Copper
Copper is named from the Latin Cuprum, Cyprus (the island) and has been known since prehistoric times. Copper is one of man's most important metals. Copper is reddish colored, takes on a bright metallic luster, is malleable, ductile and a good conductor of heat and electricity. The electric industry is one of the largest users of copper. Copper occasionally occurs native and is found in many minerals such as cuprite, malachite, azurite, chalcopyrite and bornite. Large copper ore deposits are found in the U.S., Chile, Zambia, Zaire, Peru and Canada. The most important copper ores are the sulfides, oxides and carbonates. From these, copper is obtained by smelting, leaching and by electrolysis. Its alloys, brass and bronze, long used, are still very important. All American coins are now copper alloys.