Introduction to Malachite
Malachite, one of the most beautiful healing gemstones present on the face of earth. Its enchanting green colour takes the credit for its name “Malachite” coming from the Latin terminology meaning soft green and the reference to the mallow plant for its alluring colour.
Malachite, chemically known as Copper Carbonate Hydroxide Mineral is one of the first ores used to produce copper, the stone brought out the first ancient industry setup. Born in a chemical precipitation where the underground water table and hydrothermal fluids meet, the Malachite is a rare sight as it is only to be found in deep underground fractures and spaces. Malachite deposits are becoming increasingly rare and many of the original sources are all but depleted. But it can still be found in smaller deposits worldwide, with most coming from Israel and Africa. The mineral is known to be mined and smelted for Copper for more than 3000 years and since then the mineral has been used as both an ornamental stone and gemstone.
Origin and Supply of Malachite
Malachite is one of the most important minerals in our history – around 4000BC it was discovered that heating malachite reduced it to native copper, and it was from here that the search for metallic ores began. This led to the first real industry of the ancient world. Malachite deposits are becoming increasingly rare and many of the original sources are all but depleted. But it can still be found in smaller deposits worldwide, with most coming from Israel and Africa.
Malachite is classed as a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral with an opaque, banded green, monoclinic crystal structure (meaning it has three different, unequal crystal formations). Malachite measures 3.5 - 4 on the Mohs hardness scale, so while it’s great in jewellery, you do need to guard against hard blows and scratches.
Facts about Malachite
- The most exclusive and distinct physical property of Malachite is its green colour that ranges with its chemical composition, and thus, determining the colour from pastel green to bright green, going to the darkest green which sometimes resembles black.
- Its rare crystals are found in circular tabular forms. When cut into slabs and pieces, the stone displays bands and eyes that may often resemble to that of Agate.
- The crystalline forms of Malachite often display bright hues of green that are translucent with a striking lustre, while, the non-crystalline forms are opaque and display an earthy dill lustre.
- Malachite measures 3.5 - 4 on the Mohs hardness scale, so while it’s great in jewellery, its softness needs to be guarded against hard blows and scratches.
Things to keep in mind while buying Malachite
- Due to its agile softness, the stone is always recommended to be purchased in cabochon or disc cut pieces.
- A distinct feature of this gemstone is its texture apart from its vivid and bright colour. Sometimes featuring concentric circles on its surface in green, black or white, the gemstone looks very unique with a smooth finish.
- When we talk about jewellery, you can choose from the lightest colour of this gemstone for a subtle and dainty look while you can opt for the darker variety for a dramatic and bold appeal.
- While the stone popularly displays bands, sometimes it displays circular patterns as “eyes”, which you can choose to adopt a mysterious and stunning look.
- Malachite is best preferred in bezel, flush or halo settings owing to its softness and to provide a protection.
- In a situation where azurite and malachite form a blended form known as Azurmalachite, this gorgeous stone exhibits patterns of blue and green.
- This gemstone usually is not chemically treated owing to its beautiful and vivid colour but sometimes a wax treatment is given to this gemstone to increase its durability.
FAQs about Malachite
1. How do you clean Malachite?
Malachite can easily be cleaned with soap and water. Just that the soapy residue should be thoroughly rinsed out.
2. What is Malachite good for?
This stone popular even as a healing stone is also known as the “stone of transformation.” Malachite is known to provide balance, instil positivity and is also used for deep energy cleaning.
3. Is Malachite safe to wear?
With its high copper content, malachite leans on a toxic side but when cut, polished and processed with the correct and protective equipment, it is safe to wear this gemstone.
4. What are the benefits of wearing Malachites?
Opening the heart to unconditional love, the stone is said to absorb negative energies and pollutants from the atmosphere. The stone is believed to be beneficial to guard against radiations and electromagnetic fields.