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    Copper Spot Price & Charts

    In the chart below, you can observe the live prices for copper in various quantities. Whether you want to buy an ounce, gram, or kilo, we have an up-to-the-minute feed of the spot price you will have to pay.

    If you’re new to copper investing, however, this page is the right place to be. We have the answers to all of your questions about this underrated precious metal.

    What is the Copper Spot Price?

    The spot price of any precious metal, copper or otherwise, is the purchase price for an amount of that metal at that moment in time. Traders arrive at this price by examining several different factors that may influence the supply and demand of the metal. Since the time component exists with spot price, the spot price is always in motion, rather than a fixed price.

    Investing in Copper

    Investing in copper is quite straightforward. The value of your purchase is a direct reflection of the metal’s going rate and the amount that you buy. 

    Copper is available from JM Bullion in rounds, bars, and - believe it or not - bullets. Don’t worry, though…these bullets aren’t ammunition and won’t present the risk of your investment exploding.

    You can also invest in the humble penny - so long as you look at its date of issue first. The first thing to check is that a penny is from before 1982. From the penny’s first minting in 1793 until 1982, a penny contained no less than 88% copper (with one exception). 

    In fact, if you can find a penny from before 1855, you’ll have a penny made entirely from copper. Pennies became a mixture of 88% copper and 12% nickel in 1856 and remained with this composition until 1864.  From 1864 until 1982, pennies adopted their 95% copper composition, with the final 5% either being a mixture of tin and zinc or entirely zinc. The only year when that didn’t occur - the aforementioned exception - was in 1943, when the efforts for World War II necessitated the issue of a steel penny - the “steel cent.”

    However, in and after 1982, the government flipped the composition, got rid of the tin, and began making pennies almost entirely from zinc. Modern pennies are made with only 2.5% copper.

    So, although any pre-1982 penny has the right amount of copper, we sell wheat pennies exclusively at JM Bullion. These pennies, which are nicknamed for the image on their reverse, were minted between 1909 and 1958, and are reliably made with 95% copper.

    Copper Spot Price Fundamentals

    What is a copper price quote?
    If you visit our charts or somewhere else, you’re likely to see a quoted price for copper. Generally speaking, copper prices are the spot price for a pound of the material. However, you can also find prices per troy ounce and, ostensibly, kilo if you need a different amount.

    How are spot prices determined?
    Copper spot prices are a reflection of the going rate for copper on copper futures contracts. Specifically, the spot prices bear the value of the soonest-expiring futures contracts on exchanges worldwide. In essence, it’s the amount that they draw for immediate payment. Or, more simply, it’s the price to buy the standard amount of metal.

    How does JM Bullion get its spot prices?
    JM Bullion uses live feeds to create an open window for you into the copper market (and the markets of other metals). We update our prices on a minute-by-minute basis so that you can make the most timely decisions about buying and selling possible.

    What is a bid price?
    The bid price of any precious metal is the maximum amount that a seller can receive for their metal. So, it’s the price you can charge if you’re selling your metal (absent premiums or other charges).

    What is an ask price?
    The ask price is the other side of the deal from the bid price. It is the maximum amount that you can expect to pay if you are buying copper (absent other charges). The ask is almost always higher than the bid price.

    Why are your prices higher than the ask price?
    It’s not just us. Unless you mine the copper yourself, you are going to have to pay a premium over the ask price to purchase copper. All dealers, including JM Bullion, have a surcharge on their copper pieces to compensate us for making it easy to buy copper. Generally, we have some of the lowest premiums on purchases, but you should always shop around multiple dealers. In some cases, there are even “sales” where a dealer might drop its premium lower for a period of time.

    What currency do copper spot prices use?
    Copper is almost always traded in US dollars. In fact, if an investor wants to use a different currency, they are merely going to receive the converted rate based on the currency’s relationship to the dollar.

    Is copper the same price in every country?
    It has to be, or keen investors would swoop into the scene and make out like bandits. As mentioned, copper always begins in terms of dollars, so this amount is the same around the globe.

    Factors Affecting the Price of Copper

    What makes the price of copper vary?
    Copper prices vary for the same reason as almost any other commodity - changes to the supply or demand for the metal. As supply increases or demand decreases, the price goes down. Similarly, decreases in supply and/or increases in demand lead to a higher price.

    Now, the factors that can affect these two metrics are often economic or geopolitical concerns. If an economy is suffering or there are inflationary concerns, the demand for copper tends to increase. Changes to trading policies or currency valuations can also cause the price of copper to go one way or the other. Like all precious metals, copper investors are usually looking to preserve the value of their wealth in the concrete tangibility of copper and its ongoing intrinsic value.

    Are copper prices volatile?
    No more than other commodities or most other investments. There are periods of intense growth or decline, and there are also times when the price drifts one way or the other. It’s even fairly common for the price to remain steady for an extended period of time.

    In general, however, copper tends to be a bit less swingy than its other precious metal cohorts. It’s rather abundant on the supply side, but its numerous commercial and industrial uses mean that the demand for it is rather unwavering.

