Let me tell you about copper. Copper is both an element and a mineral. It is an essential trace element in all plants and animals, serving as a factor in various enzyme systems. It is essential to the normal functioning of muscles, the nervous system, and the immune system.
It conducts electricity extremely well, and is used extensively for electrical wires. Copper is used to make alloys such as brass, which is mixture of copper and zinc, and bronze, which is a mixture of copper, tin, and zinc.
Its name comes from the Greek kyprios, from the island of Cyprus, where copper was mined from pre-historic times. Today, copper is mined in various places, but the biggest copper mining areas are in Chile, Japan, Peru, Australia, Russia, and the United States. In the United States, major mining areas are in Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, and Michigan.
It has a Mohs hardness of 2.5 to 3.
Today, most copper is extracted by chemical processes from copper ore which contains only a small percentage of copper and a large percentage of silicate or oxide minerals that have no commercial value.
The term “Native Copper” is used for pure copper that is not combined with other elements or minerals. It is reddish or orange in color, and can turn a greenish color when it is weathered.
Native copper has been mined in Upper Michigan and in other places such as Arizona. The native copper deposits in Michigan are some of the largest deposits of native copper in the world.
Cabochons are typically made from native copper nuggets, cut and polished into different shapes.
Some people wear copper jewelry because they believe that it provides them with health benefits, such as helping with arthritis pain and joint stiffness by releasing the flow of blocked energy.
From a metaphysical standpoint, copper is said increase energy and mental focus, and to amplify thoughts in communicating with others.
We have a number of native copper cabochons on our Heart of Stone Studio website, www.heartofstonestudio.com.