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Brass is a buttery yellow alloy made of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties. Its uses vary depending on the percentages of zinc and copper. Basic modern brass is 67% copper and 33% zinc, making it stronger and more durable than copper, although not as strong as metals like steel. Brass has been made for thousands of years, although brass was often made by accident.