Copper Ore - Physical Properties & Healing Properties

COPPER ORE

Chemistry: Cu

Class: Elements

Group: Gold

Uses: Minor ore of copper

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    Specimens
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  • Copper Ore
  • Pure Copper
  • Copper Nugget
  • Cuprite Crystal


Pure copper is soft and exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish. Pure copper is rarely found in nature. It is usually combined with other chemicals in the form of Copper Ores.

There are about 15 copper ores commercially mined in 40 countries around the world. The most common ores are known as sulfide ores in which the copper is chemically bonded with sulfur. The other ores are oxide ores, carbonate ores, or mixed ores depending on the chemicals present. Many copper ores also contain significant quantities of gold, silver, nickel and other valuable metals. Most of the copper ores mined in the United States contain only about 1.2 - 1.6% copper by weight.

The average grade of copper ores in the 21st century is below 0.6% Cu, with a proportion of ore minerals being less than 2% of the total volume of the ore rock.


Origin Of The Name

Around 3000 B.C., large deposits of copper ore were found on the Island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. When the Romans conquered Cyprus, they gave a Latin name aes cyprium to the metal (metal of Cyprus), often shortened to cyprium. Later it the name was changed to cuprum, from which the English word copper and the chemical symbol Cu were derived.



Interesting Facts

The main areas where copper is found in animals are tissues, liver, muscle and bone.

Copper, like aluminum, is 100% recyclable without any loss of quality whether in a raw state or contained in a manufactured product.

Copper was first used as early as 10,000 years ago. A copper pendant was found in 8700 B.C. in Northern Iraq. The early use of copper probably resulted from the natural occurrence of copper in native form. The Copper Age followed the Stone Age.



Where Is It Found

Copper is found in many parts of the world. The greatest known deposit of copper is formed by volcanic activity in Chile's Andan Mountains. Keweenaw Peninsula near Lake Superior in Michigan is one of the most likely places to find Native Copper!

In the United States, the first copper mine was opened in Granby, Connecticut (1705), followed by one in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (1732). The development of more efficient processing techniques in the late-1800s allowed the mining of lower-grade copper ores from huge open-pit mines in the western United States.



What Do We Do With It

Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity and is used in building material. Since 900 B.C., people have been using products derived from Copper and its ore. The demand for copper mainly comes from the electrical and electronics industries.

Almost 42% of the share is absorbed by the Electrical & Electronics sector. It is believed that 80% of the copper ever since produced is still in use and continues to be recycled and repeatedly used without losing its property.

The usage of Copper can be significantly. In Communication Sector: Copper products are being used for both long and short-range cables, wires, pipes and links. Copper is also widely used in making of PCB (Printed Circuit Board) for computers and electronic equipments.

In Electricity & Energy Sector: Copper is a best conductor of electricity and heat. It can be easily transformed to alloy i.e. combined with another metal to make new alloys like bronze and brass. These alloys are stronger, harder, and resistant to corrosion as compared to pure copper.

In Plumbing and Heating: Copper tubes are the standard plumbing material for potable water and heating systems. It is a preferred material of professional plumbers and heating engineers.

In Transport industry: Copper is used extensively in automobiles, trains and trucks. It is also used in heat transfer devices such as radiators, oil coolers as well as in bronze sleeve bearings.

In Coinage: Various countries like European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand use Copper to make coins.

As a fungicide: Copper sulfate is used as a fungicide and for algae control in domestic lakes and ponds. It is used in gardening powders and sprays.



Metaphysical Uses

History, Legend and Lore of Copper use by humans is a long and varied, dating back nearly 10,000 years with multiple applications. Copper is, in fact, humanity?s first metal and shows up in Sumerian and Egyptian metallurgy circa 3900 BC.

Copper has many properties which make it nearly indispensable to modern civilizations. Copper is an essential nutrient to all high plants and animals. In animals, including humans, it is found primarily in the bloodstream, as a co-factor in various enzymes, and in copper-based pigments. In sufficient amounts, copper can be poisonous and even fatal to organisms. Due to the fact that copper is such a wonderful physical conductor of electricity and heat, it is also considered the conductor of the spiritualist's belief system. According to myths, copper has the ability to conduct spiritual energy back and forth between individuals, crystals, auras, the mind and the spirit world.

It is also believed that copper has the power to amplify thoughts when sending and receiving psychic communications. New Age followers carry copper with their stones and crystals to 'straighten' the properties of them, as well they are used when crating crystal wands to be certain of their clear and straight powers. Copper is also quite instrumental in the physical and mental healing rites of many peoples of this world.

Medicinally copper has been used for thousands of years. Ancient cultures recognized copper as a healing mineral. Copper was found useful for its healing powers both internally and externally. It is still used in the treatment of wounds and skin diseases, as well as internal diseases, anemia, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease. It is also used for its healing properties in improving circulation of blood, increasing energy and detoxification of the body. Copper is considered a mineral to increase energy and mental agility. In legend, copper is said to be the metal of the God Hermes, who facilitates mental agility, and quick wit.



Physical Characteristics

Color: Various color depending on the ore minerals.

Luster: Metalic

Transparency: None

Crystal System: Isometric; 4/m bar 3 2/m

Crystal Habits: Massive, wires and arborescent or branching forms as the most common, whole individual crystals are extremely rare but when present are usually cubes and octahedrons. Occasionally, massive forms will show some recognizable crystal faces on outer surfaces.

Cleavage: Absent

Fracture: Jagged

Hardness: 2.5 - 3

Specific Gravity: 8.9

Streak: Reddish

Associated Minerals: Silver, calcite, malachite and other secondary copper minerals.

Best Field Indicators: Color, ductility and crystal habit.



Educational Videos

Geologist Teaching Children About Copper


Trip Inside a Copper Mine, Cheshire, England