Copper

Shiny, reddish copper was the first metal manipulated by humans, and it remains an important metal in industry today. 

The oldest metal object found in the Middle East consists of copper; it was a tiny awl dating back as far as 5100 B.C. And the U.S. penny was originally made of pure copper (although, nowadays, it is 97.5 percent zinc with a thin copper skin).

Copper ranks as the third-most-consumed industrial metal in the world, after iron and aluminum, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). About three-quarters of that copper goes to make electrical wires, telecommunication cables and electronics. 

Aside from gold, copper is the only metal on the periodic table whose coloring isn’t naturally silver or gray.

Copper