COPPER is a basic element (Cu) and is the eighth most abundant metal in the Earth's crust. It occurs as a native metal and in a some 160 compounds, some of which are azurite, malachite, chrysocolla, chalcopyrite and bornite. The alloys of copper are also important such as bronze, an alloy of tin and copper; and brass, an alloy of zinc and copper.
Being malleable and ductile, copper is a good conductor of heat and electricity and has many industrial uses, among which are electric cables and wires, plumbing, heating, roofing and construction. The Egyptians are believed to be the first to create bronze, which ushered in the Bronze Age.
Leading producers of copper are Chile, the U.S. and Indonesia. Three U.S. states are very rich in copper deposits: Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Copper is mined in at least 63 countries, including Russia, Canada, Zambia, Poland, China, Uganda, Nicaragua, Australia and Mexico.
Most of the native copper on our site come from the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan.
The copper specimen pictured to the bottom left is referred to as "float copper", copper ore which was ripped loose from the earth's surface by a glacier, then traveled with the glacier to its ultimate destination and remained behind when the glacier melted.
♦ Chemistry: Cu, elemental copper ♦ Class: elements ♦ Color: copper colored with weathered specimens tarnished green ♦ Luster: metallic ♦ Transparency: opaque ♦ Fracture: jagged ♦ Crystal system: Isometric ♦ Moh's hardness: 2.5-3 ♦ Localities: Michigan and Arizona, Canada, Chili, Peru, Germany, Russia, many parts of Africa and Australia