Following on from last months Olympic frenzy and like a good Chemist I felt I couldn’t leave my Olympic postings on Silver and Gold by themselves. I needed to finish the mini series…

So here is it – Bronze.

Incidentally, in the Chemistry Olympiad (a competition organised by the RSC or Royal Society of Chemistry), third prize is Copper and not Bronze ….. but that is for another debate!

Bronze has a whole ear of human history named after it – the bronze age and once mankind learnt to make this alloy things really began to progress for us all!

Bronze is an alloy of Copper and Tin. Tools, weapons and armour were stronger than those made of Copper or Iron alone – and with this came power. Bronze is considerably stronger (less brittle) than Iron and much harder than Copper. It is also much less resistant to corrosion than Iron and was used on the hulls of boats.

Copper is the main constituent and the fluctuating price in Copper has meant that in some countries, coins made of Bronze with a high Copper content are actually worth more than their face value!

Who said it was a waste of time saving those coins!!?