If you pay attention to the fluctuating prices of metal like I do, you are probably aware that even though the value of gold, silver and copper has dropped in the last 2 years, the 10 year trajectory for the three metals has been in the positive direction.
Trading at less than $3.00 per ounce, copper is definitely the humble relative of silver and gold.
It is also the metal that frequently goes missing because it's easily accessible in the form of downspouts, flashing and water pipes.
Friends of mine came home to their beautiful, century-old home in a lovely neighborhood one day and found that, while they were at work, someone had stolen all of their copper downspouts.
Another friend who builds and remodels homes, has come to job sites only to find that the newly installed copper plumbing has disappeared overnight.
Pretty brazen and, unfortunately, pretty common.
I recently had to have my roof redone, and a dumpster sat in my driveway, collecting all of the related debris.
I knew there was some copper on my house which I planned to salvage for future projects.
The roofing crew had just left and I went outside to find my neighbor rooting through the dumpster.
"What are you doing?", I asked.
"The metal is only going to the dump, so I'm taking it out."
I explained that I was going to be salvaging the metal myself and could he please go home.
He was definitely disappointed as he turned to leave, but he was carrying an armful of metal.
I realized I needed to be more blunt.
"You go home, please...the metal stays."
Even more disappointed, he reluctantly put the metal back in the dumpster.
After he left, I realized he had tucked the copper in the groundcover instead of the dumpster.
Maybe he was hoping to come back to retrieve the copper.
I don't know, but it's now at my workbench waiting for the proper inspiration.
Watch your copper!
Turn your back, and it might be gone.
But if you're lucky, you might get someone else to do your dumpster diving for you.