Copper is one of the oldest metals, having been used as currency more than ten thousand years ago. Copper has also been instrumental in the development of human civilization, playing a key role in various developments throughout history. Copper’s widespread use has not diminished; it is still one of the most widely-used industrial metals, a key component of construction activity and other industrial uses around the globe. It has also become popular as an investable asset, acting as both a potential inflation hedge as well as an opportunity to profit from increased demand for raw materials from emerging markets. There are a number of different options for investing in copper, including exchange-traded futures contracts, stocks of companies engaged in the extraction and sale of the metal, and both physically-backed and futures-based ETFs and ETNs [see also Company Spotlight: Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX)].