CuH is a material that appears in a wide diversity of circumstances ranging from catalysis to electro- chemistry to organic synthesis. There are both aqueous and nonaqueous synthetic routes to CuH, each of which apparently leads to a different product. We developed synthetic methodologies that enable multigram quantities of CuH to be produced by both routes and characterized each product by a combination of spectroscopic, diffraction and computational methods. The results show that, while all methods for the synthesis of CuH result in the same bulk product, the synthetic path taken engenders differing surface properties. The different behaviors of CuH obtained by aqueous and nonaqueous routes can be ascribed to a combination of very different particle size and dissimilar surface termination, namely, bonded hydroxyls for the aqueous routes and a coordinated donor for the nonaqueous routes. This work provides a particularly clear example of how the nature of an adsorbed layer on a nanoparticle surface determines the properties.