People have been using natural copper for at least 11,000 years, longer than any other metal. Easy to mine and refine, people discovered methods for extracting copper from its ores at least 7,000 years ago.
A non-magnetic metal, copper’s key characteristics include the ability to conduct electricity and heat, its capability for being drawn into fine wire or being easily shaped or bent, its resistance to corrosion and its biostatic nature.
Copper plays a significant role in and around our lives and is a component of most of the everyday things we use. Today’s average home includes more than 400 pounds of copper in wiring, plumbing and brass fixtures.
Since copper can be recycled continuously without any effects on its properties, it is one of the most resilient and recycled materials in the world. In fact, 80% of the copper humanity has produced is still use today.
A trick old prospectors used for testing the copper content of ore was to use a steel nail and hydrochrloric acid. A simple form of copper plating.