Is Copper a Precious Metal?
Is Copper a Precious Metal
What Is A Precious Metal?
A precious metal is one that is rare, economically valuable and occurs naturally. Metals like gold, silver and platinum are used in jewelry, currency and as an investment. These metals are naturally occurring elements that are so seldom found in the Earth's crust, that they are considered exceptionally rare and of high value. Precious metals also tend to be more corrosion resistant than other elements. In order to be considered precious, a metal must also be valuable. For example, gold has been used as currency in in nearly every civilization since its discovery. It is currently valued as a hedge against inflation. Other precious metals like silver, platinum and palladium are valuable because of their industrial and investment potential. Silver is used in electronics while platinum and palladium are used in the manufacture of catalytic converters.
Is Copper Considered A Precious Metal?
Copper, a red orange metal, is not considered a precious metal. Building construction is the single largest market for copper and it is one of the most widely used metals in the electrical industry. It is malleable, ductile, and a good conductor of electricity and heat. It has been mined for 5,000 years and there is even a period of time between the Neolithic and Bronze Age referred to as the Copper Age. Copper doesn't rust and virtually doesn't corrode which makes it useful in plumbing and in paint used on the bottom of ships to prevent greenery from attaching itself. It is often found in high end housing. Copper piping found to be crafted in ancient Egypt is still fully functional today. It is used for cookware and in analytical chemistry. It would be difficult to find an industry that has not been improved by the use of copper.
Copper As A Modern Currency
Copper has been used for currency as far back as 600 BC Ancient Rome, when it was exchanged in lump form. Soon emperors ordered the lumps shaped and marked with their rule. Some of the earliest copper coins were the coins of Julius Caesar. In the modern times, American pennies were made of copper. But that changed in 1982, when the price of copper shot so high that it had more value than the penny it was used to create. The United States Mint began making copper pennies with 97.5 percent zinc covered with a thin layer of copper. Currently, in Britain and other countries, “copper” money contains 95.5 percent copper and the rest a mix of tin and zinc. The total world production of copper coins absorbs thousands of tons of copper every year. The Royal Mint in London alone minted 700 million bronze and cupro-nickel coins in one recent year, representing nearly 7,000 tons of the metal.
Is Copper A Good Investment
Copper is frequently overlooked as an investment when buying bullion. The demand for it is increasing as the supply is shrinking. Copper is also feeling the benefit of the currency affect. Central banks have been printing trillions of paper bills to help reboot their economies. This inflation has led to rallies in gold, silver and copper. Copper coins, bars and pre-1982 pennies are all legitimate investment options. There are many coins made of gold and silver which actually contain copper, as a way of hardening them and making them more durable. An example of this is the South African 1/4 oz Gold Kurgerrand Coin, made from 1967 - 1986 by the South African Mint from coin blanks supplied by the Rand Refinery Limited. Copper coins are available in ¼-oz, ½-oz and 1-oz sizes, copper coins and rounds are an affordable way to invest in copper bullion. Copper Bars are available at lower premiums than copper coins and are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from 1-oz to 10 kilos. Pre-1982 U.S. Pennies – Today, the value of these coins is approximately 2.5 cents each, more than double their original face value.
Feel free to learn more about precious metals and valuable coins by checking out our other unique blog posts, including Is Platinum Expensive, Gold Surging As The Corona Virus Spreads & Is it Safe to Buy Gold Online.