Copper has an ancient history, being used extensively in the Bronze Age. Its compounds are widely distributed in the earth’s crust, and occasionally it occurs naturally as the element. It is the last member of the first transition series; the configuration 3d10 4s1 gives rise to an extensive chemistry of the +1 oxidation state. In this respect it differs from all the other members of the first transition series. The next element, zinc with the 3d10 4s2 configuration, shows the +2 state almost exclusively and does not have the transition-metal properties associated with the variable oxidation states.
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