Historical information

This specimen is a native copper specimen that is metallic. Copper is typically found in the earth's crust and is often found alongside other metals such as gold, zinc, lead and silver which all belong to the same group which is the Copper/Gold group. Copper is most commonly formed from large masses of molten lava rock which has solidified in the earth's crust and over time though different sizes and speeds of crystal growth has turned into large amounts of copper, stored in porphyry copper deposits. Copper has a distinctive colour, yet can sometime appear blue and greenish which is often caused by oxidisation or a mixture of copper and other metals.

This specific specimen was recovered from Moonta, South Australia. The Moonta Mining Company was established in 1861, after a Shepard in the area noticed traces of copper. This lead to a rush in the copper mining industry which was relatively young in Australia at the time, making Moonta Mining Company one of the richest in Australia. By the 1860's, South Australia had been nicknamed the "Copper Kingdom" due to its vast amount of Large copper mines and resources. As of 2016, Australia was the second largest producer of Copper internationally, following behind Chile in first place.


This copper specimen is significant historically and scientifically as it is such an important metal commonly used throughout the world in various ways. Copper is an invaluable recourse used in daily life, used in most electrical appliances as it is a great conductor of heat and electricity, as well as being soft and malleable, making it easy to bend and mould into delicate sheets and wires. Copper does not corrode and is therefore used in the production of water pipes among countless other significant necessities that are often overlooked in our society.

Historically, Copper holds great significance as it was the first metal used by humans. It was discovered roughly 9000 years ago and was utilised by the Neolithic Man who learnt that heating the metal made it more malleable, thus tools and utensils were made which were far superior to the previous stone tools used by humans. This history and its connection to the current and ongoing relationship between humans and copper must be preserved and highlighted as it is integral to the history of all humankind.

Physical description

A small, palm-sized solid native copper mineral specimen with shades of browns, black and rustic tones throughout the specimen.

Inscriptions & markings

NATIVE (metalic) COPPER / Locality: Moonta, South Australia