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Copper
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Native copper is a beautiful thing. As a shiny metal, it has been mined for thousands of years so raw or native copper deposits are almost depleted. These days if you find a piece of elemental copper, it will usually find its way into a collector’s display case. Copper is one of the easiest metals to recognise as it tarnishes from dull to bright greens with a dash of blue. When polished it is a very shiny metal. It is occasionally found in cubic crystals. Like most metals it is easy to beat out into sheets or draw into wires. Pure copper makes a red mark on a white porcelain plate.

It derives its name from the island of Cyprus where it was mined in the ancient world. Cypress gave it the name Cyprium which then became cuprum which then became cupr which we now say as copper. The ancient Greek name for Cyprus was Kupros which has also played a role in how we got the word.

Copper was mostly used in combination with other elements such as tin. Its oldest known form as an alloy was in bronze. Since the elements in bronze, (copper and tin) rarely occur together – the discovery of the benefits of mixing the two must rank as one of the great leaps in metallurgy on the planet. It is interesting that such alloys were known by Adam's grandchildren in Genesis Chapter 4. Since bronze is stronger than iron, most people never notice that the iron age followed the bronze age. Not much progress there but evidence of a loss of sources most probably. Bronze doesn't rust and iron does.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, but appears much later than bronze so most of the early reference to brass in the bible are most probably to bronze or raw copper.

   

 

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