|Michigan Native Copper.|
A Christmas present element: This ball came with the following tag:
Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula is the most important locality in the world for pure native copper. Mining began in 1845 and continued until 1968 and over 5 million tons of refined copper were recovered from Michigan's copper mines. In the early 1900's, it led the world in copper production and "Lake Copper" was the purity standard to which other refined copper was compared.It looks to me like this ball was melted down, probably from many small bits of native copper. Larger nuggets are much more valuable in their natural state, and are usually cut and polished, then sold for hundreds of dollars.
Long before the mining operations of the past century began in the Keweenaw, prehistoric peoples mined copper from the mineral-rich veins.
Source: John Gray
Contributor: John Gray
Acquired: 25 December, 2002
Text Updated: 29 January, 2009