Native copper is the uncombined form of copper and the natural state of the mineral. It often presents as the typical orange-brown color synonymous with copper, either free of matrix or embedded in calcite. Copper is one of only a few metallic elements to occur in native form, as it most commonly occurs in an oxidized state or mixed within other minerals. The native state of copper typically presents as a disorganized version of a crystal or mass. That isn’t to say that copper can’t form crystals, it just very rarely does. If copper forms as crystals they will either be cubic or a modified dodecahedron. Copper has also been found in compressed plates and dendritic branches. The native state of copper is relatively rare, meaning most of the world’s copper supply is extracted from other minerals. Native copper has been an important ore of copper throughout history and has a variety of uses both industrially and economically. While copper has significant value in industry, specimens of the native variety are also excellent display pieces.
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