The Properties of Copper

The word copper comes from the Latin word "cuprum", which means "ore of Cyprus". This is why the chemical symbol for copper is Cu.

Copper is the only naturally occurring metal other than gold that has a distinctive colour. Like gold, copper is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. It is also very malleable and ductile.

Copper is easily mixed with other metals to form alloys such as bronze and brass. Bronze is an alloy of tin and copper, and brass is an alloy of zinc and copper.

Copper is also resistant to corrosion (it does not rust very easily).

The Properties of Copper
Chemical Symbol: Cu
Mineral: most commonly found as chalcopyrite
Relative density: 8.96
Hardness: 2.5-3 on Mohs scale
Malleability: High
Ductility: High
Melting point: 1083°C
Atomic Mass: 64

NEXT: Read about Copper in Australia, or Start the Quiz!

Minerals Downunder Copper Contents