Copper is truly a timeless metal, dating back to the earliest years of civilization and used for a wide variety of reasons. From medieval weapons to vessel sinks in the Roman Empire, copper has proven to be a highly versatile, ageless metal made to withstand centuries of use.
As a self-healing metal, copper is known to re-patina itself over time which gives it a very unique rustic look. What other metals have you heard of that have the ability to refinish themselves? The beauty of Copper is that it's actually a "living metal," meaning the surface is ever-changing and constantly developing. Having the ability to patina itself, this makes Copper the perfect metal to build the everyday household sink out of, as sinks are often exposed to acidic foods and abrasive cleaners.
So copper might stand the test against cleaners and foods, but what about time? For nearly 6 millennia B.C, copper was the only metal known to man. As an ageless metal, copper dates back over 10,000 years in production. It's known that copper has actually been used in plumbing dating back to as early as 4500 B.C. Irrigation, sewage, and bathroom fixtures have never been the same since the discovery of copper. Known for it's solidarity, ability to withstand extreme conditions, and malleability, copper makes for an exceptional solution in the world of plumbing.
In the 18th century, copper became increasingly popular for europeans as a means to make a bathtub out of. Since copper is an excellent conductor of heat, these bathtubs would actually retain warmth longer making them perfect for a soaking tub. Not only is it a heat-friendly metal, studies show that copper holds antimicrobial properties which eliminate germs and bacteria at the surface. What's commonly known as a "Japanese soaking tub" in today's world, was originally a simple solution to keeping water warmer longer in more primitive times.
Although copper wasn't very popular to the average American household until about the 19th century, many plumbing pipes and electrical wires had already been installed to their homes in the prior decades. It's no mystery why copper is such an excellent addition to your home, it has no expiration date. Even used and abused, copper is here to stay...for centuries.
Choosing the right sink can be daunting, but taking into consideration the lifespan and minimal maintenance that copper brings to the table, is there a better choice? Although the copper sink may outlive the structural integrity of your home, at least you'll be able to pass it on to the grandchildren!