This past few weeks has given all of us an insight into the power of things we can’t see. Be that microscopic pathogens or the power of the mind (fear) and it’s ability to affect the immune system and the collective as a whole. What we are seeing is truly unprecedented. It’s also been a reflective time for reminding myself of the importance of the simplicities in life and the things we often take for granted.
Considering our current existence, I feel that this is an opportune time to share the properties and power behind the metals that us jewelers use to create our art. Please do not misinterpret this message - This is not a sales pitch, this is not a claim of a cure or a treatment to this viral pandemic. Rather, see this as me sharing insight - one human to another.
It was during my time in the Himalayas that the Gurus taught me the power behind different natural substances. I learned how gem-stones, metals and ayurvedic herbs all have their own special and unique properties. When creating my first pieces of jewelry, I embodied this knowledge and hoped to share the power of the natural world with the people close to me. I guess now is the time to Also share it to the BP community.
Both Copper and Silver, have a number of unique properties that have helped humankind for centuries and its these metals that I choose to create my pieces from, not only due to their aesthetic but also their effects on our physiologies.
Sterling silver is defined by its “fineness”, .925, which refers to its composition of 92.5% pure silver. The other 7.5% is generally copper &/or bronze. Pure Silver is a soft, delicate and malleable metal, and since Roman times, copper has been combined with silver (and other alloys) to increase their sturdiness and durability. Incorporating this metal more into your everyday life help act as a shield against everyday germs and bacteria.
- Silver has long been utilized for its antibacterial properties. When Silver oxidizes, it releases silver ions which are toxic to bacteria. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2364932/) Although studies have shown that not all bacteria is affected by silver ions. Its is still unknown as to how or why some strains of bacteria are so heavily affected.
- The metal has been used for centuries to prevent infection & treat open wounds.
- Silver is used in ancient forms of water purification as well as today in some of our modern water purifiers.
- Colloidal silver (tiny silver particles held in a liquid), has been proven to be a powerful, antibacterial therapy against infection. When applied, it destabilizes the enzymes that some harmful drug-resistant bacteria, fungi and viruses need to survive.
During the rise of the industrial revolution, copper became an extremely popular alloy in manufacturing, mainly for its ability to be easily hammered into sheets and used for both decorative and functional purposes.
It was during this rise to popularity that researchers and scientists began to notice a correlation between copper and individuals who were seemingly resistant to certain strains of bacteria. It was this correlation that led researchers to study the health benefits associated with integrating copper into your everyday life. Today, we have a better understanding as to the actual effect that copper has on us.
Recent studies have shown that copper has antimicrobial properties, meaning that it either stops or inhibits the growth of some microorganisms, bacteria and viruses included. During the industrial revolution, exposure to copper could be similar to modern day hand washing or sanitization.
Both laboratory tests and clinical trials have taken place to test copper's ability to neutralize bacteria. Laboratory tests were staged whereby Copper samples were inoculated with bacterial specimens and in clinical trials, researchers measured the amount of live bacteria that existed on hospital components made of copper VS those made of other materials. The results were as follows:
- Laboratory Tests: “Greater than a 99.9% reduction in live bacteria” was realized for on bacteria samples exposed to copper.
- Clinical Trials: “an 83% reduction in bacteria” was seen on the copper alloy components compared to the standard materials.
- Infection Rates: “Found to be reduced by 58% in patient rooms with components made of copper” compared that to rooms with components made of standard materials.
Humans have chose to clad themselves in these metals for thousands of years - It’s not just because of their aesthetic or their application in nearly every industry but also because of their powerful protective properties. I see these Metals as my allies, I always have at least one mixed metal/copper and one silver bracelet on. To what degree they’re protecting me, I don’t know, but what I do know is that I feel even more empowered, more centered and clear when I wear them rather than not.
In short, I’m not trying to tell you all that wearing silver and/or copper products WILL cure you of bacterial infections, viruses or other pathogens. Instead, I’d hoped to bring to light the century old evidence that points to the health benefits associated with integrating these “allies” into your everyday life… I feel that right now we should use all of the resources that we can.
We at BP truly wish you and yours a safe and healthy time ahead.
Stay informed, stay safe and stay true.