One can not help but think about how rapidly our world seems to have changed overnight with the introduction of COVID 19. The last week or so, we've gone from being able to walk freely, shop, and socialize to being self-quarantined, practicing social distancing, activities, and gatherings shut down, and shelves at the store bare.
Throughout all of this, small businesses are struggling, and many people are left without jobs due to lay-offs or other factors. We can only pray that the government will get a handle on this and that people will be morally responsible.
Certainly, jewelry is far from the first thing on anyone's mind at the moment, it seems toilet paper and hand sanitizer has taken over for the time being. Absolutely understandable.
However, we are still making jewelry. It's what we do and love; besides, it helps take our mind off other things that are simply out of our control. Most of our spring shows have been canceled. Smaller venues within the community have also closed.
So…, we have nothing but time on our hands to create and think, and here is something that we've given a fair amount of thought and felt a need to share with you.
Are there any metals used in jewelry that are germ repellent?
The answer to that question is yes. Wiping down stainless steel and aluminum should kill germs as they could survive for weeks on these surfaces. However, some metals have the inherent ability to destroy a wide range of harmful microbes relatively rapidly – often within a couple of hours, and with some high degree of efficiency.
"The surfaces of copper and its alloys, such as brass and bronze, are antimicrobial. These antimicrobial properties have been demonstrated by an extensive body of research. The research also suggests that surfaces made with copper alloys if touched reduced transmission of disease-causing organisms and can reduce patient infections in hospital intensive care units (ICU) by as much as 58%." Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimicrobial_copper-alloy_touch_surfaces#Antimicrobial_copper_products).
During our research, we also found that Silver can kill a broad spectrum of bacteria. However, recent studies show that Silver must be in wet conditions to release the ions necessary to disrupt cell membranes. The research also demonstrated that Silver's antimicrobial activity was the same as stainless steel when the temperature was at 35oC (95oF) and 95%. (The relative humidity of a typical room is 20%.)
Copper, in contrast, can kill Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria across all temperatures and all levels of humidity. In that same study, as well as in several other studies, have thoroughly documented the biocidal activity of copper.
Keep in mind, we are not suggesting that anyone decide to incorporate copper into their lives as a cure or even a treatment for something as serious as Covid 19 or any other ailment. We do however offer this information regarding a metal regularly used and preferred by many in the jewelry they wear.
So there you have it, copper isn't just for pretty, it may just help keep you safe.