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Copper is an elemental metal, reddish brown in colour and very soft and has been mined for over 5000 years. Its atomic symbol Cu comes from the Latin, cuprum meaning from Cyprus.

While in ancient times copper was used for some tools, by the medieval period it was primarily used for currency and jewelry. A lot of medieval gold was high in copper content, giving it a little more cheapness and affordability, along with a signature redder colour.

Tin can be added to copper to strengthen it and make the alloy bronze.

Copper salts (eg verdigris) were used as a mordant in the natural dyeing of fabrics, and a green pigment in artwork and to make green leather.

Copper alloys were also used in the production of many goods. Bronze and brass are both copper alloys.

See also