Copper Crystals Meanings and Properties
Mineral Species: Copper
Mineral Group: Elements
Chemical Formula: Cu
Hardness: 2.5 – 3
Crystal System: Cubic (Isometric)
Colour: Copper red
Typical Appearance: Usually massive, also dendritic and rarely as prismatic crystals.
Birthstone: Secondary birthstone for Taurus and Sagittarius
Chakra Alignment: Aligns with the Sacral Chakra
Element: Fire (metal in the Chinese system)
Origin of Name & Mythology: From the Greek 'kyprios', of Cyprus, the location of ancient copper mines. Copper is considered to be one of our most important metals, and has a history of human usage rivalling that of amber. Native copper has been in use for at least 10,000 years. Earliest estimates place its discovery at around 9,000 BCE. A copper pendant was discovered in what is now northern Iraq that has been dated to 8,700 BCE. There is evidence of copper metallurgy, including smelting, in southeastern Anatolia (Turkey) from around 7,500 BCE (Neolithic period). Malachite mines (malachite is an important copper ore) in Sinai date to around 4000 BCE, and the Great Orme Mine in Wales is a well-known example of Bronze Age malachite mining in Britain. There are examples of polished copper mirrors from Mesopotamia from around 4,000 BCE. The smelting of copper was independently discovered in China around 2,800 BCE and 1,000 CE in the Americas, specifically Peru. The discovery of using copper as an alloy to create bronze and brass changed human history and heralded the Bronze Age. Egyptian copper artifacts date from 3,000 BCE, and they used malachite medicinally from at least 1,800 BCE – probably much earlier. In antiquity, copper was associated with Venus/Aphrodite, and later, in Mediaeval Europe, the alchemical symbol for copper was the symbol for Venus (Venus’s Hand Mirror). There are more recent traditions around copper, which are discussed in the properties section.
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