoise changes color the more it is worn as it reacts with the oils in the skin. Stabilized turquoise, on the other hand, stabilizes, or keeps, the color of the stone the same no matter how much it is worn next to the skin. Stabilized turquoise costs less than natural turquoise, but is still considered beautiful and desirable.
Stabilization is used to make turquoise strong enough to use in jewelry and beads since turquoise is by nature a soft stone. It also sets the color since natural turquoise will turn colors over time from skin oils and environmental elements. Sometimes the beads are Color Shot, the stabilizing compound had color in it. Only 10% or less of all turquoise mined is gemstone quality which means it is strong enough to use as jewelry components without stabilization.
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