So are you ready to go out and get a bit more of that wonderful stuff you may have in your pocket right now? No I’m not talking about that dollar bill, I’m not even talking about those nickels and dimes you may have, I’m talking about all the pretty little pennies, more to the point I’m talking about that beautiful, wonderful red copper that they’re made of.
Even though pennies may be made with copper, the native copper that you’ll be looking for is worth a lot more then just a few cents.
Where is Copper Found
So, where is copper found? Well, it comes from many places throughout the world; usually it is locked up with other minerals and appears nothing like the shiny red pennies that you’re used to seeing this is often referred to as copper ore.
Due to the fact that the copper is trapped with other minerals, the ore must be put through a chemical process and heated to extremely high temperatures to remove the copper from the other minerals.
There is also a very rare form of copper called native copper, which is actually pure or nearly pure copper right out of the ground. This form of copper is only found in a few places throughout the world, and this is what you’ll be looking for on your treasure hunting vacation…
We’ve been able to locate the only fee for dig mine in the world that will let you visit on a treasure hunting vacation to find some native copper for yourself. At up to $75* or more per piece for native copper it’s not a bad day spent hunting for a wonderful red treasure.
How Is Copper Mined
Today most copper in the world in a way called open pit mining. This method is done exactly the way it sounds. A huge pit is created in the ground often entire mountains will be stripped down to a hole in the ground measuring a half-mile or more across.
Please don’t get me wrong, open pit copper mining is a very economic way to mine for copper ore, and that leads to the price of all those things that we enjoy buying being as inexpensive as possible.
Also after the copper ore is all mined out it is required, at least here in the United States that the land be reclaimed and made suitable for nature or another man made use.
A much older method that was used to mine for native copper for thousands of years was by digging underground mine shafts. This method was employed until about the beginning of the 20th century in the US.
Today there are only two examples of these mines in the US, and only one of them the Caledonia Copper Mine allows folks to come and collect their own native copper, but more on that later.
Often when you find your native copper it will come out as a green glob, and you’ll be wondering how in the world is this going to be worth anything.
So what you need is to clean your specimen, and here’s how to do that…
How to Clean Copper
Once you get your chunks of copper home you’ll probably be wondering how you’re going to turn these ugly green blobs into something that people would be want to show as collectors pieces.
Well here’s the secret to getting them to be absolutely wonderful copper red. You’ll need to soak them in muriatic acid. I know that sounds scary, but this is the same stuff that people put into pools to help control the PH levels, so don’t be scared.
You can just go down to your local pool supply store and pick it up. Put some in a 5 gallon bucket, and put those ugly green chunks in for a couple of minutes. Be sure to ware some acid resistant rubber gloves, and eye protection.
Exactly how long will depend on how dirty each piece is. Once you get it to look the way you like, rinse them off in some clean water.
Keep in mind that it is not always good to remove all of the native rock that the copper formed in. It often creates interest to have your copper appear to grow out of a piece of rock. These kinds of pieces can also have more value also.
There you have it, you’ll have some absolutely magnificent native copper specimens to display or maybe make more then just a few cents with by selling it to someone else that would love to display it in their collection.
For some of your less interesting specimens you may want to look into having them cut, or melted and poured into more interesting pieces. The folks at the mine should be able to point you in the right direction if you’d like to look into doing this.
Where Does Copper Come From
There’s only one mine in the world that lets you go to collect your own native copper, so where does copper come from?
Caledonia Copper Mine Ontonagon, MI.
*Please understand the fact that although some gems are sold at a price like that, the odds are very much against a person not directly in the mining business ever even seeing a gem of that quality. Treasure hunting vacations are not about getting rich, they are not about the treasure you find in the ground, what they are about is the treasure you find in searching for the beauty that nature has to offer, and the treasure of enjoying time with family and friends. Enjoy your trip for these things and you will have a treasure hunting vacation of a lifetime.
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