Scrap Copper and Brass: How to tell the difference

 In Metal Recycling

In most cases, brass and copper are mistaken to be identical. This is because they are of the same color, weight and shine. Also, most of them are present in most objects that you interact with on a daily basis thereby making it difficult to tell the difference between them. For those who deal in metals, knowing how to tell the difference between the two metals is very important.

Scrap copper has earned a great reputation as having good values in the market because it shares similar features with silver and gold. Also, it is a great conductor of electricity so its demand is as high as that of silver and gold. On the other hand, brass is valuable and used in making items that you interact with on a daily basis. Therefore, if you are out there collecting copper or brass items, it would be crucial to know how to differentiate them.

Below are some of the tips to help you tell the differences between brass from copper.

Features of brass and copper

Scrap copper is easily bent to form different shapes. It is reddish in color and has green subdue color as it oxidizes. On the other hand, brass is a mixture of two or more metallic elements and it resembles copper because it is a part of copper. Given that brass is a combination of copper and zinc, it is harder than copper though it can break if hit with a metal that is harder than it is. It has a yellowish subdue color and it shows brownish or black marks as it ages.

Response to magnetic force

You can tell the difference between the two metals based on their responses to magnetic force. Copper is non-magnetic while brass shows slight attraction to strong magnetic forces.


The two metals exhibit differences on what you can use them for. Given that copper conducts electricity very well, it is used in transmitting electricity. On the other hand, you can use brass for furniture and home fixtures because it is strong and tough.

The techniques above are just some of the ways of figuring out the differences between copper and brass. To gain valuable personal experience in identifying the differences between the two metals, you can keep trying to identify more ways of differentiating the two. Contact us for further tests for cases where you need further study on the two metals.