# What is the Ionic Charge of Copper (Cu)? And Why?

The common Ionic Charges of Copper (Cu) are 1+ and 2+.

But the question is how can you find the ionic charge on Copper (Cu)?

Well, copper is a transition element and all the transition and post-transition elements have a variable ionic charge.

The ionic charge of copper (or any other transition or post transition elements) depends on what it is bonded with.

So let’s try to find out the ionic charge of Copper (Cu) using some examples.

If you are a visual learner like me, then here is a short two minute video for you.

## How to find the ionic charge of Copper (Cu)?

As I mentioned earlier, the ionic charge of Copper (Cu) can be found out by looking at what it is bonded with.

So let’s take examples of compounds of Copper (Cu) like CuCl, Cu2O, CuO, CuCl2, etc.

Example 1: CuCl
In CuCl, the Copper (Cu) is bonded to Chlorine (Cl).
You know that the ionic charge of Cl is 1-.
So you can easily say that the ionic charge of Cu should be 1+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Copper in CuCl is 1+.

Example 2: Cu2O
In Cu2O, the Copper (Cu) is bonded to Oxygen (O).
And again, you know that the ionic charge of O is 2-.
So here also you can easily say that the ionic charge of Cu should be 1+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Copper in Cu2O is 1+.

Example 3: CuO
Similarly in CuO, the Copper (Cu) is bonded to Oxygen (O).
And you know that the ionic charge of O is 2-.
So from this, you can easily say that the ionic charge of Cu should be 2+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Copper in CuO is 2+.

In this way, Copper can have variable charges depending on what it is bonded to.

But as seen from the above examples,
The most common charges of Copper (Cu) are 1+ and 2+.

I hope you have understood why copper has variable ionic charges.

Check out some other related topics for your practice.

Author
##### Jay Rana

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. With a desire to make learning accessible for everyone, he founded Knords Learning, an online learning platform that provides students with easily understandable explanations.