The Beautiful Green Hues of Malachite
Malachite is a carbonate mineral that is typically used as an ornament or a piece of jewelry. The mineral is also widely used as a source of green pigment. It is popular for its trademark natural banding and intense green coloration. People are usually aware of what malachite looks like. Malachite stones are popular because of their unique dark green and light green alternating layers. It is one of the most instantly recognizable minerals in the world today.
Malachite is a semi-precious stone that is named after a green herb known as “mallow.” The word “malachite” was derived from the Greek name for this herb. The ancient Egyptians, as well as the Romans and Greeks used malachite extensively to make eye shadow and amulets. According to historians, malachite was already being used for various purposes as early as 4000 BC.
Physical Properties of Malachite
Some of the most beautiful specimens of malachite today are pieces that have been sliced to reveal exquisite banded layers. These stones present with unusual and interesting patterns, such as perfectly concentric rings. Jewelers and designers polish malachite so that it gives off a warm glow.
Malachite is similar to agate in the sense that it is found as banded in appearance in its natural state. It is not common to find malachite deposits in distinguishable or single crystal form, although these forms do exist. Malachite may appear in the form of crystalline aggregates, as mammillary aggregates of radiating botryoidal clusters. The chemical composition of this popular mineral is Copper Carbonate Hydroxide [Cu2(CO3)(OH)2].
Sources of Malachite
During the time of the Tsars, about 20 tons of malachite was discovered in the Ural Mountains in Russia, which were excavated and utilized in the building of the palaces of Russian royalty. Malachite was used in the intricate inlay work of the palaces of the Tsars. However, this deposit has already been exhausted.
Africa is known for its rich supply of malachite. The continent is the most important source of malachite today, specifically in the territories occupied by Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zaire. Australia is also an important source of malachite. In the United States of America, the primary producer of malachite is the state of Arizona.
This mineral is usually associated with secondary copper minerals. In their natural state, malachite is found with Azurite, which is a blue mineral. There are times when the two minerals are banded together, which give rise to another valuable find known as “Azure-Malachite.”
Symbolisms and Meanings Associated with Malachite
The Ancient believed that ornaments made with banded malachite stone could protect the wearer from evil influences. In fact, during the Middle Ages, children were made to wear the stone to protect them from dangerous elements such as witches. In some circles, it is believed that malachite can ward off an impending danger by breaking off into smaller pieces.
Today, malachite is worn to protect the wearer from accidents on the road. It is recommended for people who travel often. It is also believed to have some form of protection from undesirable business associations. In addition, malachite is believed to help prevent nightmares if the person keeps a piece of the stone in the bedroom. There is a pervading belief that the powers that malachite possesses increases exponentially in the presence of the mineral copper.
Malachite has very special properties according to those who believe in divination and the paranormal. The stone is considered to be the “mirror of the soul, since it can reflect the inner feelings of a person. The stone will demonstrate inner turmoil as well as positive thoughts. As such, people are cautioned against wearing it lest they betray their true emotions to others.
Malachite’s Healing Power
Malachite has rich green color, and because of its mesmerizing and strong appearance, the stone is associated with the healing power of nature. Furthermore, the circular lines represent the flow of energy and promote spiritual healing and growth. The stone can draw out impurities and heal on not only the spiritual but the physical level as well, specifically illnesses affecting the stomach. Malachite stimulates the flow of the Life Force and rids the person of impurities that lead to various ailments that affect the body and the spirit. Malachite is also known as a “Stone of Transformation,” and has potent powers in terms of assisting an individual through the process of change.
Popular Malachite Products
Lovely figurines made from malachite may not be as precious as jade carvings, but they are immensely popular. Rock shops in different parts of the world also offer tumbled stones of malachite. Malachite figurines and tumbled stones are some of the most popular products available.
In terms of jewelry, malachite figures significantly in Native America Southwestern fashion pieces. The green color is complimentary to other stones, which are often used in jewelry inlayed in silver, such as onyx, jasper, mother-of-pearl, and coral.