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Freya's Fire Guide to Wire

Gemstones are typically such a huge focus for many of our discussions and because of this, it can be easy to overlook one of the most fundamental materials that go into wire wrapping; the wire. While most people don’t give a second thought to the types of metals they put on their bodies, there are those few who must be acutely aware of the types of jewelry they wear.

An estimated 17% of women worldwide are allergic to nickel and 4% are allergic to copper. As someone who has a nickel allergy myself, I have built my business around the promise that all products are guaranteed to be nickel-free. However, since copper allergies are less likely to occur, many of our products do contain copper.

Luckily, if you do happen to have a copper allergy there are other options to create a product your skin doesn’t hate! Yay!

Let’s dive into the wire options we use here at Freya’s Fire so you can choose which is best for you!

Bare Copper:

This metal is used occasionally in our shop and is often seen in its oxidized form.

Bare copper is orange in color and has a reputation for turning some people's skin green. There is a common misconception that this metal is “cheap” and undesirable, but the reality is that the green streak you get on your skin is actually a chemical reaction between the copper and your sweat called oxidation. It does not happen to everyone, but if it happens to you, it can be prevented easily by keeping your jewelry clean and dry!

Now, oxidation is actually pretty cool in general. Not because it turns your skin green, but because when it's combined with the proper ingredients you can control the color of the metal itself!

Have you ever seen the pendants in our shop that feature black-colored wire? Those pieces are actually oxidized, bare copper! By mixing Liver of Sulfur with warm water, you can create a bath to dip a bare copper pendant into. Within 5 minutes the oxidation process is complete and your wire has turned black! Yeah, Science!

Tarnish-Resistant Copper:

This is the most used metal in our shop because it is malleable, strong, cost-effective, and won’t turn anyone’s skin green. The center of the wire is copper, while the outside of the wire has a color coating and a tarnish-resistant coating over that. Silver and Bronze-colored wire are the only tarnish-resistant colors in our shop due to the limitations higher quality brands have to offer. After trial and error with many sub-par brands, we’ve decided to stick with the ones we know will last.

Remember that tarnish-resistant does not mean tarnish-proof. This wire can be worn down to the copper in the center which may result in an oxidation reaction on your skin. To keep your jewelry in the best condition possible, never get it wet and be sure to store it in a cool dark place when not in use.

Sterling Silver and Fine Silver:

By nature, pure silver is a hypoallergenic material. However, people come to me all the time claiming they are allergic to sterling silver. How can this be?

To put it simply, those people are NOT allergic to silver itself, but instead are allergic to the alloys that are mixed with the silver. As it turns out, sterling silver is 92.5% silver and the rest is filled with different metals such as nickel, copper, or zinc.

It is nearly impossible to tell which metals are mixed with the silver and because of this, Freya’s Fire officially switched to using fine silver ONLY in our non-copper products. This reduces the chances of an allergic reaction because fine silver is 99% pure silver and should not cause any sort of skin reaction for those with sensitive skin.

Fine silver will eventually tarnish a bit, but a quick dip in vinegar gets it nice and shiny again! This metal is perfectly safe to get wet and can be worn 24/7. If you are like me and refuse to take off certain necklaces until they decide to eventually plummet to their own death when they feel the time is right, then this option might be for you.

You are officially informed of your wire options and now all you have to do is figure out what stones you want to incorporate into your next wire wrap! When you’re all ready to place a custom order feel free to fill out the Custom Order Form for a quote on your next unique piece.

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