Copper isn't generally considered to be one of your flashier commodities, like gold or silver, but as a precursor to good and bad economic times, the price of copper may be one of the best indicators around. As economies pick up, the use of copper increases dramatically and so, too, does its price. And when economies cool and the demand for copper drops, so too does its price. Many people choose to place a portion of their investment funds in copper as a hedge against inflation or for various other reasons. One of the best ways of investing in this strategic metal is by purchasing copper bullion.
Set your goal in purchasing copper bullion. Is this an inflation hedge, a hobby or do you just think copper bars are a beautiful asset to hold? Determine how much copper you intend to buy and keep in mind that once you own copper bullion, it must be stored, and that takes space.
Check out local sources first. Contact large jewellery stores and coin dealers and look for copper dealers in your area. Copper bullion bars come in a variety of sizes and shapes from several different mints around the country, and you can expect to pay a small premium over the current price of copper when you purchase bullion.
Contact one or more of the copper mints (or their sales agents) that can be found online (see Resources). Look at pictures of the bars each mint offers and all of the sizes available. Determine whether you will get a better deal buying locally (and not paying for shipping) or whether the cheapest price per ounce is found online.
Another way to buy copper is to buy large quantities of pennies from your local banks and sort through them, keeping the pre-1982 pennies, which were minted from pure copper. Pre-1982 pennies are worth more than a penny based on current (2010) copper prices. Find a market for you copper bullion before you buy. If you need to sell your copper quickly at close to the market price, make certain that you have a ready and liquid market.