I don’t have a lot of non native jewelry, but I have a few interesting things. I bought this ring, which is balanced on a bigger piece of float copper and a stone from Lake Superior, at a store in Copper Harbor, MI. The copper is called float copper, which “floated” in the bottom of the glaciers, and then was dropped when they melted. A lot of the UP copper was known to have pure silver in it. You can see there’s a little silver in the copper on my ring.
The town is at the very tip of the Keweenau Peninsula, which juts out into Lake Superior on the western side of the Upper Peninsula. The story of copper in the UP is fascinating, and everywhere you go there are old abandoned mines. It’s all mostly owned by the NPS now, and they’ve been designated as National Park Historic Sites (although they warn you that there are many unmarked abandoned mine shafts). At the Quincey Mine you can take a tour where a cog tram takes you 6200 feet into the ground. The UP put out a huge amount of copper, and in it’s heyday it produced 75% of the world’s copper, something like 12 billion pounds. But it all was eventually put out of business as it got too expensive. The open pit mines in AZ, such as the Bisbee mine, were much less expensive, because the copper was near the surface.
Sorry this is so long, but I find the history of copper in MI fascinating. I also have a number of Native American pieces made in copper.
We were just there. Stayed a couple days in Hancock which is right there. Copper Harbor was a neat visit and we did some hiking in the area.
Oh my gosh! That’s crazy. We were just there in mid-may. My brother in law lives in Houghton right across from Hancock!
I just realized my title had originally said float cooper
Nice example. I have a bunch of both float and other copper from the UP.
Here is one of my favorite pieces.
Great mineral / metal specimens!
That’s cool! Does that have quartz in it?
Yes, more quartz than normal.
I got these fun little MI copper earrings a few weeks ago. I had been looking for some that were the upper and lower peninsulas to wear in my double piercing. I like them, but apparently whoever made them didn’t remember it was totally an 80’s thing to only double pierce your left ear. So when I have them in, the UP is facing the wrong way. Oh well!
Copper is an interesting material.
Last week I duiscovered a rock that is found in copper mines
in CT. Chalcopyrite is also known as Peacock Ore.
I just took these pictures and hope you can see the colors.
…and my left ear is triple pierced as I was a rebel in the late 70’s in high school, glad I wasn’t the only one.
Rock on, rebel! But I’m less of one than you. I wanted to triple pierce my left ear, but the second piercing hurt, so I chickened out on #3 It’s so funny cause people will stare at my right ear, and then tell me I’ve lost an earring…
Here are some pieces of Bornite I found at the Flambeau Mine, Wisconsin. It was located near the Flambeau River.
The mine was active from 1993-1997.
The mostly open pit mine officially extracted 181,000 tons of copper, 334,000 ounces of gold and 3.3 million ounces of silver, in addition to many rare crystal and other mineral specimens.
There were piles of tailings located next to the visitor’s center.
My husband and I are going to The Bristol Rock and Mineral Club meeting tomorrow. I can’t wait to learn more.