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Mirrorstone Crystals - Crystals and fossils of the natural world.

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Natural Copper

Copper is a very important metallic element used in electronics, electrical engineering and as an ingredient in gold alloys. It was probably the first metal to be used by humans. As long ago as 8000bc Neolithic people were believed to use copper as an alternative to stone. in 4000bc, Ancient Egyptians were casting copper in moulds. Bronze was then produced as far back as 3500bc by mixing copper and tin. It is one of the few metals that occur in "native" form, meaning it is not bonded with any other elements. Native copper seems to be a secondary mineral, as a result of interaction between iron-bearing minerals and copper-bearing solutions. Mined as light pink to copper-red, copper will darken and tarnish green to black once in contact with the air. Mainly formed in basis igneous rocks it is also common as a product of supergene cementation. Associated with malachite, azurite, silver, cuprite, chalcokocite, bornite and other minerals, the largest site of accumulated copper is in Lake Superior, USA.

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