In the context of northern Europe, copper use started early in eastern Fennoscandia (Finland and the Republic of Karelia, Russia), sometime after 4000 BC. This article explores this Stone Age copper use in eastern Fennoscandia in relation to broader cultural developments in the region between the adoption of pottery (c. 5500 BC) and the end of the Stone Age (c. 1800 BC). Stone Age copper use in north-eastern Europe has conventionally been understood in terms of technology or exchange, whereas this article suggests that the beginning of copper use was linked to more fundamental changes in the perception of, and engagement with, the material world. These changes were associated with the Neolithization of eastern Fennoscandia, which started earlier than has traditionally been thought. It is also argued that the adoption, use, and manipulation of new materials played an active role in the emergence of the Neolithic world in north-eastern Europe and beyond. Also, issues related to the Finno–Russian border dividing up eastern Fennoscandia and its effects on the study of early metal use and other prehistoric cultural processes are discussed.