Copper is one of the most important minerals on our planet and it can be used in a variety of different ways. From copper nails to copper health supplements, it truly is everywhere. In fact, only iron and aluminum are used more in the world. Copper is also very versatile, being used in anything from industrial machinery to art.
Copper is found in some unusual places, including computers. Plus, the Statue of Liberty is actually made from copper. This statue, a gift from France 100 years after the Declaration of Independence, was made form copper at the suggestion of the architect from France. It looks green now because copper oxidizes.
IBM used to use aluminum when it made computer chips, but they switched to copper instead. When they did this, the price of the mineral actually went through the roof. Today, it is used in a range of different computer components, including mother boards, circuits, and computer chips. By using it, the speed of computers is increased, while at the same time lowering their price.
You will also find copper in a range of residential and commercial applications. In fact, copper wiring is found in almost every appliance because it has such excellent conductivity features. It is also commonly found in the plumbing industry.
Then, there is the fact that copper was once currency. Copper pennies no longer exist, having only been minted between 1793 and 1823, but they were around. In fact, the Numismatic Society has stated that, in 1857, the copper penny was made up of around 95% copper. In the early 1980s, however, the value of copper rose dramatically, which is why the core of the penny was changed to zinc by the U.S. Mint, with only the outer layer being copper coated.
Because copper is used in so many different locations, it is becoming increasingly valuable. In a year, it almost doubled in value. Today, it costs around $3.47 for a pound of copper. Copper, in fact, has been compared to gold by many people. This is one of the reasons why it is also frequently targeted by thieves, who steal copper wire from railway tracks, roofs, and inside abandoned buildings. This has been a particular problem in New Orleans, with numerous people being arrested for theft, once even from an elementary school, and another time from a church. Similar issues have been reported in Minnesota, New Jersey, and Alabama.
Copper is in huge demand, also due to the fact that the global economy is booming. Countries in Asia, including India, China, and Japan, are growing so quickly that their demand for raw materials surpasses demand. These are also the country where many businesses make home appliances, and this means that demand is rising even quicker. Whether or not the copper industry is sustainable, and if so, for how long, is currently anybody’s guess. Who knows, maybe someone might even try to steal the Statue of Liberty (or one of its four copies in Paris, France).