Copper is found in a variety of forms in nature.

One of the more unusual forms is exhibited in this cross-section of a post which served as a support in a copper mine. It has been partially infilled and replaced by copper from the ground water in which it was submerged. The post is about 12 cm in diameter.

The metallic form at left measures about 15 cm and that below is about 20 cm long.

These three forms of cuprite are among the variety of ways that copper minerals can form. The images are close to actual size. Cuprite is Cu2O.

All of the objects imaged here are on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Other mineral forms of copper
Selection of common minerals
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