Everyday Uses of Rocks and Minerals - Shelf 7

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Copper is used in the manufacture of electrical wire, copper pipes for water, copper cookware, and in the computer you're using to view this web gallery. Copper has low resistence to electrical charge and is relatively abundant, compared to its elemental sisters, gold and silver, which is why it's used for wiring. It can be found both in its elemental state and as an ore, in which the copper is bonded to other elements.

Zinc has been reported as beneficial in shortening the duration of common colds, so it is often included in over the counter cold remedies. There have been no conclusive results supporting this use, but zinc is an essential element, so taking it as a supplement in reasonable doses cannot have any adverse effects. Zinc is often found naturally in sphalerite, a mineral including sulfur and iron. Zinc is also used for galvanizing, because it is relatively inert compared to steel, so it can prevent rusting when used as a coating.