    Is copper traded around the clock?
    Yes. Because copper is traded in countries across the globe, someone is always open for business with copper. So, even though you may have to trade with someone on a different continent, you can always do business with copper, night or day.

    How often do copper prices change?
    Constantly. Even though the spot price reflects those soon-to-expire futures contracts, there is also an effect from the demand for those same contracts that may push the price up or down.

    Investing in Intangible Copper Products

    What is a copper futures contract?
    As we mentioned above, the spot price for copper reflects the futures contracts that will expire in the shortest period of time. However, just for clarity, a futures contract (of any kind) is an agreement to purchase a certain amount of an item for a certain price at a defined time in the future. In theory, a futures contract buyer would acquire the actual product they purchased, but they rarely do.

    Does it make more sense to buy copper futures, rather than actual copper?
    Probably not. Their obscurity and associated risks make them more trouble than they’re worth to the common investor. Precious metals traders buy futures for a living; all of us mortals are better off sticking to buying actual pieces of copper directly.

    Can I just buy copper ETFs instead?
    You can, but ETFs bear their own problems. With a copper ETF, you are buying a financial instrument backed by copper, rather than copper itself. As such, there are different factors that will affect the value of the ETF beyond the price of the metal itself.

    Other Copper Price FAQ

    If a copper coin has a face value, shouldn’t the coin be worth more money?
    Because face values are a determination of a government’s law and/or mint, they don’t mirror the running price of the metal. In fact, changing metal prices are often the reason that you see mints and governments changing their coins’ compositions. In most cases, the value of the metal outpaces the face value at some point - so you’re better off buying for the copper content than the face value.

    If I am a new precious metals investor, what are good copper options to consider to build up my collection?
    Copper is one of the least-expensive precious metals to buy, so you likely have the means to buy a decent amount of it. Your best choices for building your stack up are bars, rounds, and - for flavor - bullets. Coins tend to be a bit trickier and have to be purchased in great quantities to build up a store of them.

    Why can’t I just buy wheat pennies for their face value (one cent)?
    You cannot simply purchase wheat pennies for one cent a piece because of two reasons. The first one is the one mentioned in the question above, where the metal content is worth more than the face value. The other issue is that wheat pennies have a certain collectible value and bear their own individual demand.

    If copper prices are always moving, how do I know how much to pay?
    You lock in a price with a dealer. The copper price is a moving target, to be sure, but if you enter into an agreement with an online dealer or retailer, your price won’t change anymore. So, the dealer will quote you the price at the moment, and that’s the price you will choose to pay (or not).

    Shouldn’t I just buy copper at the store around the corner?
    You can, but it has some drawbacks. We’re biased, obviously, but copper dealers do offer the opportunity to complete a transaction within minutes. You walk into the store, buy your copper, and walk out with the copper in hand. However, you should realize that you’re going to be paying for both the convenience and the cost of keeping the store open. If you want the best deals, you have to buy online.

    Do all dealers charge the same amount for copper?
    Not at all. In fact, you should shop around for the best prices both online or in-person. The spot price is the same across the board, of course, but there are differences based upon the premiums that each dealer charges for a purchase (or sale).

    How does the price of copper relate to stock prices?
    As with other precious metals, copper often varies inversely with the stock market. A healthy stock market leads to more people riding things out with fiat currency, rather than seeking out copper. However, this relationship is not absolute, and it is very possible to see both the stock market and the price of copper moving in the same direction.

    Are copper prices decided by anyone, rather than the market?
    Possibly, but it's not likely. Price manipulation does happen, but copper’s low visibility likely makes it avoid being targeted by bad actors, either traders or governments. In other words, copper is probably too boring to fall victim to monkey business - but it’s not a bad idea to do your own research, too.

    Do I have to pay taxes when I buy copper?
    When you buy copper, the only tax you’ll have to pay is the applicable sales tax in your state. However, if you sell your copper, you may find yourself eligible for capital gains tax - similar to the tax you pay if you sell shares of stock.

    What is a copper assay?
    An assay is a certification from an independent entity that confirms the purity and content of your copper pieces. So, possession of an assay makes it easier for you to trade your copper more easily because you don’t have to prove that it’s legitimate.

    Are copper ounces the same weight or mass as regular ounces?
    No. Precious metals are often expressed as ounces, but these are troy ounces. A troy ounce is roughly 11% more than a standard ounce in terms of their weight or mass.

    How many grams are in an ounce of copper?
    A troy ounce of copper equates to 31.103 grams.

    How many ounces are in a kilogram of copper?
    Each kilogram of copper is composed of 32.151 troy ounces of the metal.

    What are the different forms that copper products can take?
    We sell copper wheat pennies, copper bars, copper rounds, and copper bullets.

    Where can I buy physical copper?
    Right here! Head over to our copper page to find the format that you want, and get started right now.

    Is copper eligible for my IRA?
    Unfortunately, no. IRA eligibility only extends to gold, silver, platinum, and palladium at this time.