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Copper Jewelry Information


Copper has been used from early civilizations onwards in making jewelry, both in its pure state and in various alloys. Copper is believed to have been the first metal known to man, perhaps as long ago as 13,000 B.C. In ancient Egypt, copper was used in the production of weapons, instruments, tools and ornaments. The diadem, or headband, often made from copper, was a part of royal attire that symbolized power and dignity.

The use of enamel decoration on metal, in many variations, also originates in ancient times. Some of the oldest techniques such as painted enamel have been practiced by artists for a millennium or more. Cloisonné' enameling enabled intricacy not possible with painted methods, and used thin wires or cloisonné along the backing metal to trap and separate the colors from one another. Also introduced was champleve' enameling in which the areas to be enameled are etched or carved away.  Developed much later, and used by many of the great French jewelry makers of the 19th and 20th century, is plique-a’-jour enameling which gives the effect of stained glass. The enamels here are translucent since no metal backing exists beneath the glass.

  Jewelry made from copper became very popular in the 1930s when Francisco Rebajes began his career in the design and production of copper art jewelry. He was the star of the Modernist jewelry movement. His pieces were bold and dramatic, with beautiful soft finishes. They were carefully handcrafted and drew inspiration from sources as diverse as ethnic masks and Surrealism.
  Renoir-Matisse was founded in Los Angeles in 1946 by Jerry Fels. Renoir of California specialized in solid copper jewelry. Most of the jewelry displayed the geometric or abstract forms and patterns characteristic of the mid 20th century of art and design. Matisse Ltd. was the subsidiary company. It specialized in copper jewelry with colorful enamel decorations.
  The advice on about copper jewelry Information antique to vintage comes from jewelry experts Linda and Perry, as well as from our frequent visitors. If you'd like to add anything to this page, or have us add a topic of interest for you, email us at

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