Published February 2015 • Updated July 2022 • Read Time: 7 minutes
Copper is one of the most important and widely-mined industrial minerals. It’s mines are often enormous pit mines, owned by multinational corporations worth billions of dollars. In fact, the largest mine on earth is so big, it can be seen from space! Copper mines also produce much of the precious metals, including gold and silver. Copper is a soft metal that was one of the first to be worked by man, even before the first civilizations developed. It is one of the few native elements that is widely used in the metaphysical industry. This is partially due to its availability, but also due to its attractive coloring and energy which sings of the desire to create the life we dream of.
Copper sparks our passion, giving us energy, focus, optimism, and an unwavering drive to create the life we most want to live. It helps us to manifest our dreams, not simply by thinking and wishing, but by actively going out and getting stuff done! It attracts good fortune and unique opportunities. When used in meditation, Copper amplifies our energy, both grounding it deep into the earth and sending it up into the astral realm. It is a fantastic energy conductor, and can be used to strengthen the connection between two individuals or between an individual and other healing stones.
Root and Sacral Chakras
Earth and Fire
Taurus and Sagittarius
Emotional Healing Properties
Copper has an optimistic and active energy. It combats anxiety and depression, especially when related to fear about the future. It proclaims that we don’t need to seek out perfection in any form. It encourages us to avoid the emotionally helpless feeling that can come with seeking the “perfect” career path, or finding the “true love” society says we must have, or any other all-encompassing single focus. All of those things will come to us in time. Copper joyfully invites us to live in the moment! Now is the time to become a person we can truly like and admire, and to trust that in doing so, all good things will come our way.
Mental Healing Properties
Copper encourages us to move directly into action, rather than spending too much time thinking or waiting for the optimal moment. It teaches us that we make our own luck, and that a person of action seizes life and opportunities as they come. Yet it is also a stone for diplomacy. It helps to cut through any red tape, and get right to the heart of the matter, so that both parties can find a solution that will satisfy everyone’s needs. Copper encourages creativity and free thinking, and urges us to move beyond the obvious and into the daringly possible.
Physical Healing Properties
Copper is widely used to combat arthritis, rheumatism, and other forms of joint pain. It has also been used by metaphysical healers to treat the circulatory system and fight bacterial infections. It is said to stimulate the metabolic process and encourage wounds to heal faster.
The largest Copper deposits have been found in Chile and the United States. Other notable deposits are located in Australia, Bolivia, England, Indonesia, Germany, Mexico, Mongolia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Peru, Serbia, and Russia.
Mining and Treatments
Copper is the primary purpose of many large open-pit mines, including the world’s largest mine, the Bingham Canyon Open Pit Copper Mine in Utah, USA. This mine is .75 miles deep and 2.75 miles wide (1.2km by 4.4km), large enough to be seen with the naked-eye from space.
Real Copper always has a pinkish or reddish tone that other metals lack. Bronze and Brass tend to be more yellow. The easiest way to tell if Copper is real is to place it by a magnet. Real Copper will not be attracted, but other metals will. All tumbled Copper or Copper nuggets may be considered fully natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, or polishing.
Copper is a Native Element, a chemical element that appears in nature uncombined with anything else. Native Elements are typically divided into three groups: metals such as Copper, Gold, Silver, and Platinum; semi-metals like Arsenic; and nonmetals like Sulfur and Carbon.
Copper’s energy works well with its family – other Native Elements. Try it in combination with Bismuth and Shungite
Large Copper deposits are formed deep in the Earth’s crust when a massive deposit of molten liquid cools and solidifies into rock. The original molten liquid can contain many types of Natural Elements, including Copper. As the liquid cools, solid crystals begin to grow in the newly-forming rock. As more and more crystals appear, the available fluid grows smaller. The Copper remains within this fluid, becoming steadily more concentrated. Right before the rock completely solidifies, it may move and crack. If this happens, the Copper-rich fluid will pool into the crevices, and eventually solidify into a large piece of metal.
Copper’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment. Try it in combination with Azurite, Chrysocolla, Malachite, and Prehnite
Copper-red to brown
Hardness – Mohs Scale
History of Copper
Copper, like Gold, Silver, and Platinum, is a Native Element, an element which occurs in nature uncombined with anything other than itself. Most healing stones are minerals (composed of various elements) or rocks (composed of various minerals). As a result, many healing stones carry the essence of Copper within them, including Amazonite, Azurite, Chalcopyrite, Chrysocolla, Dioptase, Malachite, and Turquoise. Although it has been used by mankind for thousands of years, Copper has generally not been included in lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers. This was true both in the ancient period as well as in modern books.
Neolithic humans first began using Copper in place of stone as early as 9000 BCE. Only Gold and Meteoric Iron have an older history of use. The oldest Copper artifact, a small pendent found in northern Iraq, dates back to 8700 BCE. Most of these early artifacts were decorative, rather than useful. While the metal can be used to form weapons and tools, it is soft and soon blunts. People around the world realized that it would be very useful if Copper could be hardened in some way. The metal was heated, melted, allowed to reharden, mixed with other substances and generally experimented on. By 4000 BCE, the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians were casting the metal into molds, and 500 years later alloying it with Tin to produce Bronze. Within a few thousand years, Bronze had been independently invented in China and India as well. Lastly, Bronze was invented in the Moche civilization (100-700 CE) of Peru.
The technological development of Bronze officially brought to an end the “Stone Age” that our species and earlier hominids had lived in for at least 3 million years, from the time when we first picked up a rock and used it as a tool. By learning to work Copper, we changed the trajectory of our own species, the planet and every living organism on Earth. This one invention, along with agriculture and writing, is what made modern civilization possible.
During the early years of mining, Copper could be picked up off the ground, but it soon required the first large-scale underground mining operations. The island of Cyprus was famous during the Roman Era for its vast mining industry. The name “Copper” comes from the Greek name for the isle, Kupros. The metal is still mined in large open pits on the island today.
Medicinally, the ancient Egyptians prescribed Copper for sterilizing wounds, and also for treating minor aliments such as itching and headaches. The Indian Ayurveda texts state that it is the best metal for crafting surgical tools and other medical instruments. In ancient Greece, Copper was linked to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. In part, this was because of the metal’s lustrous appearance, but also because it was commonly used to craft early mirrors. The Roman author Pliny the Elder (CE 23-79), lauded the metal’s beauty as a raw material, but decried it being used to debase Silver coinage. Copper was first used as a form of currency during the time of the Roman Republic and was initially just lumps of metal, which, over time, transformed into coins. The modern US Penny carries on that tradition, although it is technically made of Bronze, since pure Copper is too soft for mass circulation.
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.