Copper Uses that May Surprise You!

1. Building Material 

This is the most obvious use of copper. You may pass houses with copper roofs and see the beautiful turn of color over time called Patina when the copper has been oxidized. The Statue of Liberty is a well-known copper monument that now has a greenish hue due to oxidation of the copper. Copper wire is also very common in electrical wire due to its high conductivity and heat dissipating properties.

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(Statue of Liberty)
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(Birdhouse, artists- James Grigston)

**Fun fact- If you love making copper wire jewelry, I’ve found it to be much cheaper to buy electrical wire and strip the copper out of it, than buy copper wire from a wholesale jeweler. Which brings me to the next category…

2. Fashion

Copper has one of the most unique colors of a natural element. The orange-red hue is not easily mistaken and has been used throughout the fashion world for centuries. You can find it in jewelry, threading of garments, light fixtures, vases, the list goes on!

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3. Money

Pennies!! The things we throw into fountains and find under couch cushions. Although originally 100% copper, we’ve seen the composition shift with the cost of copper rising to now only 2.5% copper plated with 97.5% zinc.

copper-uses-money-pennies

4. Health

So here’s where people get skeptical. I get it, I was one of those people, until I did some research of my own. We all have trace amounts of copper in our body (~100 mg) and it is essential for our health. I won’t get into the nitty gritty, but in summary its beneficial in providing energy, repairing connective tissue in our hearts and arteries, as well as form collagen and elastin in our skin and hair. Most copper is sufficiently absorbed through our diets. Recently we’ve seen a trend of copper bracelets also used for health benefits. It’s believed the absorption of the mineral through the skin into the bloodstream reduces joint inflammation. This trend may seem new to us but it dates back to ancient Egypt. There have not been sufficient studies to prove this, but I say, “I’ll take all the help I can get!”

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5. Bedding

No one likes sleeping hot, so a new technology using copper has emerged! By adding copper gel to Memory Foam, Zonkd has created a top layer of their mattress that rapidly dissipates heat away from the body leaving the sleeper nice and cool. Not only is copper known for its heat conductivity, but also its powerful antimicrobial properties. Sleep cool and clean with Zonkd!

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