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Atomic symbol Cu
Atomic number 29
Classification Transition metal
Atomic mass 63.5 amu
Number of Stable Isotopes 2
Other Information
Date of discovery Copper has been known since ancient times
Name of discoverer Unknown
Name origin From the Latin cyprium, referring to the island of Cyprus, where it was obtained in ancient times.
Uses Copper is used in wires because it conducts electricity very well. It is also useful in jewelry and coins
Obtained from chalcopyrite, coveline, and chalcosine

Copper, the 29th element, is a metal. In industry it is praised for its extreme ductility and electrical conductivity which make it an excellent material for wires.[1] Copper is also a nutrient mineral, and is required by the human body to perform certain chemical reactions.

Copper is also important culturally, as one of the first metals to be used by humankind, especially in its alloy form bronze. Even today the pennies in the United States are informally referred to as "coppers."

The atomic symbol for copper, Cu, comes from the Latin cuprum which also gives its name (via Greek) to Cyprus, an island nation in the Mediterranean renowned for its wealth of copper.

Copper is usually mixed with tin to form bronze, and was a key metal during the Bronze Age.

The Price of Copper and the U.S. Economy

The price of copper has traditionally been one of the very best economic indicator of the future performance of the U.S. economy. Many analysts are concerned.[2] "Copper is viewed by some analysts as a signal of turning points in the world economy, as well as an indicator of whether it is safe to buy cyclical industrial stocks.[3]

"Copper's downward trend foreshadows a stock market collapse, according to Société Générale's famously bearish strategist Albert Edwards, who said equity markets will riot 'Japan-style.'"
"Copper is acting exactly as it did when I wrote about the impotence of liquidity in the face of the (then imminent) 2007 recession. Once again it is giving us an early warning that liquidity will not save risky assets: time to get out of equities."[4]


  1. The World Book Encyclopedia. 2001 ed. Vol. 4. Chicago: World Book, 2001. Print. Pages 1040-1041
  2. Barnato, Katy, "‘Dr. Copper’ Tells Markets the Party’s Over: Albert Edwards". CNBC, Published May 2, 2013. Accessed February 20, 2015.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Snyder, Michael, "The Price Of Copper And 11 Other Recession Indicators That Are Flashing Red". Economic Collapse Blog, Published May 7, 2013. Accessed February 20, 2015.