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Malachite



Name:

The stone’s name derives (via Latin and French) from Greek molochitis, “mallow-green stone”, from molochē, variant of malachē, “mallow”.

Description:

Malachite is a light green to dark emerald green coloured stone, it is usually streaked with light green.

Gemmological Characteristics:

Malachite’s colour is obtained from its copper content and it is a relatively fragile stone with hardness of 4. The lustre is vitreous to silky. It is mixed and often confused with Azurite.

Sourcing:

Large quantities of malachite have been mined in the Urals. It is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Tsumeb, Namibia; Ural mountains, Russia; Mexico; Broken Hill, New South Wales; England; Lyon; and in the Southwestern United States especially in Arkansas and Arizona. In Israel, malachite is extensively mined at Timna, often called King Solomon’s Mines. Archeological evidence indicates that the mineral has been mined and smelted at the site for over 3,000 years. Most of Timna’s current production is also smelted, but the finest pieces are worked into silver jewellery.

Holistic Properties:

Aids the function of the pancreas and circulatory system. Malachite is also said to bring harmony to one’s life.

Gem Folklore:

Malachite was used throughout the ages as a children’s talisman to ward off danger and illness.

History:

Malachite was used as a mineral pigment in green paints from antiquity until about 1800. The pigment is moderately lightfast, very sensitive to acids and varying in color. The natural form was being replaced by its synthetic form, verditer amongst other synthetic greens. It is also used for decorative purposes, such as in the Malachite Room in the Hermitage, which features a large malachite vase (unknown scale). “The Tazza”, one of the largest pieces of malachite in North America and a gift from Tsar Nicholas II, stands as the focal point in the center of the room of Linda Hall Library.

Zodiac & Birthstone:

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