Elements main page

Copper, Cu, 29, is one of the oldest known metals, because it is sometimes found pure in nature, so doesn't need to be refined. It is reletively soft, fairly heavy, and shows a very unique redish color.

Copper's main use you might find around the house is electrical wire, because copper is fairly soft and a good conducter of electricity. Circuit boards in computers and other electronic devices use copper on"printed circuit boards", or PCBs, because you can start with a thin layer of copper on a plastic base, print a circuit board shape onto the copper with acid-proof paint, then use acids to etch the copper wherever there is no paint, leaving behind whatever you printed, only in copper. Parts can then be attached to these "trails" of copper, and a complex circuits can be acheived.

Copper can also quite easily be electro-plated on to metals such as steel, and once plated is a good base to plate other metals such as gold or chromium onto.

These are my samples!

Nickel-Free Nickels

These nickels, dated 1943-45, where made during the second world war when nickel was incredibly useful for armor plating, so the US government took all the nickel from the mint, forcing them to substitute with a mixture of 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese. After the war, it was realized silver was far too valuable for a 5 cent piece, so they took as many as they could out of circulation and melted them down for other uses.

Date added(year-month-day):20120511, sample number:103

Tags(Elements in sample):copper, silver, manganese

Copper Metal Shot, 99.99%

This is beautiful shiny fresh 99.99% pure copper, in the form of small cut-up pellets, possibly produced from old electrical wire. Some of the purest copper available, and some of the nicest to look at, being so clean and shiny. Now available in the webstore!

Date added(year-month-day):20120229, sample number:93

Tags(Elements in sample):copper

Copper Ball

This is a "donation" from a circuit board factory, where they plated TONS of copper in order to make circuit boards conductive... This is how they get the copper before it goes into the plating bath, there was a bucket of these and from time to time they'd throw a new one into a metal basket to be plated onto more circuit boards. The guy giving the tour was nice enough to let me keep one.

Date added(year-month-day):20110802, sample number:51

Tags(Elements in sample):copper

Native Copper

Copper, being fairly non-reactive, is fairly easy to find in pure form around the world, unlike metals like aluminum, which are almost never found pure on earth. Chunks of metal found pure like this are known as "native" metals.

Date added(year-month-day):20110724, sample number:22

Tags(Elements in sample):copper

Elements main page