Are There Health Benefits to Wearing Copper Jewelry?

Niki Foster
Niki Foster

Copper jewelry is sometimes sold with claims of health benefits such as improving the skin or alleviating the pain of arthritis. Copper has a long history of use in the realm of health, and modern science has confirmed many of its beneficial properties. Many people have experienced relief from medical conditions as a result of wearing copper jewelry, which is sometimes magnetized as well. However, the effectiveness of copper jewelry has not been scientifically proven, and detractors believe that it is not the best way to reap the health benefits of copper.

Copper wire can be used for making jewelry.
Copper wire can be used for making jewelry.

Copper has been used to promote health in various ways since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians used it to purify water for drinking, and cultures around the world used it as a form of medicine for such afflictions as sore throat, eye infections, and skin conditions. It was also applied to wounds to prevent infection. In the modern era, copper was discovered to have anti-microbial properties which made it well suited for its ancient uses. Copper can be used on surfaces or woven into fabrics to prevent the spread of bacteria.

A copper bracelet.
A copper bracelet.

Like some other metals, including iron and zinc, copper is beneficial in the diet, though poisonous in excess amounts. Copper is essential for the metabolic function of all animals and plants. The Recommended Daily Allowance for adult humans is 0.9 mg/day. Dietary copper aids in the function of the cardiovascular system, as well as promoting a healthy immune system and healthy bones. These benefits can only be derived from ingesting copper, not from wearing copper jewelry. Some natural sources of dietary copper are shellfish, organ meats, beans, nuts, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, dried fruit, and yeast.

Some arthritis sufferers wear copper jewelry in the hopes of easing symptoms.
Some arthritis sufferers wear copper jewelry in the hopes of easing symptoms.

Though copper is known to have many benefits for humans, it is questionable whether copper jewelry best takes advantage of them. It is unlikely for copper to be absorbed through the skin in significant amounts as a result of wearing copper jewelry, and making sure there are adequate amounts of copper in the diet may be a wiser choice. In addition, though the antimicrobial properties of copper are potentially very helpful for such things as food preparation counters or shared blankets, the benefits of a germ-resistant bracelet or anklet are negligible.

Copper in ancient times was applied to wounds to prevent infection.
Copper in ancient times was applied to wounds to prevent infection.

Nevertheless, many patients swear by the effectiveness of copper jewelry. Proponents believe that it can be used to target specific areas, for example, by wearing a copper bracelet to alleviate arthritis pain in the wrist and hand. There are many attractive pieces of copper jewelry on the market for both men and women, including rings, bracelets, necklaces, anklets, watches, arm bands, and nearly anything else you can think of. Whether or not there are health benefits to be gained from wearing magnetic jewelry, it often has great aesthetic value.

Cultures around the world have used copper to treat afflictions such as sore throats.
Cultures around the world have used copper to treat afflictions such as sore throats.
Niki Foster
Niki Foster

In addition to her role as a wiseGEEK editor, Niki enjoys educating herself about interesting and unusual topics in order to get ideas for her own articles. She is a graduate of UCLA, where she majored in Linguistics and Anthropology.

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Discussion Comments


I have arthritis, and it was killing me! I wasn't able to get up of bed quickly early in the morning!

I went to the doctor for a check up and the doctor prescribed medication for me, but I was scared of taking it. A friend of mind told me to use a copper bracelet, but I said no way! I don't believe those things! One time I went to the show and saw this copper bracelet and I asked the lady who selling it how it worked.

She explained it to me, so I decided to buy it. In my mind, I had nothing to lose by trying, and now I realize that my friend was right! I thank him. He is dead now and it is very sad. I'd never taken any medication in my life and will not since I have this copper bracelet.


I'm doing my masters and I'm thinking of using copper as a medium why because I think it's the lightest and medical approved enough as far as art is concerned, so any ideas?


Copper is just not a metal, but a miracle metal as it helps reduce blood pressure and not to mention keeps away ghosts and evil influences. --Ranjit S


My wife used to get intense migraine headaches on a regular basis. I would have to massage her head/neck/back for up to 45 minutes, to get the pain down to the point where she could try to fall asleep.

Anyway, to make a long story short, she bought a copper bracelet (due to advice from a relative) and hasn't had a migraine for over a year now! I was skeptical at first but it has definitely opened my eyes to alternatives outside of mainstream medicine.


An uncle of mine who is normally a sceptic, swore by the use of copper for arthritic pain. He had arthritis and would wear a piece of copper wire around his wrist. The wire had to be used though not brand new for the benefits as he explained it to me.


I have been wearing a copper bracelet for about a week. It has greatly decreased my sacroiliac joint pain. I can sleep now without it hurting every time I move. Try it yourself if you have joint pain. It can't hurt.


Copper and silver both have properties related to electromagnetic fields. They are both very conductive and used in commercial products for shielding against microwave and electromagnetic fields. There is much to learn on this topic, as this is one of the ways that wearing copper or silver jewelry can possibly be of benefit.

Our very dna responds to certain RF frequencies in either harmful or beneficial ways, so it is wise to seek truthful info on this, as I am continuing to do, and advise others to do so. In this day and age, we are continually bombarded with unnatural harmful frequencies of cell, tv and radio transmissions, so it is best to find out how this does effect us and to learn how to combat it.

Plenty of research available online, but avoid the studies paid for or conducted by the industries involved, as they tend to be biased in their own favor.


I just know that drinking water stored in a copper jar overnight has been considered good for health since the ancient times and one must drink this water early in the morning.


Copper is also key in the production of collagen, so some claim that wearing it next to the skin will boost collagen production in that area.


Wearing copper jewelry can also have side effects -- it can discolor skin, often turning it black or blue.

Also, if it is poorly made, some copper jewelry will have lead mixed in with it, which can be dangerous, particularly if worn by infants.


The health benefits of copper jewelry, or for that matter, jewelry in general, has always seemed a bit far-fetched to me.

Of course, I am not a scientist and haven't researched the subject extensively, but it seems that whatever trace amount of copper could be absorbed by the skin couldn't be that powerful.

However, I don't know -- anybody out there with more information?

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