DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Native copper. Native copper is pure copper as found in nature. Copper is one of the few metallic elements to occur in unmixed form as a natural mineral, although it most commonly occurs in oxidized states or mixed with other elements. The isometric crystals of this sample, forming a dendritic pattern, are rare. Native copper used to be an important ore of copper from pre-historic times onwards, but is now more a collector's item.
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