Copper: a metal for the ages

Fact Sheet 2009-3031
USGS Mineral Resources Program



Copper was one of the first metals ever extracted and used by humans, and it has made vital contributions to sustaining and improving society since the dawn of civilization. Copper was first used in coins and ornaments starting about 8000 B.C., and at about 5500 B.C., copper tools helped civilization emerge from the Stone Age. The discovery that copper alloyed with tin produces bronze marked the beginning of the Bronze Age at about 3000 B.C. Copper is easily stretched, molded, and shaped; is resistant to corrosion; and conducts heat and electricity efficiently. As a result, copper was important to early humans and continues to be a material of choice for a variety of domestic, industrial, and high-technology applications today.
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Copper: a metal for the ages
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2009-3031
DOI 10.3133/fs20093031
Year Published 2009
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s) Mineral Resources Program
Description 4 p.
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