Highly valued in gemstone and sculpture form for thousands of years,malachite is a once popular but now somewhat overlooked stone, with a varied green color palette and distinct banding. In addition to its beauty, Malachite has an array of physical and emotional healing properties, as well as being a natural colorant. Traditionally, it was one of the first ores used to create metallic copper.
In their book, The Book of Stones: Who They Are and What They Teach (2005), authors and gemstone enthusiasts Naisha Ahsian and Robert Simmons delve into the rich history of malachite. They write: "In the Middle Ages, malachite was believed to ward off the evil eye and cure various types of stomach ailments." They add: "The Russian tsars used malachite from the large deposit in the Urals to make ornaments and paneling for their castles, as well as intricate inlays." And why was malachite so prized "Malachite is one of the most precious stones for protection against negative energies. It imbues the auric field with positive vibrations and strengthens the natural energy "shell" which can shield the forces hostile." Therefore, malachite helps protect your well-being..
Since the ancient Egyptians mined it, one of the first uses of malachite was as a mineral pigment in green paints. It was also carved to create decorative objects such as vases - a large malachite vase is in the Malachite Room of the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Founded in 1754 by Catherine the Great, the Hermitage is one of the oldest museums in the world.
How to Identify Malachite
Malachite is easily recognized by its striking green color. The stone is always green, but the shade of green varies greatly, from pastel green to emerald green to black.
Whole malachite gems are rare. In general, malachite occurs in copper deposits, often mixed with azurite. When found whole, it appears as a cauliflower-shaped green rock, although some stones are more refined. Malachite exhibits a mixture of different shades of green and is translucent. Inside, the malachite shows persistent bands which can also take the form of concentric circles depending on the size.
Today, malachite is often used in beads jewelry or as a large cabochon on a necklace or ring. Genuine malachite does not fade over time or when exposed to light. From a retail perspective, there are several characteristics to look for when purchasing malachite. First of all, real malachite is cold, hard and heavy - much heavier than plastic. It will always have a distinctive stripe on the inside and everywhere the colors will vary; if the colors are consistent, it most likely means the stone is an imitation. You can also feel the heat of the stone to determine if your malachite is genuine. Like many gemstones, real malachite does not heat up very much, even if you hold it in your hand for a minute.
It is common for cheap jewelry to use fake malachite; many manufacturers opt for plastic or glass imitations. As mentioned, you can tell the difference between genuine malachite and fake malachite because imitation malachite is much lighter in weight and, if not already warm to the touch, will warm up when you touch it. hold in your hand.
The different colors and types of malachite
Some gemstones have dozens of potential color variations, but not malachite. Unless mixed with other cuprous minerals, malachite is always green and always shows concentric bands or circles in varying shades of green, ranging from pastel to emerald to an almost black shade. of dark green.
Sometimes malachite mixes with other copper minerals like azurite, chrysocolla and turquoise. In this case, the stone becomes an even more favorable color mix, as a palette of various green and blue tones come together. Mixed malachite will have an uneven tone and often irregular patches of green and blue. Turquoise may even have subtle flecks of malachite.
where do you find malachite?
As mentioned earlier, in their book, Ahsian and Simmons write: "Today, the most important source of malachite is Zaire [Democratic Republic of the Congo]. Other malachite deposits are found in Australia, Chile, South Africa and the United States." And they are not wrong. However, rather than having separate malachite mines, which would not be economically viable due to the scarcity of malachite, producers rely on copper mines.
Russia has also been a huge source of malachite. The Demidoff malachite mine in southeastern Russia was once one of the largest malachite mines in the world. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Demidoff malachite mine discovered "the greatest mass of malachite ever known", about 70 tons.
Healing properties of malachite
First of all, it is essential to only handle malachite in its polished form because in any other form malachite is incredibly toxic - never breathe malachite dust or powder. If you get your hands on a polished gemstone or piece of malachite jewelry, this stone has many physical and emotional healing properties. It is particularly useful for women because malachite helps regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce cramps and even facilitate childbirth; it is often called the stone of midwives. Malachite also helps relieve a variety of common ailments such as cold sweats and digestive issues, as well as motion sickness. On an emotional level, malachite is a stone of transformation; it encourages risk-taking and self-expression, and builds self-confidence. This gemstone also helps fight depression and anxiety, which ultimately will keep you both healthy and happy.
Malachite is a breathtaking gemstone, famous for its use in decorative objects for thousands of years. It is found in copper mines around the world and features a distinct green palette and attractive banding. When buying real malachite, always make sure the stone is cool to the touch, does not heat up when held, and is a bit heavy. You can put polished malachite stones on your body or wear malachite jewelry to combat depression and anxiety, as well as relieve cramps and labor.