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March-April 2016

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Collector's Note: An Unusual Glacial Silver Find in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula

Float copper and silver are defined as chunks of those native metals that have been dislodged and transported from where they were formed to where they would ultimately be found. In Michigan this took place during multiple periods of continental glaciation that the Keweenaw Peninsula experienced over the past 2 million years. The copper and silver were transported by glacial ice, and when melting caused the retreat of the ice sheet, the copper and silver were dropped in place. Spectacular masses of float copper have been found in the Keweenaw Peninsula dating back thousands of years to the Paleo Indians who first inhabited the area. The smaller masses were hammered into tools, weapons, and jewelry items by the Native Peoples.

Tom Rosemeyer, a native of Upper Michigan, is a graduate of Michigan Technological University in Houghton. He now spends a good part of the year in the Copper Country researching and writing articles about the district.

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