Copper officially became the new state metal on July 3, 2015. Senate Bill 1441 was signed into law March 27 by Gov. Doug Ducey. The bill was sponsored by State Senator Steve Smith who was approached with the idea by fourth-grade teacher Jennifer Royer. As part of an exercise in her civics class at Copper Creek Elementary School in Tucson, Royer’s students proposed that Arizona should have a state metal and that metal should be copper.
The copper specimen was presented to the Arizona Capitol Museum by Freeport-McMoRan representatives Vice President African Exploration William H. Wilkinson, Ph.D. and Richard Bark, Director of Government Relations and Environmental Counsel.