Copper is the 3rd most widely used metal in the world and has been worked by metal smiths for centuries. Copper is highly versatile and is used in many forms for many things. Copper is an essential mineral necessary for all living things, is used as a germ and fungicide for use in agriculture and is a great conductor of electricity. Copper has been used to make jewelry, weapons, cookware, architectural adornments, plumbing and in our case, copper sinks. Copper is traded on the NYMEX – New York Mercantile Exchange. Copper prices fluctuate daily and effect the price for anything that requires the raw material to make their product. While copper becomes more popular and the demand increase, the price becomes more volatile.
The reason for this information is pretty basic. Copper is not stainless steel or other less expensive metals. Remember when copper theft was in the news a few summers back, people were stealing copper down spouts, coils from air conditioners etc. This was because the cost for recycled copper was at an all time high. Copper is not cheap. This is why copper electrical wiring is so expensive. Copper in it’s purest form is expensive and sought after. Working with the best artisans that create with copper is expensive Copper sinks that are “cheap”, well, the question is why are they so cheap?
I can find copper dealers showing copper farmhouse sink for $600 or less. Again, why are they so cheap? How much copper is in that copper sink? If it’s 98% or more, I can tell you from my experience, it’s not going to be able to be sold for that price.
This goes back to that great commercial on TV with the woman who tells her neighbor she read this or found this or even met her boyfriend on the internet, “the french model”. That everything on the internet is true. Remember that? Sadly for the producer of that commercial, I do not know what it was for, but the statement that if it’s on the internet, it must be true really sticks with me. Too many people believe that if they read it on a website, it must be true. Or if I saw it on a commercial or a political ad, then it must be true.
I do not believe in scare tactics or misrepresentation and I hate to know that there are people, business and website on the internet that will scare, confuse and misrepresent things for their greater good.
In our case, a cheap copper sink is just that, a cheap copper sink. According to IAPMO IGC 194-04a of the UPC- Universal Plumbing Code (which covers copper sinks and lavatories), copper can be called copper as long as it contains at least 58% copper. This may explain how some manufacturers are able to sell copper sinks at such crazy low prices. The less copper, the more alloy, the cheaper the cost of the raw material, the lower the price can be once it’s available to you the consumer.
Now with that said, I do on occasion have sinks listed in my sale section for lower than expected prices. In the effort to make room for new products, I price them to move. This does not mean that they are any less copper than anything else that I offer, this means I am prepared to sell them below cost to more them out of inventory. Others have their regular inventory price below what I know my costs are, this is what prompted this post.