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Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing

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At Paykoc we proudly sell some of the most beautiful solid copper mugs you’ll find anywhere including tankards, barrel style mugs, kettle mugs and more with a variety of decorative touches and smooth or hammered finishes. Nonetheless one question we still hear quite a bit is this: “How do I know your copper mule mugs are actually real copper?” While we know the effort we put into sourcing our various Moscow Mule mugs we also understand that we live in a time when fakery has been raised almost to an art form so this question is bound to come up. In this post then we’re going to put copper under the microscope in order to provide you with some telltale signs you can look for to ensure your solid copper mug is the real thing.

How to test copper

How to Identify Real Copper Mugs

Wade into the markets of the developing world and you’ll find every imaginable type of fake or counterfeit item for sale at rock bottom prices. Fake designer handbags, fake Levi’s, fake Rolex watches and the list, sadly, goes on and on and on. If you look hard enough you’re also likely to find fake copper cookware, fake copper towel rings, fake copper door knockers and fake copper everything else, including mugs. But how can you tell they’re fake? Here are a few ways:

  • The drum test - Because copper is soft by nature if you strike it with a hard item it should produce a muted, muffled sound. If on the other hand you strike your tankard with a hard item and it sounds nice and clear like a church bell chances are it’s made of something else.

  • The color - One of the simplest way to determine if you’re dealing with real copper Moscow Mule mugs is to simply check the color. Real copper has a reddish tint to it while brass and bronze tend to have yellower and whiter tints respectively. If you’re dealing with an item that’s been painted with a copper color paint the finish will be grainy and dull and won’t have the hard, cool feel real copper has. If you want to dig a bit deeper wash the copper in question using a mixture of vinegar and salt. Wipe the mixture off and wait. If it’s copper the surface will at first appear clean and then adopt a greenish hue.

  • Ye olde magnet test - Copper is one of the least magnetic metals. As such if you hold a magnet near a copper mug the mug should not react in any substantive way, unless the magnet is really powerful. Then you may get a bit of a reaction out of the mug but nothing too obvious. If on the other hand you hold a magnet next to an alleged copper cup and the cup snaps to the magnet then it’s made of another metal.

  • Resistivity - If you have more of a scientific mindset you can always check the resistivity of the item in question to determine if it’s real copper. Copper is known to conduct electricity well, so if your item is resistant to electricity it’s likely not copper. Should you happen to have one around you can measure the item’s resistance with an ohmmeter. You can then convert resistance to resistivity by multiplying the resistance by the area of a cross section of the object and then dividing by the object’s length. If the resistivity is greater than that of copper (1.7 x 10^-8 ohm-meters) your item is likely made of something else.

  • Buying from a reputable seller - Maybe the best way to ensure you’re getting real copper is to buy from someone with a solid reputation for selling high quality merchandise, like Paykoc. For these retailers their good name is everything and it’s a rare one indeed that would gamble with their name by trying to pass off fake copper Moscow Mule mugs to their customer base.

At Paykoc we scour the global marketplace to bring you the highest quality copper mugs from the most reputable manufacturers. If you’re the skeptical type we invite you to put our mugs to the test using the above methods or any others you can think of.


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