How to Buy Physical Copper
Investors seeking to gain exposure to copper can do so by simply buying the metal and storing it. Because copper is relatively cheap, however, storing copper of any material value may be challenging.
There have been instances of people hoarding currency to gain exposure to copper. Prior to 1982, pennies were made of 95% copper. That prompted some to melt down the currency when copper prices rose to the point that the materials used to make the coin were more valuable than the coin itself. Since 1982, pennies have been made from a mixture of zinc and copper. And under a law passed in 2006 it is illegal to melt coin currency, with violators facing up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
There are also exchange-traded products offering exposure to physical copper. The ETF Securities Physical Copper ETF, which trades on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker PHCU, is backed by physical metal stored at London Metal Exchange warehouses, the ownership of which is evidenced by LME warrants or warehouse receipts. iShares and JPMorgan have sought regulatory approval to launch similar products on U.S. exchanges.